No, this is most definitely not a recipe. It is a sad story about the loss of a pet crab, and a big pathetic chicken – me!
We have a large aquarium in our dining room with a coral reef, some clown fish, and many other odd critters. Fairly recently, my husband brought home the biggest arrow crab we had ever seen.
Stenorhynchus seticornis (Yellowline Arrow Crab) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
He was so cute and creepy too, we all fell in love with the thing. Notice his blue feet, come on how cool is that? The kids named him (her?) Crabby Patty and loved watching it walk goofily over the corals in the tank and feed itself with those ridiculously long arms.
Well, poor Crabby Patty died a few days ago. I’m guessing old age, as this critter must have been full adult size, it easily had 8 in long legs. Now the older kids already lost interest in it, like with everything else. They have not noticed it yet. I have not volunteered this information.
But my 3 year old, well, he has a habit of looking for Crabby Patty every few hours, because even though he is so big, he was a master at blending into the corals, since he knew crabmeat is delicious. So when kiddo searched the tank and could not find his pet, and declared “Crabby Patty is the best at hiding! And he must love his new home since he hasn’t come out of it today” Oh man, did my heart sink. I just could not speak up and tell this cutie pie that his pet crab died. So I just agreed with him, that yes, he is the best at hiding. I am a pathetic big chicken with a big soft heart.
So I definitely did not share what I viewed when I knew for sure that Crabby was dead, thank goodness little guy didn’t look in the tank. Like I said, Crabmeat is delicious. As soon as Crabby stopped moving, he was viciously ripped apart by his previously polite tank mates. First, the serpent star wrapped his long tentacle arms around him, and crabby could still move just a bit, so here is a closer-up view than I ever hope to have of that creepy thing – poor Crabby’s last sight – I shudder at the thought of it.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Then Birthday fish, (pictured below – he was daddy’s birthday present one year – kids named him too) darted in and ripped out his eyes and any soft parts. Poor Crabby.
Then, it got nasty. Poor Crabby stopped moving, and his body was covered by all the scavengers, all the cannibalistic other crabs in the tank came to finish him off. I didn’t realize how many were spread about the tank, but when they covered every bit of Crabby, completely concealing him, and walked over each other to get a good chunk, it was a nauseating, horrific scene. Usually I enjoy working on my computer in front of the tank and staring into it for mental breaks, but that day I needed blinders to avoid watching the massacre, ’cause you know you have to look, you just have to.
Once the pile of crabs were done (or full?), the snails moved in and cleaned up the rest of it. All in all, I have to say it was a very efficient process. Only a few bits of Crabby’s outer shell is left from his long legs here and there in a completely unrecognizable pile of twigs. Yes let’s say it is twigs.
So, do we get a new Crabby and sneak him into the tank to avoid tears, or do we tell the truth, or just wait for little guy to stop looking for him? It has already become a boring game, since he can’t find him. I think he’ll lose interest soon.
And to be clear, it is not like we hide death from kiddo completely, he has already lost a few snails, several fish, a shrimp, and loves stomping ants. He’s also been to a few funerals. Death is unavoidable usually. (well I guess it always is – I meant the topic in conversation is usually unavoidable) He understands, really. It’s just seems pointless to bring up the death unless he asks. Plus, I’m a big chicken.
- An aquatic paradise ~ I (wondrousbiology.wordpress.com)
- One Starfish at a Time (itsabigworld15.wordpress.com)