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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
What Am I?

Oscar lay on the sea bottom, watching the fish swim by above him. He wondered what sort of fish they were. He pushed himself off the bottom and floated up towards the surface. “What sort of fish are you?” He stopped a red and green striped fish and asked.

“Why do you have stripes?

The fish looked at Oscar. “I'm a striped fish. What are you? Are you a jellyfish or an octopus, or a squid?

Oscar frowned. “What?”

“What are you, Oscar?” The striped fish swam away.

“What am I? What am I? I don't know what I am. I am either a jellyfish, an octopus, or a squid,” he said to himself.

A big pink fish with purple spots swam by. “Hello, Oscar.”

“Hello. Can you tell me what I am? Am I a jellyfish, or am I a squid, or an octopus?” Oscar wanted to cry.

“How many legs do you have,” the pink fish asked.

Oscar bent his head over and counted them. “Eight. I have eight legs.”

“That's good, Oscar. I think squid have eight legs and octopus have eight legs and I don't know if jellyfish have legs or not. Do you think those are tentacles or legs?”

“I don't know,” Oscar sobbed. “What am I? Do I have legs or tentacles?”

“You'll have to figure that out for yourself,” said the pink fish and swam away.

Oscar floated higher and looked down. He saw a shark swim by. “Shark. Shark. What am I? Am I an octopus, a jellyfish, or a squid?”

The shark swam up to him. “I'm not sure, but I like to eat squid. If you're a squid, then I'll have to eat you.”

Oscar gulped. “I'm not a squid. I'm an octopus, or a jellyfish.”

“Very well,” said the shark. “I won't eat you then.” It swam away, leaving a terrified Oscar dangling in the water.

Something pink came swimming past. It had long tentacles and was shaped very much like Oscar. “Excuse me, but what am I? What are you?”

The pink thing stopped. “I am a jellyfish. I have tentacles.”

“What am I then? I don't think I'm a jellyfish. If I'm a squid, then the shark will eat me. Please let me be an octopus.”

The jellyfish swam away, leaving Oscar all alone. Just then a dark shape came towards Oscar. “Yikes! It's that shark again.” Oscar was so afraid that he squirted black ink into the water. The shark swam away. Oscar looked at the dark water. “What did I just do?” \

A golden fish with orange stripes swam up to him. “You're an octopus. Octopus squirt ink when they are afraid.”

“I'm an octopus? Are these legs or tentacles?”

“You're a silly octopus. Those are tentacles,” the golden fish said and then swam away.

Oscar threw his tentacles out to the side. “Hooray! I'm an octopus! I'm not a squid! I'm not a jellyfish. I am an octopus!”

Life under the sea changed for Oscar. Instead of lying on the bottom of the sea in the sand, he swam about, telling everyone he met that he was an octopus and proud of it.

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