Thing: Flower Pot
Meet mom. My mom. I am the first Octokid to meet her own mom. That is why I am writing about her. Cause she is special, and as a result, so am I.
You see, Octokids never got to meet their mothers. By the time they hatched, their moms were long dead. They grew up on instinct. Scared? Swim faster. Hungry? Catch something. Tired? Sleep.
But now Octokids don’t quite grow up like that. Let me tell you about the one who changed it all. Mom. Octomom (the first of her kind)!
When she was younger and of reproductive age, the discussions all around her were about choosing a mate, finding a nest, laying a million eggs and then dying. None of the other girls seemed to mind that last bit. But for mom, it was not trivial, but essential. Not something to be accepted as a fact of life or nature’s design but something to be questioned, shaken, smacked, prodded, till answers were found. She wouldn’t resign to death by starvation, exhaustion, motherhood. She decided that she would find a way to both take care of her nest and also keep herself fed and alive.
Firstly, she found a good sized bucket kind of thing that she could easily hold between two tentacles. It was apparently a plastic flower pot discarded in our waters by the humans. When she chose her mate she also struck a deal with him. My father, whoever he was, would come and deposit a medium sized fish in the pot every week. As backup, she also met up with a few ageing fish of the near waters and wondered with them, if they would be gracious enough to come and die in her container. A lot of them agreed and even promised to spread the word.
In these parts of the world, trust is a transparent thing, even when pressures run high.
Assured that her plans would bear life, she closed off the world and laid her eggs. She turned red whenever she was hungry and soon enough she had something to eat.
After about six months of crowdsourcing food, we hatched. More of us survived than is statistically recorded. Thanks to the food she got she was stronger and thanks to that, she could make sure more of us survived. And since she was alive, we grew up to be better aquazens.
She is old now and doesn’t move around much. So we restarted the food-in-her-flowerpot ritual again.
She has lived a great life. She has brought waves of change into our community and how we live. Once her kids left she started a school to educate impressionable Octogirls. Empowered with knowledge and support, some followed her way of nesting and the rest decided not to become moms*. They swam into the open waters, to enjoy their lives. I am one of them.
*So you see, our population continues to remain in balance.