Note: before the editors here decided to change Webster's entries, the entry for Zoanthus was :

Zo*an"thus (?), n. (NL. See Zoantharia.) Zool.

A genus of Actinaria, including numerous species, found mostly in tropical seas. The zooids or polyps resemble small, elongated actinias united together at their bases by fleshy stolons, and thus forming extensive groups. The tentacles are small and brightly colored.

The tentacles are small and brightly colored.


It was yet another windy autumn morning. Webster was walking to his office, hair billowing in the Boston wind. Two evenings ago, in a stroke of bad luck, the wind had knocked his hat right off his head and into the river. He had been hatless since. Hatless, now that's a good word. I should write it down, Webster thought, and hurried down the street, face buried in his scarf.

Walking into the wind, Webster contemplated modern life. 1913 could very well be a crucial year for women's rights. The Suffragettes were demonstrating in London and Washington D.C., Emily Wilding Davison had thrown herself under the king's horse, and the Cat and Mouse Act was passed. And on top of that, a woman had made a parachute jump. What a year indeed!

Webster entered his office building, and was surprised to find a man waiting outside his office. He was not surprised that the man was waiting, but he was surprised at the man's attire. The man standing outside his office door was dressed in a prawn costume.

"Are you waiting for me?" asked Webster.

"I am," replied the crustacean.

"I'm not surprised," said Webster, opening the door, and showed the man in.

Webster sat in his favorite chair, and bid the man sit in the couch opposite him. "What can I do for you, Mr....."

"Lennon, John Lennon", replied the prawn-costume-clad Lennon.

"Not THE John Lennon, who founded The Beatles and went on to have a successful solo career with hits like Imagine and Give Peace A Chance?"

"Don't be daft, he won't be born for another 27 years!"

"Right you are. Before you tell me how I can be of assistance, Mr. Lennon, will you have some tea??"

"Why, yes, I will, thank you."

Webster made two cups, gave one to his guest, and drank tea with Lennon.

"Please begin your tale," Webster said.

"Well, I work for the Waikiki Aquarium, and several of us have been brought here to help construct an aquarium here in Boston. Last night we had a costume party, as we often do. Each of us dressed up as an aquatic life form. It will not come as a surprise to you that I dressed as a prawn. In any case, I fear that Paul is dead. Paul is one of my co-workers, and today morning he disappeared. Wednesday morning at five o'clock. That time will forever be in my mind. You may have read about it in the papers. "

"Yes, I read the news today. Oh boy. But why come to me? Why not go to the police?"

"I need your Help! The police have already arrested George, the coral-keeper. He was dressed as a Zoanthus. Apparently a passerby saw him dumping a Walrus in the harbour. The Walrus was Paul. I've got a feeling George didn't do it."

"A zoanthus eh? One of my favorite creatures, did you know that they have fleshy stolons? And the tentacles are small and brightly colored.

The tentacles are small and brightly colored.

So Paul was dressed as a walrus, you were a prawn, and George was a zoanthus. Who else was there?"

"Just Pete. He takes care of the cephalopods, and he was dressed as an octopus."

"What exactly did the passerby see? It was five in the morning."

"He said that he saw somebody dump what looked like a person in a walrus suit into the harbor. He didn't catch a lot about the dumper, but he said that his tentacles are small and brightly coloured."

"He did, huh? I may have a hunch. Get the inspector and George and Pete and meet me at the harbor."

They were standing at the harbor. Webster, John, Harris the police inspector, George and Pete. "Harris, you can release George and arrest Pete in his stead. It was he who dealt away with Paul. I doubt that anyone who loves animals so much could kill anyone, and so I find it highly unlikey that Pete murdered Paul. Most likely he is hiding him somewhere. So when you find the walrus costume at the bottom of the harbor, it will probably be filled with rocks. You see, Pete had an ingenious plan - to make Paul disappear, and thus allow people to think he died. The public would be upset, and this would cause a wave of donations to the aquarium, and then it could be built quickly, making Pete a rich man. Because Pete had already invested in the new aquarium. Haven't you Pete?"

"How did you know I invested in the aquarium?" said Pete.

"It was nothing but a lucky guess," Webster said, "but one that made you implicate yourself."

"I believe none of this," said John, "it doesn't make sense. If he didn't kill Paul, Paul would get out and tell his secret. "

"Here is where Pete's plan became cunning. He would spread a rumor that Paul was dead but had been replaced with someone an exact replica of him. The public wouldn't know what to believe. Paul wouldn't even have to know about it, as it wouldn't matter what he said. The money will have already been donated, and the aquarium would be built, with nobody being harmed. In fact, Paul is probably sitting having a cuppa now, unaware of all of this."

"That kind of plan would never work," said John.

"Oh, I ween it just might," said Webster. "The only thing he didn't count on is me."

Harris the police inspector was unimpressed. "Your theory is all nice and dandy, but what about the passerby's testimony? He obviously saw a zoanthus do it. The tentacles are small and brightly colored.

The tentacles are small and brightly colored."

"It's true," Webster replied, "The tentacles are small and brightly colored.

The tentacles are small and brightly colored."

"But," continued Webster, "look if you will at Pete's costume. His tentacles are small and brightly colored. And that is one of the major differences between zoanthi and colorful octopods. The passerby had clearly seen Pete do it, and hence said that his tentacles are small and brightly colored. If he had seen someone dressed as a zoanthus do it, he would have most surely said that the tentacles are small and brightly colored.

The tentacles are small and brightly colored."

"Good job, Webster," said Harris. "Well, you're off to jail, Pete. John - see if you can set Paul free"

As Harris was taking the cuffs off George, John returned with Paul." As he saw Pete, Paul said "Hello, Goodbye."

"It's been a Hard Day's Night," John said.

"It sure has," George agreed, and looked at the breaking clouds. "Oh look, Here Comes The Sun".

"The only problem is, who's going to do Pete's job?" asked Webster.

"I'd like to do it," said a young man named Richard. "I'd like to be under the sea. In an Octopus' Garden. In the shade."

"He can't do Pete's job, he's left handed."

"Oh go on, let him have a go."

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