In the Pacific Ocean, many years ago, Boris and Doris Octopus had a precious baby child. They named their tiny newborn, Gus, after Boris’s great- grandfather. Great-grandpa Gus, unlike other octopus in the ocean was born an off shade of white. Friends and family lovingly called him, “Albino.”
Little Gus, like his great-grandpa, was also different from the rest. While Boris and Doris were black in color, little Gus was deep pink. Regardless of this abnormality, Gus’s parents loved him just the same.
As Gus grew older, he was ridiculed by older fish and octopus. They made fun of him because he was different. Gus came home from school one day very, very, sad.
“What’s wrong child?”, his mother asked.
Between tears, the little guy told her what ‘Sid Squid’ called him at recess.
Doris wrapped her arms around the child and gave him a tender hug.
“Don’t let that bother you.”, she told him. “I too was ridiculed by certain kids!”
Hearing this, Gus wanted to know more.
“Have you not noticed I have nine arms while you and dad have eight?”
Wiping tears from both eyes, Gus shook his head indicating that he hadn’t.
“Well, I was born with an extra arm and classmates made fun of me because of it. They called me an octofreak.”
“What did you do?”, Gus asked.
“At first I cried. After several years though, I found I could do more with nine arms than other kids could with eight.
“Like what?”, Gus wanted to know.
“I was champion at playing octowhirl. With that ninth arm I’d give the sea shell an extra twirl! I went on to compete in the Sea Olympics.”
Gus thought several seconds about what his mother said before replying.
“I don’t have an extra arm. I’m just a stupid color.”
Doris corrected her boy about using the stupid word.
“Someday you’ll find there’s good reason in God making you pink.”
Several years went by. Gus entered high school and was the brightest kid in his class. Teachers ranted and raved about how smart he was.
“That child of yours is a genius!”, Mrs. Brown told Gus’s parents. “Someday I hope he becomes a doctor!”
Gus did exactly that. He went on to medical school and graduated at the top of his class. Before long, he was the lead emergency room doctor at Orca Whale Memorial Hospital.
One night, a squid was brought to the hospital in serious condition. Two of the squid’s tentacles had been cut by a razor clam. The poor guy was close to dying.
Gus instantly recognized the patient. It was the same Sid Squid who’d called him bad names throughout school. That didn’t stop Gus from operating on him.
It took several hours before Dr. Gus Octopus along with his helpers fixed Sid’s hurt tentacles. The squid would be okay.
Later the next morning, Gus swam over to his parents to tell them what happened. His father, Boris, was out playing a round of golf with some sea mackerel. Doris Octopus was at home cooking. Gus excitedly told her about saving Sid Squid’s life.
“I’m so proud of you son. I always knew that God making you pink was a blessing.”
Gus wasn’t sure what color had to do with things until his mom finished her statement.
“Being pinker made you a thinker but you’re still my little stinker!”
She then gave Gus a big octopus hug along with a slice of freshly made seaweed pie.
*written for my grandchildren