Jellyfish: Freestyler

Despite chatting with her friends over lunch time, Martha still didn’t know what to do. She’d asked her brother at breakfast, her parents, granny, goldfish and friend next door and they hadn’t been much help. Should she sign up for after-school Dance or Gymnastics?

‘It’s a question of choice,’ said a whispery voice nearby. Some very beautiful, almost transparent legs were wafting gently over the edge of the table.  They belonged to Jellyfish, whose bell-shaped body was also see-through, catching whatever light was nearby.

‘Choosing is tricky for humans,’ continued the blob of jelly. ‘We sea jellies are much better at doing what we know is best.’

Martha lifted her head and looked at the delicate creature still waving long stringy tendrils.

‘You see,’ said the blob, ‘We jellies think for ourselves. We don’t just do what all the others do. We decide what we’re best suited to.’  The whispery voice gave a husky giggle. ‘I’m best at bathing in warm water and making artistic shapes with my floaty legs. Some jellies like stinging people. Others adventure in faraway seas.’

‘The problem is all my friends are going to Gymnastics and they want me to go with them. Everyone thinks I am really good at it and I’ve already got my level 2,’ said Martha.

“Well, there you are then. Gymnastics it is,” said the Jellyfish sweetly.

“Well no,” Said Martha. “What I really want to do is Dance Club. I just don’t want to upset anyone”

“Ah”, said Jellyfish, “Be a Freestyler, is my best advice”

‘A Freestyler?’

Jellyfish smiled. ‘Do what’s right for you. It’s hard not doing whatever everyone else is doing, but as long as you don’t hurt yourself or others, you must do what your heart tells you is best for you.”

‘D’you think my friends will be hurt if I don’t do as they wish?’ Martha asked.

‘Hurting someone is serious,’ whispered Jellyfish. ‘’Making different choices from them is not serious at all.’

‘That’s what my Mum said,’ remembered Martha, ‘But Jodie said she’d never speak to me again if I don’t go to her class.’

Jellyfish made a strange wheezing noise. Was it some kind of laughter? ‘Jodie is trying very hard to make you think as she does,’ said the Blob soothingly, ‘but you must think your own thoughts and do what is right for you.’

‘What is best for me,’ said Martha with new-found certainty, ‘is to sign up to Dance. ‘I’ve been trying so hard to do the same as my friends, but really, that’s crazy, isn’t it?’  Martha jumped up from the table with excitement. ‘Look, Jellyfish. I’m going to be a Freestyler!’  She looked at where Jellyfish had been perched, but there was no sign of her, but for a slight trail of glistening water from the graceful, weightless tentacles.