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Thursday, October 04, 2007

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A Bug's Life

I had the hermit crabs outside the other day, in a temporary holding cage, while I cleaned out their luxury habitat for the first time since we got them, over a year ago.

Thanks to the spacious tank they normally occupy, with its private beach, we don't usually see much of the hermit crabs, though I sometimes hear them trashing the compound at night. I'm not sure what they're doing after dark, but when I lifted the two coconut huts out yesterday, I half-expected to find a stash of tiki lamps and empty rum bottles.

They also chirp, which is almost cute, until you remember that they are large bugs. But they don't smell (except when we came back from Ireland and one had died because my mother hadn't fed them), or scratch the furniture, or require much of anything past the initial set-up. Once a month, I have to go to the crab-slash-head shop, where I buy a jar of gourmet crabby kittles and a box of nag champa from a guy who swears the only reason his grandmother with alzheimer's is hanging on is for the sake of her hermit crab.

Crab people, as I discovered during my initial research into hermit crab care, are an odd sort. This is totally unscientific, but I'm hypothesizing that there's a statistical correlation between adult hermit crab ownership and recreational medieval re-enactment.

Anyway, we got the crabs outside in their playpen in the fresh air, and they went nuts. They were really quite fascinating. Which should tell you quite a bit about my life these days.

But you look into the eye at the end of this stalk and tell me you don't feel all squishy inside.

Who needs the warm fuzzies, when we've got yer warm crusties right here?



Blogger Prisca said...

OMG! You've had such good luck with your hermit crabs. We babysat the pre-school's two over Christmas vacation last year and one died. :( We had to have a crab funeral. Actually, it was a burial at sea, but that's another story.... My girls sure did love them.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Susanne said...

When my oldest was about the same age as your youngest, we had hermit crabs. I set the cage outside for just a leetle while in their clear plastic cage, because cleaning and maintenance was required.

I got distracted, the sun moved (stupid Earth rotation!) and the cage was no longer in the shade. Not a pretty scene, that, and I still feel very bad about it.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

my brother had hermit crabs when we were kids. it was so cool and i want to get some for satch one day. i saw an amazing exhibit in soho many moons ago in which the artist made an elaborate etched tank, inside were hermit crabs in hand blown glass shells made by the artist. i searched for a link for you but can't find it. i'll have to go back and look in one of my old journals.

this is a wonderful post.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

AH! here's the artist

3:51 PM  
Blogger paper napkin said...

There's something I really like about moving from one shell to another. I bet it's therapeutic.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

But wait...Hermit crabs provide neither milk nor wool nor meat. So why would you want one?

("The Office" reference provided if needed.)

11:59 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

actually, with a little garlic butter...

7:38 AM  
Blogger Jennifer/The Word Cellar said...

My brother's hermit crab, uninspiredly named Hermie, was all set to make the trip with our family to the beach one year. We were going to commemorate his one-year anniversary with us, maybe show him around a real sand beach, find a few pieces of seaweed for him. You know, show him a good time.

Tragedy struck the night before the trip when Hermie died, suddenly and unexpectedly.

R.I.P., Hermie. R.I.P.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Maia said...

Oh lord, I think you might have just convinced me to give in to my son's persistent requests for a hermit crab. As if the dang sea monkeys weren't bad enough!

9:03 PM  
Blogger littlepurplecow said...

This is too funny. No fleas, no vet bill, no door scratchin', no yelping at odd hours in the night, no pooper-scooper... that's quite a pet you have there!

11:04 PM  
Blogger ladygaga11 said...

im 11 and i have a hermit crab.her name is wendy.she was the class pet.there was waldo and pattie.long storie short pattie froze to death.then my mom bought wendy.not alot of kids liked wendy.then waldo died and we all missed him.he loved my friend makayla.then another girl got tippy.tippy lasted two weeks.a half an hour ago i tried to give wendy a little bath.then she got messy in her peanut butter.i think it was her way of saying ha ha.then she tried to get cleaned of in her little pool.she is still a little messy.R.I.P. pattie.R.I.P. waldo.R.I.P. tippy.we miss you all

10:07 PM  

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