Not pictured: Angry German lady wielding octopus clubbing device
When Paul the soothsaying octopus predicted that Die Mannschaft would lose to Serbia in the group stages of the World Cup, no one in Germany batted an eyelid. However, since foretelling Spain's semifinal triumph, "Das Krakenorakel" is a wanted mollusk. "Throw him in the frying pan," said a Berlin newspaper, summarizing the thoughts of the nation that would rather see Paul on a dinner plate than in a tank messing around with mussels in labeled boxes.
While the Germans are deeply embroiled in octo-hate, the Spanish are now in awe of Paul's predictive powers, and the government has actually expressed its desire to keep him safe from harm. Laboriously named Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has been quoted on the radio. From AFP via DeccanChronicle.com:
"I am concerned for the octopus... I am thinking of sending him a protective team."
Spain's Environment and Fisheries Minister Elena Espinosa went one step further:
"On Monday, I shall be at the European Council of Ministers and I shall be asking for a (fishing) ban on Paul the octopus so the Germans do not eat him!" Some Germany fans have posted messages on internet forums suggesting that Paul's reward for his clairvoyant powers should be a meeting with the barbecue or the paella pot while a German journalist said after the game he was possessed of "a sudden desire to eat a bit of squid."
Concern for Paul in Spain is not limited to government officials: According to The Washington Post, celebrity chef José Andrés has honored the tentacled one by removing octopus from the menu of all his U.S. restaurants.
The Spanish shouldn't have too much concern for Paul, who should be able to figure out an escape from his aquarium if he senses danger. Octopuses are among the smartest animals in the sea, and they have been known to break out of aquariums, often escaping to the sewers in search of a mate...