“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” Officer Marcellus says to sentry Horatio as Hamlet determinedly seeks to follow his father’s ghost and hear his words. [The Tragedy of Hamlet – Prince of Denmark (1.4.90)… also see this scene in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s award-winning movie production of Hamlet (2009)* and read the entire play]
This is the flower of the Orbea variegata plant, with various English common names such as the Starfish Cactus, Toad Cactus, and Starfish Flower. It is native to the coastal belt of the Western Cape of South Africa. (See Western Cape – South Africa*)
Even the nearby pufferfish* seem to be wary and spooked by the smell.
I prefer the allusion to the name Starfish because it reminds me of the Starfish Story.*
One morning a man was walking along a beach and saw a boy picking up starfish and throwing them into the ocean. The man inquired what he was doing. The boy said, “The sun is rising and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
The man laughed and said, “But there’s too many starfish on this beach. You can’t possibly make a difference.” The boy politely listened to his words and bent down and picked up another starfish and threw it into the ocean.
Encore: El niño y las estrellas de mar*
*This is a link to a YouTube video.