Monday, November 28, 2016

"Does it make me look fat?"

What does a hermit crab do when times get tough? She goes shopping!

One of those tough times is when I scrub their tank. First, they get low tide when I drain the tank, then I chase them down, lift them out, and park them in a dishpan. Then, likely as not, the cat comes to look them over, so I give them a shell to hide under.

An hour later, the procedure is reversed; they're captured, one by one, so that the later ones get plenty of time to panic, and then dropped in the tank to go tumbling down to the sand. They usually land upside down, but quickly scramble to their feet.

Then they go shopping. For new outfits.

"I like the colour of this one."

"Good detailing here."

"Let's look at the inside; smooth, clean, pink. Yes!"

"So I'll try it on."

The switch from one shell to the next is almost too fast for the eye to capture. This is their most vulnerable moment, when any watching crab may try for a pinch of soft hermit butt.

"Quick! Pull, twist, grab, push. And I'm safe."

"But I won't give up on that old shell. This one seems a bit loose; maybe a size too big? Does it make me look fat?"

"No, I don't think it fits, after all. Back to the old suit."

"Shopping's done. Lunch time!"

Several other hermits dropped by the spurned shell, picked it up and inspected it, but none tried it on. Maybe another day.

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