No one’s sure how Inky escaped. One day he was chilling in his tank at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, and the next morning he was gone.

So far his tankmate, Blotchy, seems unwilling to snitch on a fellow cephalopod.

The best guess is that, in the middle of the night, after all the guests and staff  had left, Inky shimmied up the side of his tank, squeezed through a tiny opening at the top, climbed down the outside, crawled across the floor to a drainpipe, and dipped — a pretty easy feat for one of the smartest creatures in the sea or on land.

“I don’t think he was unhappy with us, or lonely, as octopus are solitary creatures,” says Rob Yarrell, the aquarium’s head honcho. “But he is such a curious boy. He would want to know what’s happening on the outside. That’s just his personality.”

When Inky was caught by a fisherman a few years back, he was beat up and malnourished. He’d been living on the mean reefs of New Zealand, “fighting with fish,” as Yarrell explains. His captor brought him to the aquarium where, it was hoped, Inky would be rehabilitated and live out the rest of his life happy as a clam. What octopus wouldn’t want to have a tank with clean water, regular meals, and zero predators to look out for? Inky, apparently. I guess even some invertebrates prefer the dangers of the open ocean to the sated safety of an aquarium.

The same can’t be said, unfortunately, for the spineless Puerto Ricans who would rather see their island sold to the highest bidder than take its first steps toward independence. As one reader commenting on my recent article about the matter asserted:

[Puerto Ricans] now receive $20 billion in US funds every year, TWICE our current local budget. Independence would be the one option that would decimate and empty Puerto Rico. There is absolutely no financial magic that can replace those $20 billion in one, five, ten or even twenty years. The rate of growth in our economy required to produce that surplus has not been seen anywhere else in the globe, and we have NO natural resources. We would become just as poor as Jamaica, the DR, and our other neighbors, so NO THANK YOU. That’s why most (97%+) of Puerto Ricans that LIVE in the island REJECT independence and would rather move to the US than stay and lose their hard-earned wealth.

There’s a word for the sale of one’s dignity, people and homeland for the promise of a few bucks. In fact, there are several words for it.

As for me, I’m with Inky.

[Photo: Juan Cristobal Zulueta/Flickr]

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