I mentioned in my last post that one story of transformation, one with personal appeal and meaning to me!,  is where an octopus goes from being a villain to a celebrated hero.  Here’s the skinny.  My dad told my brother, Jim, and me, when we were little, an exciting story about an octopus named Baghead.  Also featured were a little flounder, Filet, and a swordfish, aptly named Sabre.

Well, the storytelling stuck with me, and my brother as well, but the details had faded.  My sister-in-law, Pat, wonder of wonders, said she thought there was a copy of my dad’s original manuscript in a box somewhere.  And lo, and behold, she unearthed it, and there, in my dad’s clean, clear handwriting were several pages of the story.  He wrote about the pirate ship sinking, the teeny, tiny, baby swordfish being rescued by the heroic efforts of a wise old flounder…

But there was a big problem.  Baghead the Octopus, who in my mind had been a fascinating creature, was portrayed as a dastardly villain in the story, about to devour Filet, the innocent flounder damsel.

This did not suit me at all, as I have become quite entranced by octopuses (yes that’s the correct plural, not octopi).  I could not bear to see Baghead portrayed as an evil creature.  So a project was born.  I picked up the story where my dad’s manuscript left off, at the battle between Sabre the Swordfish and Baghead the Ocropus, and  ‘transformed’ the story into one where Baghead emerges in a different light: a bit scary, and certainly mysterious, at first, but he gradually emerges as a fascinating, tantalizing, veritable wizard of a creature (which octopuses indeed are), and a good friend.  Click here to see what I mean by wizard!

And then I decided to invite all the grandchilden, which include my dad’s great-grandchildren!, to contribute illustrations for the story, and voila, “Tails of the Sea” was created.  It has given me enormous pleasure to write and assemble this story, and I invite you to have a browse.  Here’s the link where you can read the story and see the kids’ illustrations.

In the course of the story, not only Baghead is transformed.  Many of the characters in motley group —  Agnes the Angelfish, Snap the Seahorse, Sir Winston the Grouper, Prickly the Pufferfish, Filet the little Flounder, to name a few — grow and change, are richer and wiser, as a result of their adventures together.  Sabre emerges as an inspiring leader, and Baghead comes to accept himself and his life in a new way.  A story of many transformations!

Where do you notice transformation in your life?  What effects have you seen?  Like miracles, there are no small transformations.  But we must pay attention to recognize and appreciate their significance and meaning for our lives.  

Here are a couple of pictures to whet your appetite for Tales of the Sea!

The kids’ drawings are fabulous!















Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Your feedback is most welcome.

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