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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

We Have Crabs!



Want to know what we did on Valentine's Day? We made a trip to Animal Jungle to buy stuff for our hermit crabs. That's right. That was our big huge outing on Valentine's Day. We bought stuff for these little creatures that I really never expected to live until Halloween, much less past Christmas and on into Valentine's Day.

Guess what else! While we were Animal Jungle, we did a little extra research. Clearly I should have done more before I allowed the purchase. Did you know that hermit crabs can live for up to 50 years in captivity? Awesome! I wasn't giving them 2 weeks when they were purchased. These things are going to outlive me.

Let me tell you about our crabs. Back in the summer my step-sister came for a visit with her 2 little boys. One night, we were out on the boardwalk and she told Kendall he could have any souvenir he wanted that said Virginia Beach. Kendall left with a crab cage that had in huge green lettering on the front, "I GOT MY CRABS IN VIRGINIA BEACH!" (Seriously, kids can take you literally so be careful out there.) We had reservations for dinner and Arleigh and Hanan started begging for their own crabs. I had no intention of enjoying a crab cake or she-crab soup while I was staring at 2 sets of beady little eyes. I said no. My children proceeded to literally flip out. We explained that their behavior wasn't appropriate. It didn't help. They did make it through dinner. Arleigh even tried oysters on the half shell and loved them. (Again, that should be another blog entry.) They sure were sad when we got home, especially since Kendall's crab came home too.

Kendall's crab died about 2 days after they got back to Kentucky. The girls were acting spoiled so we devised a plan to have them purchase their own crabs. They would be fully repsonsible for their care and well being. I figure 2 weeks tops. They saved and saved and then we went back to the beach and they bought a small cage with 2 crabs and the food. Those suckers weren't thriving but they sure weren't dying. They changed the water and fed them every day. At Christmas, we had a house sitter, Arleigh brought them downstairs and wrote directions for her Daddy so they wouldn't be out of sight, out of mind. Then she wrote directions for the housesitter when Daddy left. They're still here. Their names are Jewels (due to the fine crystals glues to her shell) and Shelby (after a dear family friend).

The crabs are actually starting to grow so we figured they might need new shells, maybe even a bigger habitat. So off we went to Animal Jungle. The girls with their own cash in hand. We got new shells, new sand and a new aqarium. They got their very own pool and coconut hut. They now have their own spray and treats. A little of this purchase was subsidized by Daddy. (He's a sucker for his girls.) Now they are out more. They come out of their shells to say hi and be sprayed. Shelby still likes to hide out every now and then and makes me wonder if she's sick.

A few nights ago as the girls were getting ready for bed, I asked how Shelby was. Arleigh says, "She's fine," and proceeds to pick up the poor sleeping crab and throw her in the little crab swimming pool. Rays yells, with more concern for the crab than I care to think about, "She'll drown!" Nope. They can stay submerged for at least a minute. I reach in and scoop her out at which point she comes flying out of her shell. That water was freezing. We now threaten to wake Arleigh up like that. I also don't eat quite as many crab cakes or she-crab soup. I know that's not the same kind of crab, but still.

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