On our recent beach trip Molly bought a hermit crab. We alternate between calling him "Hermie" and her "Smiley." Name and gender have not stuck yet. Anyway, on Friday I had a busy day with a church conference. I noticed his/her cage smelled pretty bad and mentioned it to the kids. They suggested I clean it.
This annoyed me because it is NOT my hermit crab. I decided I would have Molly clean it later that day. Well, the day went by pretty quickly. When Tom came home from a business trip at 11 pm, he said, “What’s that smell?” Uh-oh.
We checked on Hermie/Smiley and found him/her shriveled up inside the shell. This was not good. I started to cry, thinking of breaking the news to my little girl. We live in the house of blame, and I knew I’d probably get nailed for this one.
Looking for reassurance, I said to Tom, “I don’t know how this could have happened! I gave it water, I spritzed its sponge, I fed it this morning.” His response, “Well, it does sound like you were the one in charge.” How supportive. I huffily put on my eyeshades and went to sleep.
The next morning I heard Molly coming down the stairs. After a few weeks of benign neglect, THIS was the morning she decided to call out, “Where’s Smiley?” Uh-oh. I bolted out of bed to tell her about his/her untimely death.
You may be wondering if I felt tempted to run out and buy a replacement crab. I know this is a rather common practice; however, after replacing and killing 4 guppies in the space of one day, and getting caught in the act by my smart little kids, I’ve decided the direct approach is best.
Soooo, I sat Molly down and told her Hermie/Smiley was dead. She didn’t blame me. We held each other and cried. We reminisced about the good times of the past 3 weeks. The hermit crab maze Jake made for it, the neighborhood walks-- I think that about covered it. Wiping her tears, Molly said, “Can I see him?”
I was glad Tom hadn’t jumped the gun and thrown him/her away the night before. I am big on closure. I just hoped he/she didn’t look too pathetic or smell too nasty.
From downstairs I heard, “HE’S ALIVE!” and indeed, Hermie/Smiley lives! I cannot explain it, but I am even more grateful Tom didn’t bury him/her alive. I wonder what bigger purpose is in store for this lowly crab, for surely he/she has an important destiny to fulfill. Right now I can hear him/her dancing a tango in the kitchen and I must say, “He/She is risen! Risen indeed.”