Shark Attack! – by Karissa Cole
Some stories are just too crazy to try to tell. Like that one with the underwater cave inhabited by the yellow-eyed octopus and the super heroes. Other stories, though, just have to be told, no matter how crazy.
This is one of those stories.
I was standing at my desk getting some papers ready for the FWF session next week when I heard a soft click come from behind me. Suddenly grand, dramatic music began playing, but at a rather subdued volume. I turned to see that a tiny white speaker hooked up to an even smaller media player had been propped up on the bookshelf at the other end of the room. And although this in itself was unusual, the thing next to the speaker on the bookshelf was what really threw me for a loop. There’s really no way to prepare yourself for this kind of thing either, I’ve found.
Sitting on the shelf was a very small, rather plump, and not at all viscous-looking . . . shark. I’d never seen such a tiny shark, let alone such a tiny shark sitting freely on my bookshelf.
He began singing and dancing to the music, with me as his sole audience. Surprisingly enough he could carry a tune, although his lyrics were a bit on the wonky side (but I was honestly too stunned to complain about such a triviality). When his short performance came to an end – with the lyric: Oh yes I am a shark, now you see/Please won’t you bring me some broccoli? – the dramatic music coming to a theatrical finish, he stared up at me expectantly, obviously waiting for some sort of response.
Well I’m sorry but I just don’t know the proper etiquette for this sort of thing. Which is something I suppose was blatantly obvious what with my just staring at him.
Finally he prompted, “What did you think?”
I groped around for the right thing to say, assuming “the right thing to say” even existed in a situation like this one. Eventually I settled on, “It was certainly interesting.” I attempted to smile politely, but I think it came off more as a grimace. The little shark didn’t seem to notice though; he just beamed brightly, pleased with the whole situation.
I knew I probably shouldn’t ask any questions. I mean, when a tiny shark comes into your house, sets up on your bookshelf and begins singing about broccoli, it’s probably just best to accept things the way they are and not probe too much. Leave well enough alone.
But I couldn’t help myself.
“Why are you signing?”
He smiled at me in that “duh” kind of way. “You know!” he guffawed. “Everyone knows sharks sing. Silly.” He shook his head, but in an amused, not perturbed way.
“Um,” I said tentatively. “I thought it was whales that sang.”
At that his little face twisted into the most peculiar combination of recognition and shock.
He slapped his fin to his head, muttering “Whales. Whales! Of COURSE, it’s WHALES that sing! Oh I knew that. Stupid, stupid. . .”
I smiled and tried to contain my giggling.
He looked up at me around his fin, a sheepish smile (if you can picture a shark smiling sheepishly) creeping onto his face. “So,” he started, brushing off his embarrassment. “Wanna play Monopoly? I’ll let you be the race car.” He lowered his fin and smiled up at me hopefully.
I couldn’t help but chuckle at the notion of playing a board game with a slightly confused but altogether pleasant mini shark, but I nodded readily.
I went off to get the game, stopping by the fridge for some broccoli on the way.