But they didn't get hard. Instead they stayed soft and kept smelling like rotten fish till I had to throw them away. I looked them up in a book on local sea life (this was before the Internet existed) and only then figured out that they were "soft stars" and would rot unless fixed in a jar of formaldehyde. Worse yet, they weren't even dead when I picked them up. Starfish wash up on the beach to take a breather once in a while, and then wash back out with the tide. So, I was an Evil Starfish Killer. I felt bad about that.
Someone should make a gangster movie about starfish living in a fancy beach mansion, called "Scarfish". The hero's enemies would rip off his limbs, then he'd regenerate them and shoot everybody.
I wish neb was around to read this post. I think he'd like it, and I miss him.