By William Beebe
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And peer in through the glass at you again and again. Their absurd mouths forever open and close, and if you from its place, hoping for When you sit quietly they gather closer, 4 BROTHERING FISH are a good lip-reader you cannot fail to decipher the which seem to issue in watery waves. They say, "Oh! Oh! Brother! Brother! Oh! " And you answer them in kind, speaking from the They are so safe, dry, airy room of your helmet. syllables friendly, so curious, so utterly unlike the nervous, useless -lived inmates of our aquariums.
Water, and after the third time their little fountain pens ran dry, and after a few futile skeins of palest diluted grey, they gave up and waited for whatever fate the god of squids might be pleased to mete out. If they were terrified it did not affect their appetite and each seized a tiny fish with eagerness, one of them putting a second under his arm, or one of his eight arms. They shot about and played at spectrum, shifting from greyish white to opaque brownish black, in this latter phase glittering with lost their — Between times, they pink or yellow or carmine, or, with one accord, draped three broad bands about their solid iridescence in the sun.
This weed was filled with the usual tenants, several days great masses of sargassum drifted into the bay, — the absolutely bizarre sargassum fish, the weed- colored pipefish, crabs and shrimps, tiny banded Abudefdufs and the little trigger-fish, no whit different from the Joey of our Noma and Arcturus Here too I found miniature triple-tails trips. (Lobotes) looking like nothing in the world. We caught sight, now and then, of very small, brown, wriggling worm-like fish, and after many attempts caught one, and found it was a diminutive gar, short of beak, toothless, but active and fierce in anticipation of its voracious life when its great rows of needle teeth backed by five or six feet of solid muscle would make it a most formidable adversary.
Beneath Tropic Seas - A Record of Diving Among the Coral Reefs of Haiti by William Beebe