#3: Octopus lost

Oscar woke up confused. He didn’t know where he was. He looked up and down, to the sides and back — although this effort was exacerbated by the fact that he was horizontal and facing sideways. And stuck to the side of something. A tenacious tentacle twitched against cold metal. It appeared that Oscar was adhered to a chain link fence. Curious that. And Oscar was a curious cephalopod.

Cars whizzed above on a concrete roadway in the sky. It made Oscar dizzy just looking up at it with one eye. All brightness and blue sky and buzzing. But the sound was somewhat soothing given this particular predicament. Below, and much closer, was a roughened pavement of stones from a nearby construction site. It didn’t look like a very comfortable place to land. A lone straggly weed looked up at him from the other side of the fence.

Oscar breathed in. Cough. He breathed in again. Better. He opened his other eye wide to take in the situation. All eight arms present — although in a deplorable state: fluffy rose now matted to a pink paleness, white dirtied to grey. No matter. It’s nothing that a little soap and water and fluff-dry couldn’t mend.

Now to the matter at hand: extrication from this metallic inconvenience.

Octopi have a uncanny way of getting out of tight spaces. Ask anyone. The lack of a skeleton can be invaluable. And their ability to perform complex reflex actions without even involving the brain is uncanny.

Hoping to remain inconspicuous, Oscar waited for the cover of darkness to make his move. And although he was a highly intelligent invertebrate, he didn’t even have to think about it.

In the morning Oscar was gone.

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