On His Mighty Plastic Steed


A couple of weeks ago Bill and I were horrified to discover that Julia’s hermit crab was dead.  We found it’s curled, lifeless body outside the shell one day, and since this came so soon after Softie’s passing, well, we dreaded telling Julia.  Although, she’s been angling for a guinea pig or hamster, so we also realized maybe she wouldn’t mourn this loss quite so much.

Later that day – oh, I remember, it was the week Julia went to art camp – we brought Julia to the tank (we’d left everything the way we’d found it…closure and all that), and told her what had happened.  Julia wanted to hold the dead crab, so Bill reached in.


Not dead.

Only shedding.

What we’d thought was a little curled up corpse was just the hermit crab’s exoskeleton.  We found the very-much-alive-but-feeling-quite-vulnerable-and-naked crab huddled deep within his shell, waiting for the new exoskeleton to harden.


Okay, well, yay – no begging for a pet rodent.


Anyway, once the new exoskeleton (I like that word) hardened, the hermit crab was suddenly, as my grandfather would have said, full of vim, vigor, and vitality.  Climbing up and down coconut shells, balancing on one claw, Cirque du Soleil-like, and racing around the tank (as much as a hermit crab can race), this little creature was very much alive.

I took the picture at the top of this post yesterday.  Alex had put the plastic lizard back in the tank (it’s so realistic, lots of people have thought it was alive and wondered how it could sit still for so long…heh heh heh), and Julia yelled that the hermit crab was riding on the lizard.

So I took a picture.

And that is my little story for today.

Hi-yo, lizard, away!

One thought on “On His Mighty Plastic Steed

  1. Oh NO! Do you know what this means? I threw away 3 or 4 hermit crabs! Don’t tell my kids…. although seeing as they are 30 and 27 I don’t think they would be too heartbroken. Just one more thing for them to goad me with, I can hear them now “my mom’s a crab killer!” “Don’t leave your crabs laying around anywhere near my mom, if she sees them not moving they’re outta here!”

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