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Le Meduse
An Invasion of Italian Jellyfish
Una Storia Vera -  A True Story, by Claudia


It was a beautiful August day.  Era una bellissima giornata d'agosto.

It was Sunday - era domenica -  so everyone was going to the beach. 

'Andiamo tutti al mare!'

We decided to go to a place called Le Croci, near to Alghero.  It is a rocky place with high cliffs and you can only reach it by boat.


'Io sono fortunata!' pensavo.
  "I'm lucky,"  I kept thinking. 

The sea was crystal clear.  You could see right down to the bottom, as if the water was made of glass.

'Il mare è uno specchio,' diceva mia mamma.
"The sea is as calm as a millpond," my mum kept saying. 

I could hardly wait to dive in.   

'Andiamo!"Let's go!"  I said to my big sister.

We jumped in.  It was a great feeling to be swimming in such clear water.  It was like floating in air.


We swam and swam, further away from the boat.  We were really fantastic at swimming that day.  Nothing seemed to scare us.  It looked as if we would be staying in the water all day!

Until I felt a sting on the back of my leg.   What had I touched?

'Aspetta!' "Wait!"  I called to my sister.  It was time to investigate.  I looked underwater through my mask. 

Mamma mia!  Non è possibile!'  There was a jellyfish,  known as una medusa in Italian. 

We decided to swim back to the boat.  If you see one jellyfish, it is usually a sign that there are more nearby.   
Che paura!  Scary!

We began the long swim back.  The boat seemed very far away.  As we swam, we looked all around us, just to check that there were no more jellyfish.

"What is that strange thing ahead of us in the sea?" asked my sister.  "It looks like a wall of floating mushrooms."

Non erano funghi!  They were NOT mushrooms!  Instead,  it was an invasion of jellyfish and they were heading our way!  There were thousands of them!

'Aiuto!'  We began to shout for help.

Papà - our dad dived in to rescue us.  He was wearing a wetsuit and the rubber protected him from the sting of the jellyfish.   

As he reached us,
le meduse were only a few metres away. 

"Get on my back," he told us.  So, we climbed onto his back.  He was nearly drowning by being pushed down under our weight.   
Povero Papà.  Poor Dad. 

Just in time!  Meno male!   Now the jellyfish were all around us.  We screamed and screamed, but luckily we were safe riding on top of Papà. 

When we reached la barca - the boat - we were trembling from fright. 

 came out of the water he was covered in jellyfish!  But he couldn't feel anything because he was wearing a wetsuit.   All around the boat, the sea was full of mushroom-shaped jellyfish.

Since this experience, I have decided that you should never be too relaxed in the sea because things can change very quickly.  The crystal-clear water can unexpectedly turn into something scary so do not swim too far away. 

Also, I have decided that even though I love animals and nature, I really don't want to swim with jellyfish ever again.  I prefer dolphins.

Preferisco i delfini!