Initially they thought the sudden pain was caused by an encounter with a stingray. A few had recently been seen in our area. When his foot became swollen and the pain was more than he could bear, the couple headed for the hospital.
A doctor cleaned the wound and removed a piece of spiny barb. He then informed this man that the injury was caused by a sea bass.
Information was given on how this happens. The sea bass has a boney spike under its dorsal fin. When it is threatened or inadvertently stepped on, this spike shoots out as the fish turns. The barbs stick into your flesh, causing pain that lasts for hours. If the wound is not properly cleaned, infection can set it.
These fish are bottom feeders and easily stepped on when wading into the sea. The attack in question happened about ten feet from the shoreline. The fish was reacting to danger by fighting back in self defense.
In a way, I’m like this fish. I don’t like to be stepped on either. Even the thought of danger has me heading into self defense mode. The barbs I send out may not pierce the flesh, but they still cause injury. Mine come as sharp words which leave wounds not visible but still extremely painful.
Sometimes the person who suffers the attack is caught by surprise, not even realizing they have stepped on me. Hearing the story of the sea bass attack has been a good reminder for me. Unnecessary injury is caused when I strike out because of fear.
“Most attacks come from fear.” Neil Strauss