We came from the sea


We came from the sea, sliding out of the mud, learning to use lungs to breathe the invisible air. Reggie knew all about that. The others didn’t seem to care.

In the Plymouth Aquarium, my class of five-year-olds leant over the rock pool, pointing at the starfish. They named the blennies and the anemones, eager to retell stories of their own. They stopped in front of the hippocampus tank and saw sea-horse tails curved around green stems; tiny eyes in modestly dipped faces. The children ran down passageways where we stared up at nurse sharks flicking their tails. They sat cross-legged and watch enormous rays with undulating gills. They gaped at the sharks, and when one child said their teeth were scary, several of my bolder characters insisted that they weren’t afraid, not one bit. Reggie said they would be if they were in the tank with them, and he received a scornful look. He re-established his kudos at the next stop, where he informed us that, ‘This is the biggest tank in the UK, and it holds two million litres of water.’

‘Did you know that, Miss?’ he asked me.

‘I read it before we came, in case anyone asked.’

Reggie grinned.

I wish I could have taken him when I did my preparatory visit, late one afternoon when all the families had gone home for tea. There was silence in the whole place, and I stood for a long time in front of a living display of tiny jellyfish, ocean drifters, almost transparent, their umbrella skirts pulsating. I remembered snorkelling in Mauritius, dipping my head underwater and finding a world I had heard about, had seen on television, but had never experienced before. It was a wake-up call to being responsible for all this unimaginable beauty. A bit like knowing God is real, rather than being told.

We went to the beach later in the summer term, my class and I. We took parents and carers, and our swimsuits and picnics. A few children were eager to start eating as soon as we arrived, but Reggie told them they’d be hungry later. They pulled a face at him, but closed their lunch-boxes anyway. There were rock pools to explore, and we had buckets and trays to display our finds – two hermit crabs, a pipe-fish, a blenny, various shellfish, fronds of seaweed, a cluster of yellow periwinkle shells. We returned all the living creatures to their homes before we left.

In the classroom we made a display showing how long various objects would take to rot away. The children brought plastic bottles and bits of old rope, bottle tops and drink cans. Reggie committed the whole list to memory.

Perhaps it’s easier for children who live by the sea, to learn to love it, to respect it, to honour it. God’s beautiful underwater world. The place from which we all came.Frog:(Haughtily)

I came from a pond.


  • Is there such a thing as truth?

Your immediate reaction may be like mine. ‘Of course there is.’

Then, in my wanderings around the Internet, I found a website which explains the basics of this philosophical question in simple language.  https://oxplore.org/question-detail/does-truth-exist#1082

This is the kind of thing it says:

‘Philosophy helps us deal with questions about what is and isn’t true by encouraging us to stand back and look at the broader picture.

It may not give us absolute truths but it helps us shine a light on how we think about what is and isn’t true. Why we might hold some beliefs and what the difference is between belief and evidence.

What do you think? How do you determine what is true and what you choose to believe as true?’

  • Do you think the best stories and myths have truth at their core?

My wanderings also took me to another fascinating website


What do you think of these proverbs?

The wise man says, “I am looking for truth“; and the fool, “I have found truth.” ~ Russian Proverb

Do not seek the truth, only cease to cherish your opinions. ~ Zen Proverb

https://proverbicals.com is full of proverbs from all over the world. It seems as if everyone has something to say about truth.

Some of these proverbs could inspire whole stories. For example:

When one has one’s hand full of truth it is not always wise to open it. ~ French Proverb

Never does a woman lie in a more cunning way than when she tells the truth to someone who doesn’t believe her. ~ Chinese Proverb

It is good to know the truth and to speak the truth. It is even better to know the truth and speak about palm trees. ~ Arabian Proverb

Never show the truth naked — just in its shirt. ~ Spanish Proverb

If you want to hear the truth about yourself — offend your neighbour. ~ Czech Proverb

  • What truth can we find underlying the stories/novels we read?

There are only two ways to reach the truth — with literature and agriculture. ~ Chinese Proverb

Do you agree? Do truth and stories belong together?

I’ve started asking myself the following question:

What truths will readers find when they read my work?

What will they find when they read yours?

Oscar Wilde is having the last word today, courtesy of https://proverbicals.com

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. ~ Oscar Wilde

Do you agree?

FROG: (philosophically)

I’ll agree with anything that’s true.