The Tale of the Harassed Starfish!

We all know how it feels to sit around all day, every day if we don’t have enough to do to keep us busy and productive. This is what is happening to many during this Pandemic. This phenomenon can also happen in a fish tank!

Well, I noticed recently that something strange was happening in our 95 gallon saltwater tank. I always check the beautiful tropical fish in this tank a few times a day. This tank is situated in our foyer.

Saltwater tank in our foyer

I begin each morning before breakfast visiting the colorful fish here. They look at me and begged for food. My husband at this time has not yet fed them. We socialize for a few minutes and I always snap some photos of them. We originally had 11 fish plus two starfish and anemones but unfortunately one starfish died, Puffer passed recently, and also two gamma rays, a damsel, a clownfish and both anemones. They were getting old, I guess, since we had had them for a long time.

Puffer and friends
Red the Starfish and friends
Red hanging out with the two anemones

Well, one morning I noticed the beautiful red chocolate chip starfish, Red, was upside down. This distressed me because starfish can’t get back onto their bellies easily. It takes quite a long time for them to maneuver around. They move in slow motion with the aid of their tentacles underneath and around the mouth.

Red the Starfish upside down

I also noticed that the other fish were looking a little guilty about something. They swiftly swam by me and did not meet my eyes. In fact in the above photo they are nowhere to be seen. They are hiding out in fear of me. I will scold them if they are bad just like little kids.

Red the Starfish upside down again!

Notice that there are no fish anywhere around once again. I guess they are bored and looking for some amusement. To them this is amusing to torment poor Red. I kept checking up on him during these days after I found him upside down. He did manage each time to right himself but it took a long time – a good part of the day.

Red the Starfish just hanging around on the glass

Lately he has been hanging out on the side of the glass to keep away from them. He smartened up and knows the game now. Haha!

My husband dropped in some shells for them to play with to take the pressure off of Red. He put them around the tank in a nice pattern. Evidently the fish didn’t like the pattern he configured. They proceeded to move them around.

Red the Starfish next to the moved shells

Another thing the fish do to Red is cover him with sand. You can see all the sand that is on him in the above photo. I think our fish have become bullies! Sigh!

Fish not praticing social distancing
Red the Starfish staying away from the fish!

Things have settled down and Red is staying away from the fish. It’s safer that way. I hope you enjoyed hearing about the Tale of the Harassed Starfish. Stop by again real soon.

Blessings & Hugs! Stay Safe, Stay Well and God Bless!


Janice Spina aka J.E. Spina

Award-Winning Author

Jemsbooks for All Ages!







Red the Starfish out of the tank for a rest from his tormentors.
Rest at his last stand! Alas, he did not make it when we put him back into the tank. The fish tormented him until he couldn’t take it any more.

So sad to say that Red the Starfish passed to the other side recently. Sigh!

He is now resting in peace. Amen.

About jjspina

Janice is an multi-award-winning author with 35 books: 17 children's books for PS-Gr 4, 12 middle-grade/preteen/young adult books, written under Janice Spina, and 5 novels, and a short story collection written under J.E. Spina. She is also a writer of poetry, blogger, avid reader, reviewer and a copy editor. Janice has always loved writing and started very young writing poetry, then stories. Her books have received 26 Book Awards and a few Finalists in contests. AWARDS: 4 MOM'S CHOICE AWARDS - SILVER MEDAL - Lamby the Lonely Lamby, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon, Louey the Lazy Elephant, Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear 11 PINNACLE BOOK ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS - Davey & Derek Junior Detectives, Books 1, 2, 3, 5, & 6. Abby & Holly Series, Books 1-6 READERS' FAVORITE AWARDS - HONORABLE MENTION - Davey & Derek Book 1, READERS' FAVORITE AWARDS - SILVER MEDAL - Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series, Book 3 READERS' FAVORITE AWARDS - BRONZE MEDAL - Abby & Holly Book 1 READERS’ FAVORITE AWARDS - HONORABLE MENTION — Abby & Holly Book 2 READERS’ FAVORITE AWARDS - FINALIST - Davey & Derek Book 6 5 PINNACLE BOOK ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS - Jerry the Crabby Crayfish, Broose the Moose on the loose, Colby the Courageous Cat, Jeffrey the Jittery Giraffe, Sebastian Meets Marvin the Monkey BOOK EXCELLENCE AWARD - FINALIST - Davey & Derek Book 6 Authorsdb Cover Contest Silver Medal - Davey & Derek Book 5 FINALISTS: Authorsdb First Lines Contest, - Hunting Mariah and Mariah's Revenge were Finalists Red City Review Awards - Finalist - Davey & Derek Book 4 READERS’ FAVORITE BOOK AWARDS - 5-STAR REVIEW - Davey & Derek Book 4 All Janice's books are available on, Kindle, B&N and other online book sites. One of her sports' poems was published in The Lawrence Eagle Tribune in October of 2008. She is currently working on book 1 of a YA fantasy series. There will be six books in all in this series. She hopes to work on a series of four books in a crime/mystery genre that will be offsprings of her thriller, Hunting Mariah. Her hobbies are crocheting, walking to keep fit, hula hooping, tap dancing, going to the movies with her husband, and spending time with her five grandchildren. Janice loves to hear from readers and appreciates reviews. Sign up on her blog for a copy of her newsletters under Contact Me. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband who is her illustrator and cover creator.
This entry was posted in Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Tale of the Harassed Starfish!

  1. This is such a cute story, Janice.

  2. Darlene says:

    Fish are people too. I love this story. We had a saltwater tank at one time as well. Always something interesting going on in there. xo

  3. wolfpug says:

    I love reading about your fish tales! Sorry you lost so many inhabitants. Pretty kool that “Star” has learned to stay away from the “bullies”.

  4. Poor Red. I hope having the shells to play with – and Red learning to be cautious and watch out for them – means he won’t get bullied so much any more.

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