So the kids ran to the nearest pool of water.
Elise went ahead and stopped suddenly, letting off a piercing shriek. I thought she was in trouble. But she was just so startled to see hundreds of starfish about an inch or so apart all over the edge of the pool.
They were scattered everywhere! We never saw them so numerous and so close to each other before. Everywhere you looked, they were there! The water was so clear, it was almost surprising to feel your arm wet when you reach down to get one.
This was the first time she was brave enough to pick one up and examine it. She turned them over and just watched the little tube feet wiggle.
She was so sad to see one with one of the rays cut off. "Oh, no. This one is hurt." I assured her that starfish regenerate, and the ray would grow back. Besides, they live for about 10 years, and having their rays cut off would happen often, with the rough waves flinging them against sharp coral and rock, or predators nibbling on them.
She played with the others, setting them on her palm, and watching them slowly crawl back to the water. "Mama, I'm his friend, he's not scared of me, he's moving!" She knew that some animals do not move when threatened. She did that over and over, and was giggling softly because it tickled.
There were a couple of weird ones, like a black slithery one. "Don't touch that one."
And one that had only four rays.
And one that had six!
Elise held it up and it reminded me of Christmas.
We ended the day well, breathed fresh air and welcomed the night.