PORTLAND, ME—Reassuring herself that the lump she felt forming between her fleshy mantle and hard outer shell was almost certainly not worth panicking over, a Pemaquid oyster prayed fervently Wednesday that the growth was merely a pearl. “I’m sure this is nothing, but I don’t remember noticing it until the other day, and it’s really bugging me,” said the mollusk, speculating that perhaps she was actually making it worse by nervously opening and closing her shell to examine the small, rigid bump. “I hope it will just go away on its own, but it actually looks bigger this morning, and it’s been there less than a week. I think my aunt had an issue with this sort of thing once, but it turned out to be a sphere of calcium carbonate covered with a thin layer of lustrous nacre, so I shouldn’t get myself too worked up over it. It’s just so easy to automatically assume the worst. I’ll get it checked first thing after the weekend.” At press time, the lump was confirmed to be a small pearl after the oyster was harvested and shucked.