Of the many creatures of the night that I have discussed on this blog none as been a dweller of the oceans – perhaps because it is difficult to imagine a day and night scenario under water – or because Willow the Vampire can hardly strike up a friendship with a dolphin, seal or squid.
So far we’ve discussed aardvarks, spiders, owls, cats, bears, mustelids like weasels, hamsters, Red Pandas and wild boar, even toads got a mention, but no creature from the depth of the sea has graced this blog as yet.
One of my all time favourite ocean-denizens is the seahorse. It is the emblem of the seaside resort in which I grew up and a mascot for their popular Sealife Centre. You will therefore understand how upset I was to read that once again evil, greedy and undoubtedly brain-dead villains have murdered an already endangered species for profit.
Some 16,280 dead seahorses intended for sale in “herbalist shops” across Asia to utterly stupid people who think ground up seahorse will enhance their sexual performance (try sleeping with somebody you actually fancy and stop drinking so much, that’ll certainly help!) were seized by Peru’s ecological police in the country’s capital Lima.
The tiny seahorses were destined to be sold in mainly China, Japan and South Korea, or as it is otherwise known, the axis of evil when it comes to trading in endangered species. How can an otherwise so advanced people still believe in this utter rubbish of “medicinal purposes” and “aphrodisiac properties”? Personally, I have long stopped buying Asian goods, I don’t even order Chinese take-aways anymore, because I’m so utterly disgusted by the weekly reports of unscrupulous plundering of mother nature.
Apparently, seahorse “powder” sells for around $6,000 per kilo – a sum so huge to someone living in a poor country that even the threat of a five year prison sentence hasn’t stopped Peruvian fishermen and illegal traders from continuing their illicit practice.
An eye for an eye, punishment to fit the crime, is what I propose! Dear Peruvian police, please hand them over to Willow the Vampire and let her deal with them vampire style.
Unlike the Hippocampus ramulosus, as your “common” seahorse is called, the Leafy sea dragon may look vaguely like a seahorse, but isn’t actually one. He is a close relative of the seahorse, but doesn’t really belong to this family.
There are some 269 families in the spiny-rayed fish contingent, but the Leafy sea dragon resembles the Harlequin ghost pipefish more than an actual seahorse.
Given the vampire genre falls loosely into the realm of Fantasy Fiction, a sea dragon – leafy or otherwise – seems quite appropriate for Willow’s adventures.
What they have in common – apart from their enchanting, bizarre shapes – is that the male incubates the 250 or so eggs the female deposits in their spongy pouch under their tails.
There’s no need to fear the tiny dragons – seahorses and their relatives don’t have teeth.
They swallow their prey whole – which consists mainly of miniscule planktonic animals they suck from the water, so vampire girls and middle-aged writers are quite safe.
There’s something utterly magical about seahorses just floating on the current. Their love life is rather romantic.
They court for several days before mating and perform a little “dance” to synchronize their movement prior to the female depositing the eggs.
This dance can last up to 8 hours – making them far less of an “easy lay” than the average Cardiff student.
Since Willow cannot befriend a denizen of the sea in rural Stinkforthshire, I’m determined to let her have fun with the capture of some evil traders.
Send them straight to hell or slice ‘n dice ‘em, my vampy girl, suck ‘em dry and grind them up first? That would certainly be the right punishment to fit their crimes.
No doubt Willow’s vampire mother will enjoy a roaring online trade in Pescadores Diabólicos, a Peruvian powder that cures baldness, made from the leathery, ground up skin of villainous fishermen, who ignored the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
(source of photographs Wikipedia, source of animation; heathersanimations.com)