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Milo the Magical Fish by Kathleen Jacoby

milo_magical_fish_15ppxWhen Milo was small he had a way of shimmering in the sea as the waves would splash above his head. This attracted bigger fish to him, and often they would try to sneak up behind to eat him. But something about Milo was different than other fish. He had fins that would send out beams of electricity that would shock any fish that tried to harm him. He didn’t do it on purpose, because he wasn’t even aware of what was happening. It just happened.

Milo loved to play in the water and was curious about the vast ocean regions in which he lived. He would explore undersea caves and slide amidst the long fingers of kelp that tickled his tummy as he went by. He nosed into the sea anemones that covered the bottom of the ocean, and slithered on the sandy floor, making shapes as he wiggled from side to side.

Milo had lots of friends, both big and small. Everyone loved to play in the darkest of caverns with Milo along, because he would all of a sudden shimmer brightly, and they could see underground creatures that lived on the dark sea walls as they swam by.

baby_octopus_150pxsOne day while Milo was out playing amidst the sea vegetation, he spotted a small octopus wedged between two rocks. The octopus was doing everything it could to free itself, but nothing worked. Milo swam up and asked if he could help, and the little octopus began to cry. “I’m stuck and don’t know what to do!”

Milo thought for a moment. “Where do you live?” he asked.

“On #2 Shellfish Drive” answered the tired little octopus.

“Are your parents at home?” Milo queried.

“I don’t know. But I’m getting so tired, I don’t think I can go on much longer.” The little octopus seemed to shrink within itself, and Milo was very concerned. He didn’t know if he had time to find the parents because something had to be done quickly to save the exhausted creature.

“I know!” Milo had learned about emergency signals, and he thought about what they were. His body began to flash the shimmering light out in what humans might see as S.O.S. signals, and pretty soon it attracted fish of all sizes, including some electric eels.

“What’s up, Milo?” came a chorus of the fish who knew him. Milo pointed to the little octopus and told the group that they needed to figure something out to free the little creature, who was now fading fast.

A bottle nosed shark happened by at that moment after having lunched with friends at a nearby fishing spot. Since he wasn’t hungry, and saw the plight of the little octopus, he offered a solution.

“Move away” he shouted authoritatively!

All the fish and eels backed up. The shark swam a hundred feet from the trapped octopus and then at full speed rammed into the one rock that was wedging the little creature. The rock moved only a smidgeon… not enough for the octopus to be freed, so the shark swam back again and performed the same maneuver. This time, the rock jiggled on its side and rolled ever so slightly. The little octopus dropped to the sea floor, and Milo rushed forward to see what could be done to help him.

The little octopus appeared to be very weakened from his valiant struggle, and the electric eel came forward to see if he could help.

“Hmmm…I think our little friend needs a small jolt to wake him up. I would be too strong, but Milo can do it.” Eel bent ever so slightly and ushered Milo forward to touch the little octopus gently on its head. Milo did not want to do anything that would hurt the octopus, and hesitated for a moment. Eel spoke with conviction. “Milo, this is a gift you have. I’m too powerful for a baby octopus, but you will have just the right touch. Don’t be afraid!”

Milo gulped for a moment. Shining a light was one thing, but giving a jolt of electricity to a little octopus was quite another. However, he was a helper, and didn’t want the octopus to die because he was afraid to use his gift. Milo gathered all his inner courage, and swam to the little octopus, now very still and very quiet. He gently touched its head with his fin, and the little creature’s body jumped, just as ours would if we got a mild shock. Gradually, its eyes flickered open and it gazed around.

“Where am I? What happened?”

“HURRAY!” came a chorus of voices that had been anxiously awaiting the outcome of this underwater drama. Milo leaned down and told the little octopus what had happened. At that moment, a very large octopus came gliding up to the group and pushed its way through.

“Oliver! We’ve looked for you everywhere. What has happened?” The concerned parent saw the group around its offspring and began to send an inky film to protect it, but the little octopus cried out….

“No, mama, don’t! They saved my life!”

Immediately the mother octopus looked at the group, and a spokesfish said for all assembled, “Milo, Eel, and Bottle Nosed Shark saved your offspring!”

The eel and shark had moved to the background, and as all eyes turned to look at them, they shyly acknowledged that they had indeed helped. Then everyone turned to Milo, and said aloud.

“Milo is the hero of the day! If he hadn’t sent out the distress call with his shimmering fins, we would not have been able to save the little octopus!”

“Oliver, if you please!” said the now recovered precocious octopus.

At that very moment a Sea Horse news brigade came upon them and gathered the heroic group for interviews and photographs, with little Oliver octopus chattering importantly about his scary adventure.

Headlines of the Daily Sea News boldly declared….Milo’s Magic Markers Save the Day!

After everyone dispersed from the scene, and the mother octopus took her inquisitive octopus home, Shark, Eel and Milo gathered together for a moment of gratitude. They were happy to have helped, and recognized that each of them had an important part to play. Without Milo, no one would have noticed. Without Shark, no one would have been able to move the rocks, and without Eel they wouldn’t have known how to revive the exhausted little octopus. Each had an opportunity to use their gifts, and as a result, a baby octopus would live to see another day… and the newspapers got a great fish story for the evening news!

Download a picture of Milo, Oliver and their friends to color.


kathleen_jacoby_thumbKATHLEEN JACOBY is a writer, associate editor of The Inner Voice Magazine, Blogger, and consultant. Her contributions are in the realm of inspiration and she spends her spare time reading, writing, and putting jigsaw puzzles together. You can read her work on the following websites:
Seasons of the Soul Newsletter –
Numbers by Design:
Journey to Raw: