Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor

Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor
Picture by Justin Wyatt
To read Hilary's story buy this special book...

This magical story has a touch of the supernatural. When an injured crane is found and nursed, something happens, something magical and inspiring...

Gentle Footprints launched- AS SEEN ON TV

Gentle Footprints was officially launched Fri June 4th at the Hay Festival with guest speaker Virginia McKenna and some of the authors

Buy from Bridge House Publishing by clicking on the link BUY:


Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Animal Anthology To Raise Funds for Born Free

Bridge House Publishing announce new book coming Spring 2010. For more about Bridge House please see their website.
This book is the annual charity book for Born Free...if you want to get involved with promoting and selling this book- email me!

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Encounters with Octopuses

I'm Wrestling with an Octopus

I'm wrestling with an octopus
and faring less than well,
one peek at my predicament
should be enough to tell.
It held me in a hammerlock,
then swept me off my feet,
I'm getting the impression
that I simply can't compete.

I'd hoped that I could hold my own,
but after just a while,
I ascertained I couldn't match
an octopus's style.
It flipped me by a shoulder,
and it latched onto a hip,
essentially that octopus
has got me in its grip.

I tried assorted armlocks,
but invariably missed,
and now I'm in a headlock,
and it's clinging to my wrist.
It's wound around my ankles,
and it's wrapped around my chest
—when grappling with an octopus,
I come out second best.

Jack Prelutsky, from A Pizza the Size of the Sun

Octopus wrestling
It's difficult to believe, but octopus wrestling was once a fairly popular sport, and was even televised. The challenge was to find an octopus and bring it to the surface. The diver who captured the largest animal was the winner. Things didn't work out so well for the octopus who was frequently killed and either sold to a restaurant, or sold as bait to fishermen.

Man has had a rocky relationship with the octopus for a long time. It is also known as the devil fish, and has been labelled as loathsome, evil and malicious. It has been disliked and feared by man, although the evidence suggests that it has far more to worry about in any encounter with humans than man does. A tradition of the Detroit Red Wings ice hockey team involves flinging octopuses on the ice before the game. It is incredible to believe this continued until at least 2008.

Divers who have interacted with octopuses in their natural environment are often impressed by their charm, and some have developed relationships with individuals who will leave their dens to interact with their visitors.

Octopus is eaten in many cultures. It forms a part of the Mediterranean diet, and is increasingly popular as a constituent of sushi. Small octopuses are sometimes eaten alive, and freshly cut octopus legs can be eaten while they are still squirming. The Monterey Bay aquarium advises consumers to avoid octopus in sushi as they have concerns about overfishing.

BBQ Garlic baby octopus

Octopus are often sold as pets to be kept in aquariums, although they are not suited to life in a tank. They are sensitive to small changes in their environment, and their predatory nature makes them a poor companion for other inhabitants of the aquarium.

Giant Pacific octopuses are obviously not suitable pets, but some commercial and public aquariums keep them. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a Giant Octopus Project, and the main benefit of this is that more and more is being learned about this complex and intelligent animal. They have been shown to be creative, playful and capable of learning fairly difficult tasks. Hopefully as we come to know more about these enigmatic creatures, they will be valued for their beauty and individuality.

Tomorrow - An octopus's family life.

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