Right before my library branch closed for renovations, I grabbed The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery, partly because I’ve read some of her other stuff but mostly becasue Octopus! (I’ll miss you serendipity. I have to request all my books online now.)
Octopuses are always fun. Apparently octopi isn’t the correct plural if you’re an etymology nerd. Which I’m not and I kind of like how it combines octopus and pi – a cursory Google Image search turned up surprisingly few memes around this. Get on it Internet! Nevertheless, it just seems like good manners to stick with the book’s convention.
Grammar settled, Montgomery heads off the the New England Aquarium and befriends various octopus inhabitants. I saw an octopus at the New England Aquarium a few years ago and found myself wondering if it was one of the ones in the book. Octopuses are clever and will turn their ingenuity to escaping if not distracted by visitors, games and predicting word cup winners. When you hang out with an octopus, you stick your arms in the water and it grabs you, and sometimes your friends since those eight arms are great for multitasking. Like a hug, but with more tentacles and suckers.
The sad side is that octopuses don’t live that long. Fair warning: octopuses die in this book. In a way I realize this is all about one’s point of view – like an octopus might feel like 5 years is a long, full life. But at some point you have to start wondering if it’s worthwhile being born at all.
On a more cheerful note, it reminded me how I was going to knit Octopus Mittens ages ago but never did. I’ve got the pattern and yarn and it’s supposed to rain this weekend….