The Good Octopus
If you are like me, then the first thing your grandfather told you when you were young was to stay away from octopuses.
It’s not that octopuses are bad; they are just tricksy. It’s all their arms. Most people have two arms, so you can see what they are doing, but octopuses have eight arms (really six arms and two legs, but you get the idea). They can play Uno with you while eating a snack, checking their Facebook, and stealing money from your back pocket. This is very tempting when you’re an octopus, believe me.
Because of this great temptation, many octopuses become criminals, even if they only commit crimes with one of their arms. But there was one octopus that did not want to be a criminal. Let’s call him Gustav. That wasn’t his name, but octopus names are very hard to spell in English, and Gustav is a good name that isn’t used as much as it should be.
Anyway, Gustav was a good octopus. He always tried to lend a helping hand—or six—to anyone that needed it. After watching Spiderman, he dreamed about being a superhero and swinging through the city by his tentacles. The problem was that the spaces between buildings were very big—much bigger than the length of Gustav’s arms, so he did a lot of falling and not much swinging. He would have broken all his bones except that octopuses don’t really have bones, so he just felt a bit bruised and a little sick to his ink sac.
Next, he thought maybe he could join the police and help people that way. He went to the station to sign up.
“I don’t think you meet the height requirement,” the desk clerk said.
“If I stretch out my arms, I’m close,” Gustav said.
“Or the weight requirement,” the clerk continued. “How much do you weigh?”
“Ten kilograms,” Gustav said, “and not a gram of it is fat.” He was very proud of that. “Plus, I am good at problem solving, and I can camouflage myself.”
The clerk went to ask the captain. They gave Gustav several tests and said they would call him. The next day, the clerk called and said Gustav was denied.
“Sorry,” he said. “The captain decided you would make everyone else look bad. After all, we all only have two arms and none of us can camouflage ourselves. Plus our problem-solving skills are just okay.”
Gustav was sad and went for a walk. He went past a kindergarten and saw a little girl crying.
“What’s wrong?” Gustav asked, but the girl did not answer. He climbed over the fence and took her hand. “Let’s go find your teacher,” he said.
They walked towards the building. Other kids saw him and crowded around. They wanted to hold Gustav’s hands too and by the time they go to the school building, Gustav was holding onto eight kids’ hands and hopping along, since they were holding all his arms and legs.
“Thank you!” the teacher said. “You are very good with the children. Do you want to help out here?”
Gustav had never thought of that before, but he liked the idea. So every day he went to help out at the kindergarten. He was perfect for the job. He could wipe noses, give out snacks and clean up toys, all at the same time. He was great at hide and seek because he could blend in with the walls and whenever they did fingerpainting, he could give them all the ink they needed.
Plus, he was soft and huggable, which was perfect for small children, even if they did sometimes squeeze him too a bit too hard.