Well, I’ve done it again. Speaking too soon. Setting in motion the wheels of Fate through casual remarks.
Yesterday a writer friend posted on Facebook that she had gotten her daughter a pair of hermit crabs. Many comments followed with advice and experience, including mine:
“Ah, Mitzi asked for some for her last birthday. Bizarre pets! She does an okay job taking care of them — luckily, they don’t need too much attention! Ours are called Swirly, Jr. (after the first, which died) and Lumpy. Or is it Bumpy? I can’t remember.” (For a refresher, read my blog post on that one in January)
Later on I remarked: “We’ve been lucky since, though. Seven months without incident!”
Soon after it was my bedtime. I checked on the kids, one by one. As usual, I also checked on the hermit crabs.
It happened again. There was poor Bumpy (or was it Lumpy?). Out of his shell, limp, like an icky rubber slug. I poked him (or was it a her?). Nothing. I picked it up. Nothing. I washed my hands and went to tell Ray. (It is my strong belief that fathers are responsible for taking care of dead pets. Mothers handle the emotional aftereffects. Call me a traditionalist.)
After the corpse was tagged and bagged, Ray told me that he suspected foul play. Apparently, Swirly, the somewhat bigger and more aggressive of the two, had been harassing poor Lumpy (or was it Bumpy?) just the day before. We are convinced it was a crabicide, though without evidence Swirly remains a free crustacean.
Luckily, Mitzi was not that upset.
(An aside: This morning there was another post in the Facebook discussion, from the original writer, who was responding to another friend’s comment on her own crab’s death: “are you sure it was dead, or was it molting. A friend of mine kept throwing away one that were just molting.” Uh. Hmmm. Well, if he hadn’t been last night, 7 hours in a zipped baggie surely did the trick. But we won’t share that information with Mitzi.)
A mid-afternoon burial in the shade garden is planned.
On the left is Bumpy (or was it Lumpy?) as we remember him best.
Now with his friend Swirly, in crustacean heaven.