Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ode to the Hermit Crabs

Sadly, the newest members of our household lasted barely a week. Just long enough to get names--Larry, Princess Aurora, and Scooby-Doo. They were happies brought back from my trip to Gulf Shores. Here's the only photo we have of them:

Pepe showed a little interest in the little crustaceans but Scout immediately decided if it wasn't something he could chew on (their claws pinch!) then he really didn't care what was on the glass bowl on the kitchen table.

For me, living in their little glass house, filled with sponges and sea shells, they reminded me of a book I read over the summer called "The Glass Castle" by Jeanette Wells. The story follows her dysfunctional family from her early childhood to her bold escape to New York City where she became a very well-respected journalist. In her memorir she gives doesn't "gloss over" the bad parts of her childhood or her parents, but at the same time she describes them with affection and understanding. As one reviewer said, "Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story." (

Looking out at our world, it must have seen strange. From their little glass bowl their viewpoint was limited to the kitchen. I'm not even sure crabs have good eyesight. But if they could see, they would have seen us rushing out the door each morning, heard the dogs bark their good byes, saw the dogs wrestle in the kitchen, saw us eat strange food (one night we felt a little guilty for having crab right in front of them, they saw friends come over dressed in strange costumes (most disturbing was the girl in a French maid costume with skeleton leggings), etc., etc.

I watch him scurry on the sand
To find a house that's second-hand.
He crawls in someone else's shell
And stays because it fits him will.
Imagine if we did the same,
Just barged right in and staked a claim
To any empty house that fit,
Then settled down to live in it.
By Sandra Liatsos


Becca said...

You are a better hermit owner than I. I can distinctly remember a terrible smell one ride home after being at the beach for a week during the summer. I had killed the hermit crab I HAD TO HAVE along with the special tank and food to go with it- that I had in my possession less than 24 hours. That stinch was my poor little Hermie (like how Miss Piggy called Kermit Kermie).

Kara Givens Paulk said...

Too cute Bec! I'm going to Mistletoe this afternoon and wish you were here!