The Sea Hare Cometh

I pick my way along the beach

The sky is blue, the tide is out,

Exposed pools glitter; down I reach

To touch a sea hare on the snout.*

*(Perhaps it’s not quite etiquette

To poke all creatures, come what may,

The venomous, the delicate,

I’m like a little kid that way.)

The sea hare is a noble beast,

With body plump and soft and flaccid

On vegetation sea hares feast,

Or will, ’til oceans turn to acid.

Two adaptations well worth noting

For those who’d study the hare of the sea:

(And many more paragraphs I’ll be devoting

To this humble invert, so bear with me.)

First, we have the rhinophores

Which jut out oddly from the head

They’re used to smell the rocky shores

In search of food to stay well-fed.

(They’re also how our friend the hare

Received its name, although I pose

Why “marine koala bear”

Isn’t the handle taxonomists chose.)

Second, for robust self-protection

The sea hare can let loose a dye

An inky blast to escape detection

Just like immobile octopi.

Alas, the sea hare does not squirt

When I give it a gentle prod

It lies unmoved, blase, inert

A fleshy, nonplussed, oozy wad.

So I leave my spineless friend,

And continue with my quest

Which never will draw to an end:

To hunt down creatures to molest.

The tide pools of Playa Gigante, brimming with marine invertebrates just begging to be poked, prodded, examined, inspected, and otherwise harassed.

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