The candlesquid harvest has been low this year. Lower than I’ve ever seen it, and I’ve been doing this since I was a boy. There have been times they pretty much jumped in your baskets. Also times when you had to be out all day just to fill the quota.

This year, though, there have been days I’ve barely seen even one. Today was like that. You could see him staring from below. The distinctive glow from his tentacle tips waving about like he could see me up there. Didn’t get more than twenty feet from the surface, though, too far for me to snatch up. Then he was gone and the water was dark again.

I wonder if he knows something we don’t. If they’re smarter than we think. I mean, we pull them up, eat them, make sculptures from their wax, never think twice about it. Our village has done that since the earliest of earlies. Candlesquid is part of who we are. Never thought twice about what they thought of us. What we would do if they just decided to up and leave.

And now it’s looking like that’s just what’s happening. We’ll be okay for a year. Head folks are smart. We store and plan for shortages. The shore gatherers will have a harder time. The huts will be dimmer over the winter than we’re used to. We’ll be okay.

But what about next year? What if they’ve decided they’ve had enough and have gone off to waters where they won’t be bothered? A few years of this and we’ll have to change our whole way of thinking. Have to wean ourselves off this easy thing we’ve had going since the dawn of time.

Not sure if we’re ready for that.