21 MARCH 1969, Page 14

A cautionary tale


The limpet dropped anchors. Too late!

My bomb kick blew it from the rock and it lay, upturned, a grey brainy blot in my hand.

For some reason, yet none reasoned, I fed it to a red anemone. That grubbing stalk took all—guts, sucker, barnacled shell—the lot!—as a score of fat arms shovelled and stuffed the omnivorous mouth with seafood ! Soon, justice this, its side split and tent-like the limpet reappeared.

Both died, I presume.

The red bag of skin sagged; the limpet flipped twice through the pool and hit sand.

Later the tide lapped in like a vast tongue and finished the job I'd begun, while the sea, strong as a.salve, wiped clear the spot.