Monday, June 9, 2008
"with fronds (friends) like these, who needs anemones (enemies)?"
It's well known that some species of fish on the coral reef have adapted to be able to survive the poisonous sea anemone's sting, which gives them a safe place to hide from predators. What isn't so well known is the story of the single fish that decided to be different. One day he swam away from his protective anemone, in search of some other hiding place. A first, he swam into a small crevice in the rock, but he very quickly swam out of there, chased by an eel. Then he decided he could hide inside a shell, so he found a nice big one that he liked, but had to retreat from the crab that had got there before him. Finally, exhausted, he swam into the coral beds, and hid among the brilliant colored fern-like fronds of the corals. The next day, when he hadn't come back to the anemone, some of the other fish decided to go out and look for him. The hunted everywhere for him, but they couldn't find him. Eventually, just as they had given up, they heard him calling to them. They looked around, but they couldn't see him anywhere - he was perfectly hidden by the coral. Finally, he showed himself, and they tried to persuade him to come back home, but he refused - the coral was too good a hiding place to leave. "After all," he said, "with fronds (friends) like these, who needs anemones (enemies)?"