Hermit Crabs

When the kids were growing up, we could never come home from the beach without a hermit crab, or two. I’m not sure what the appeal was but it was the souvenir my boys always chose to buy with the money their grandmother gave them for vacation. With a coupon, the crab was free. We just had to purchase $40 worth of supplies. The following journal entry discusses the sad, but true, story of our poor, pet crabs.

Several weeks ago, our hermit crab died. We got him at the beach almost two years ago, and he was a monster. Biggest hermit crab I’ve ever seen! I hadn’t heard him digging around in his rocks for a few days, and when I picked him up, he just sort of fell apart. Normally, he would have tried to take my finger off with his claw, but this time, his claw fell off and the poor thing looked like he had dehydrated. I had a passing thought about the possibility of a hermit crab heaven, and then dumped him, and the entire contents of his cage, into the trash can in the garage. The next day, I sent him to his final resting spot at whatever dump our garbage men use.

We had dinner at my Mom’s house a few nights later. While we were eating, the topic of conversation was hermit crabs, a mini memorial to all the crabs we’d loved before. After owning, and sort of burying, a total of six, I found out that hermit crabs molt. Their claws fall off, their dehydrated looking shells make pitiful little piles, and they keep their near naked bodies hidden deep inside their house shells until their new claw and shell harden.

Oh, my goodness!! I am almost 99% sure that I murdered our hermit crab! I dumped his poor, defenseless, little body in the trash. In a plastic bag. In a dump! I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. The worst part is that I’d bet the other five met the same fate! Being just a few steps beyond normal, I am not fit to be a hermit crab mother.

Two nights ago, our hamster died. We gave it a proper burial, in the flower bed where we have buried the other three rodent type pets we’ve had. We have an honorary grave there for Hamdini, the hamster that has been missing in action since September. Please, don’t let anybody tell me that hamsters molt!

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