A Folly Starfish Christmas Story

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By Minta Pavliscsak

It was Christmas Eve in our little slice of Folly Under the Sea. This year things around me seemed more calm than usual. Everyfish seemed to be ahead of the typical hustle and bustle of the season. That is, every fish except for me. I like to live in the here and now, which means I am really good when it comes to what others view as procrastinating. I like to think of it more as I work well under pressure. That aside, I was bobbing from store to store as quickly as I could but a starfish can only go as fast as the current takes him and today the current was in no rush.

Somehow I managed to squeak in grocery shopping, picking up my famous last minute –but always perfect– gifts, visiting a few friends, and even getting a relaxing arm massage at Sacred Arm Massage & Healing Arts. Floating home, I looked around at all the happy fish. It was such a beautiful day. The sun was glistening brightly through the waves. There were even surfboards overhead, and not a shark sighting all day. The small fish were playing with each other and singing carols in anticipation of what tonight would bring. The bigger fish were holding hands and sneaking kisses, just as giddy as the little ones.

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Finally making it home, I put on my favorite Michael Bubble Christmas album and started wrapping presents. Later that evening, I enjoyed the sunset in my back sand where I could see the human’s Folly Christmas tree off in the distance. Those humans are so creative! Who would think to put a Christmas tree on the beach anyway? ?After Christmas Eve dinner and appeasing carol singers who literally would not leave until I gave them figgy pudding –good thing I picked up dates at the store– I finally settled in to rest until Christmas day.

However, it was a restless sleep, and when I did drift off I had crazy dreams. One was of a psychedelic octopus. He just kind of joyfully floated in one spot, smiling and waving almost glowing in the surf. And then I woke up. Then there was the dream of a sandcastle Santa Claus. Had I seen the humans building one on the beach? Had Santa visited me and I sleepily caught him? Was Santa Claus really made out of sand? The psychedelic octopus seemed to make more sense than that! Maybe I was just as excited as every fish else that I had seen the day before. After all, Christmas is my most favorite of all the holidays. And even after all these years, I have never stopped believing. I gave into my excitement and floated out of bed, cranked up the Bubble, and got ready for the day.

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As I put on my funny Santa attire, the smile that would remain ever present for the day crept across my face. How silly of me to think there would be sleep on the eve of today of all days! The doorbell rang. My friends and family had arrived. It was the beginning of another perfect Christmas Under the Folly Sea.

From our family to yours,
Happy Christmas, Merry Everything!

Never Stop Believing

The Kindness of a Stranger – A Charleston Starfish Story

By, Minta Pavliscsak

The day started out as any other day; the sun had just peaked over the horizon and my tummy was starting to rumble. I was carelessly bobbing along with the current in search for some breakfast reaching out to cling onto any rock I may float by that happened to have a clam or mollusk attached to it. I wasn’t having much luck today though.

Then I spied a delicious looking cluster of oysters just off to my right and I tried with all my might to maneuver myself towards it. Alas, the gravity of the incoming tide was too strong for me and it pushed me right past. I wasn’t worried, not yet anyway. This happens often enough, but the ocean is vast and there are plenty of opportunities for a tiny starfish like me to find breakfast. Only today, today was different. Today I just kept floating.

Soon I found myself crawling along the bottom of the ocean with the top of the water descending closer and closer to me. I lost control of my movements as the waves took over my direction. It wasn’t long before I was on the beach under a large wooden pillar structure.

As I crawled on the wet sand, I could hear the sound of dogs barking and feel the footsteps of many people passing by. I tried calling out to them for help, but given that our mouths are underneath us, starfish can’t project very well.?Keeping as calm as I could, I began to work my way back towards where I thought I would find the comfort of the ocean. After some time, this seemed to be in vain. I began to wonder if I would ever get back home. Had I known last night’s meal was my last, I would have made it a much nicer one. I would have called my parents and told them I loved them. Do my friends know how much they mean to me? Was I nice enough to strangers I had met along my path? As these thoughts passed through my head and I thought surely this was the end for me, I was scooped up by a warm, gentle hand.

I had no clue what to expect next. I was frozen in fear as I was carried around and put on display for another human being. Suddenly, I was joined by another, smaller starfish. Not knowing what else to do, I began trying to crawl away. Of all things, the human started to laugh! This had to be a good sign, so I moved all my legs with all my might. I heard even more laughing as I could see that my new friend and I were being carried towards the ocean. The next thing I knew, my friend and I were flying through the air, twirling around and around, and splash! We landed gratefully in the ocean. We exchanged Twitter handles and promised to stay in contact through Facebook, then said our goodbyes. As I swam home, completely forgetting about breakfast, I called my parents as updated my status to “thankful”. I will never forget about that kind human on the beach. Sometimes it takes almost losing it all to realize just how much you really do have.