25 December 2006

Praise be Neptune!

The Bivalve's Christmas
(A tale told to me by my crass Uncle Ostrea)

'Twas the night before Christmas.
And on the mud flat,
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even a spat.

The clams were nestled,
All snug in their beds,
While visions of plankton,
Danced in their heads.

And I in my mantle,
and Virginica in her shell,
Had just settled down,
From a long filtering spell
When out in the marsh,
There arose such a clatter,
I opened my valves
To see what was the matter.

Worms rose from their tubes,
Scallops blinked their blue eyes;
Clams stuck up their siphons,
Mussels gaped in suprise.

For there, on the crest of the incoming tide,
Festooned in seaweed,
On a dolphin did ride,
None other than Neptune,
Saint Nick of the deep,
Accompanied by mermaids
Just risen from sleep.
And in his wake,
By the light of old Luna,
I thought I espied
An entire school of tuna;
Not the chunk light variety,
But real Albacore(!)
And with them were sturgeons,
Sea bass and more.

Crustaceans too:
Portunus, Penaeus,
Most every variety
Named by Linnaeus
They all followed Neptune,
who rode to the beach,
And as he dismounted
They stayed within reach.

With theatrical fanfare
He opened his pack,
And poured out his gifts
On the Spartina rack.

He passed out Artemia
(Brine shrimp to you),
Purina fish chow,
and shrimp pellets too.
He had freeze dried krill
And bloodworms galore.
He passed out the goodies
Till there weren't any more.

Not a one was forgotten
Who swims in the sea.
But think of it now,
Does that include me?
That's right he'd omitted
The bivalve's completely:
No algae to filter,
No diatoms to treat me!

There ensured a great silence
As the truth slowly dawned:
They'd gotten nothing
And the gifts were all gone!

Then there came a great cry,
Of dismay from the muck,
And the bivalves rose up,
To the last geoduck
Demanding to know
(Could there be a good reason?)
Why Saint Nick had forgotten them
This Christmas season.

Not all clams were bad!
The scallops were ignorant.
The mussels may have conspired,
But the oysters were innocent.
And what of the cockles?
They'd done no one a wrong.
And in this vein,
The clamoring went on.

Neptune climbed on a rock,
For protection may be,
But it had this advantage-
From the mud we could see
As he flourished his trident,
Silencing the crowd,
Then pronounced in a voice
That was righteously loud:

Frankly, Scallop, I don't give a clam!

(Author unknown)

1 comment:

Happy Hodmandod said...

Excellent Aydin, thank you. Happy Christmas!