Imagine Living Happily Under a Rock…
Imagine you’re sitting at home watching T. V. when all of a sudden; the roof of your house comes off. A huge hand picks you up and holds you upside down while a bunch of huge eyes stare at you. Huge fingers poke your eyes and stomach and pull your hair and your legs. Even worse, the air is different and you can’t breathe. The huge creature then shakes you and sticks one of his fingers down your throat. And like Jack in the story “Jack and the Beanstalk”, you’re helpless against the Giant. Finally, the Giant gets bored with you, and he tosses you aside. You land in the middle of the street miles and miles away from home. You’re sore and confused and lost. And a big truck is about ready to run over you!! What if someone told you that the Giant wasn’t actually a bad guy? He didn’t mean to hurt you. He’s just visiting Earth and saw a creature that he had never see before. He wanted to check you out. That’s all. You probably wouldn’t think he was a good guy anyhow, right? You may, in fact, be the same Giant! Imagine being a little shelled creature living happily under a rock in the tidepools. Imagine some very nice and very curious child (like you) moved the rock, picked up the animal and tried to pry open the shell to see what exactly is inside. Then, when the child was done looking at the animal, he didn’t put it back where it belonged but tossed it aside where a large seagull could easily pounce on the creature. You just wanted to see the animal up close; instead, you just made it into lunch for some lucky bird! Probably, that little creature isn’t going to think you’re so swell, even though you didn’t mean to hurt him! That little shelled creature needs your help. There are some animals that may die simply because someone touched them.
Imagine how small and soft your body would be to the Giant. If he just picked you up with his huge and strong fingers. It might crush you even though he didn’t mean to! Some of the other animals in the tidepools are a little more hardy and can be touched and held. But imagine that all of the Giant’s friends wanted to see you up close too. You still can’t breathe and now, over and over, huge fingers are poking at you. There are about 100,000 (that’s one hundred THOUSAND!) people who visit Cabrillo’s tidepools each year. Imagine if that many giants touched and poked and tossed you!! That’s why there are Park Rangers and Volunteers around the tidepools. They can direct you to animals that you can safely touch and pick up. They can tell you all about the creatures you see, and they can help you remember where you picked up the creature, so that you can make sure that you put him back exactly where you found him! When you visit the tidepools, remember to treat the animals as carefully as you would like the Giant to treat you (and ask your family and your group to be very gentle too!) Ask a Volunteer or Ranger to help you find the different animals that can handle being touched and held. This way, you can help the Rangers protect the animals so that they’ll be here, happy and healthy, the next time you visit the tidepools.
Story by Park Volunteer
Lori Ann Curry
Illustrations by Park Administrative Assistant
Terry Ann Petrovich
Last revised 08-May-12