Small Things Matter ( Grandma Chronicles II )

A seahorse died today.

Only a few people know about it. With him died his baby seahorses; he was about to become a father. The seahorse was pregnant. Some people might be surprised to learn male seahorses can get pregnant. I know I was.

Seahorse's passing stayed with me, long after the day's biggest issues receded to the back of my memory. His world was small, by human standards. He lived in a home aquarium, with a couple of clownfish and a three legged starfish, whose other legs were bitten off by a puffer fish. Missing legs are fairly common among starfish--the good news is they can grow new ones.

Seahorse's people carried bags of special sand and gallons of distilled water up the stairs to make his environment as close a replica of his birthplace as possible. They worked diligently to make his home a clean and happy one. And it was.

Along with his tank mates, Seahorse was lovingly cared for and fed each day. He had special lights for the day and special lights for the night. He had plants and coral and shells in his world. But on this one day, he swam too close to an anemone, got caught in its stinging tentacles, and that's how he died.

The brightly colored clownfish are immune to the anemone's poison. Scientists believe a protective mucous coating protects the clownfish. After a period of acclimatization, clownfish take up residence in the tentacles of a sea anemone. It finds shelter among the anemone's tentacles, and in turn helps the anemone by eating its leftovers and cleaning it. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/

Trivial, some might say. Irrelevant sentimentalism, others will scoff.

There's more than one interpretation of Seahorse's life story.

In a world where my value to most people is worth only as much as my ability to generate dollars for them, I care not at all about their opinions of what I care about.

"Just" a seahorse, but it makes me sad. Small things matter too. Seahorse mattered, to some people. He mattered to a kid.

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