By Amber Peterson
It has only been a few weeks since I started in the Aquarium Lab here at Alaska Pacific University, but I have learned quite a bit about the animals we care for in the various aquariums. It is no surprise that our star is our Giant Pacific Octopus, Gemini. She is a gorgeous animal, with a personality to boot. You may be thinking to yourself that she’s only an octopus, and that she couldn’t possibly have a personality. That’s what I thought too, but I soon learned that she was eight arms of sass. In working with her, and watching Gemini interact with the other animals in her tank, I could imagine her writing her own diary of day-to-day life as an octopus diva, and thus The Gemini Diaries were born.
I am exhausted. Completely, and utterly, tired. Just as I was nestled up in my favorite corner of the tank (near the tropical tanks, so I can keep an eye on the clownfish), I felt something poking my tentacle. Firstly, how dare they? Secondly, could they not? Disgruntled, I moved a bit, but as I was falling back asleep, I felt it again. A slight, pin-like pressure on one of my suction cups. Fine. I guess I’ll just move over. I am soon awoken by several dull needles slowly pressing against me. That. Is. It. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS?!! As I move away from my corner, I notice one of the Urchins. Urchins! The bane of my existence. I know he was poking me just to annoy me, I just know it! It’s not enough that they steal my toys. Oh no, now they have to steal my rest?
Just as I am stretching out, I see the Humans! This should be fun. I keep a lazy eye on them as the flit about the lab, talking nonsense about the fish and their social lives. Oh, look, they’re starting to open the tank. That’s nice. I will go and say hi… but they’ll have to beg for it first. I can hear them calling to me. “Hi Gem!” Okay, that is not my name. My name is Gemini. It is a beautiful, elegant name that shall not be shortened. Maybe if they say it right I will go over. Maybe.
Ah, the Humans have the clam, and it smells delicious. But, I will not be forced into going to get it myself. That is for peasants and sea stars and those low-life Urchins. It’s not even in the green ball (a hamster ball with a hole in it, so that I can play with it, and hit Urchins with it when I’m done)! Oh, now they’ve pulled out the shrimp, they must really want me (I mean, who doesn’t? I’m gorgeous!). “Gem, come get your food”, they say. “Gem, come on, just eat your food.” Perfect, I have them right where I want them, in the palm of my suction cups.
As they are opening the second panel of the tank, which is right above me, I decided to give them a wonderful display of my colors. I can hear them complimenting me and I’m glad to know that they understand true beauty when they see it. The Humans lower in the shrimp, which is okay, but I really want to say hello to them. I reach up a tentacle and latch on to one Human’s arm. They certainly don’t taste as good as the shrimp, but, it’s hilarious watching them try to peel me off. Honey, I have seven more, I’ll let go when I want. But I am hungry, so I guess I’ll take their offering of shrimp and clam, then take a nap, far away from the Urchins.
Until next time,