Monday, May 3, 2010

A Funeral for a Crab. Or Not.

I didn't hear the sobbing over my blowdryer, so Alex came to report it. I found him upstairs beside the crab's domain. This has happened before when the crabs have appeared so still in their shells, the kids have presumed them dead. But this time, yes, there was the crab body, dry and lifeless on the tank bottom.

We scooped Lightening's body up, placed it in a box, and set it aside to await Daddy's return so the funeral could be a proper family affair. (Well, that, and I thought Daddy might dig a better hole.) It was a lovely little ceremony. Daddy dug the hole, and Michael laid Lightening's Duncan Hines brownie box into the hole, and threw in the first shovelful of dirt. Then an unmarked headstone was placed on the tiny grave.

A few days later, I was talking with some friends and related the sad tale of Lightening's passing. One of them questioned, "Are you sure he was dead?"

Which got me thinking. Our crabs have molted a couple of times since we brought them home with us from Florida (who knew you could buy them at the mall here in Georgia?), but they have never shed their entire exoskeleton in one piece like I have read can happen. I did find it odd how very dry dead Lightening was, especially considering the kids said they had seen him alive the night before. So I threw out a theory and labeled it such so as not to repeat the sobbing and other Drama.

To test my theory, I carefully pulled the tank out so the kids could scope out the bottom. And sure enough, Michael spied Lightening's leg buried in the sand. Though I can't yet prove there is more than just a leg under there, I am hoping he is indeed just molting and that we held a funeral for just an empty exoskeleton.


Amy @ Cheeky Cocoa Beans said...

Oh, boy...what a learning experience this might turn out to be! Who knew crabs could create such drama? I'm hoping with you that Lightening was just molting!

I hope you have a great week!

Teacher Mommy said...

Is it wrong that I find the idea of a funeral for an exoskeleton giggle-inducing?

CrossView said...

I know I'm a terrible person but all I could think was to leave him buried. Even if he wasn't dead, at least it's over. Ok, so don't tell your kids I said that. Or mine, either! ;o)

We've had so many family funerals that I'm starting to feel like Hannibal Lector. =/

Mominin said...

I hope he's still alive down there!! I suppose a funeral for an exoskeleton is the best kind of funeral to have, LOL!

Arby said...

Ditto Teachermommy. That's funny!

dclouser said...

I find it very suspenseful wondering if that crab is alive or not! Please post an update once you know. I did not find this funny one bit thinking about Michael being heartbroken! At any rate, it might turn out to be an amazing Science lesson, right?

@nnie said...

no comment about the Brownie box? :-) Cute post!