Upon the straight edge of an ocean cliff stood a cave. Within dwelt a horrid beast. It possessed horns, spikes, claws, and gnarled teeth, and appeared sinister in every way.
He only left at night, when no one could see, to crawl down and eat fish in waters below. And he was quite sad.
He awoke one morning to hear distant voices. Beyond his enclosure, on the blue horizon, the beast spotted a ship. It floated beautifully, clad and gilded. The hull curved like the arc of a well-tuned hunting bow. Wide white sails bellied up in the breeze. Men sped across decks adjusting rigs.
The beast stood frozen. He wanted so desperately to jump out and say hello. But he was rooted to the spot. He was a terror whose sight should only be met with hideous frowns and curses. The beast hunkered down and sunk his head, staring at the rock floor..
Then all went awry. A popping sound rung out. An explosion marred the passing craft. Men cried aloud, the boat was sinking, fast. The beast stood undecided. He wanted to help, so much. But a terrible image recurred. He would swim to the boat and the men would utter terrible dying words at the long faced creature who had presumably sunken their ship. And if he went out in daylight waves would surely catch his ugly reflection! What could he do to help anyway?
The cries grew louder. He shut his eyes. Then they slowly waned and were gone. Only his rotted breathe filled the air.
And he thought of what a wretched beast he was.