'Twas the day after Thanksgiving, when cash-strapped Ocean Journey
Announced plans in the works for something quite corny.
The seaweed was waving, the anemones wiggled,
Colorado's Ocean Journey, 700 Water Street
11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Sea of Cortez exhibit
daily, November 23-25, every Saturday and Sunday thereafter, through December 16, and 11:30 a.m. daily in the Depths of the Pacific exhibit, December 17-23
Knowing SCUBA-diving St. Nick would soon snorkle for giggles.
The morays and mantas were snug in their caves
While bevies of plankton danced through the waves
And mama in fake fur and I in my Gap
Yawned among the trout tanks, ready to nap,
When in the Sea of Cortez tank, something started a-splashin'.
Nose pressed to the window, I saw something smashin'.
Away from the otters I flew like a flash,
I took a deep breath, pressed my nose to the glass,
The spotlights shining through rippling water
Cast sparkling reflections on the undersea matter.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a fat, foreign object with bubbles 'round the ears.
It was a wet-suited diver, white-bearded and slick;
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than dolphins his coursers they came,
And he whistled and blubbered and called them by name:
"Now, Darter! Now, Dogfish! Now Piranha and Goldfish!
On, Clownfish! On, Chiclid! On, Flounder and Blowfish!"
To the top of the reef! To the habitat wall!
Now splash away! Splash away! Splash away all!"
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
But his plush garb was soaked through to his wetsuit.
His eyes -- how they twinkled, behind waterproof goggles!
His cheeks were all slimy, his nose dampish and doggish.
His droll little mouth simply couldn't be seen,
And his raucous Ho-Hos were unheard in the brine.
His breathing apparatus he held tight in his teeth,
And his beard it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and hair to his belly
That waved eerily, like an exhibit of jellies.
He was really quite jolly -- put on a grand show,
And I laughed when I saw him, despite what I know.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had much to dread:
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Mugging and mooching in the watery murk.
Then tugging the air hose that tickled his nose,
And giving a nod, through the dark depths he rose.
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He swam to the surface, and to aquarians hollered,
"I'll be back at 3, for more diving for dollars!"
But I heard him exclaim as he ascended e'er higher,
"Please give at the turnstile, or be thrown to the tigers!"