(The next few posts will be those I began last year and are just now finishing. Any similarities between the stories depicted here and those of real life are totally intentional.)
If you’ve read my first few entries, you know I have a few hermit crabs.
Make that, “had”.
Over the course of the last year almost all of the crabs have died of natural causes-old age, whatever. We had one remaining, and honestly, literally, I hardly thought of it. A few times a week I would check on him and make sure he had food and water, and then move on with my day.
Well, a few days ago I went to look at our one remaining crab and, well, he didn’t look back. He just sat there. Still. Very still. I noticed there was no water in his container so I put some in really quick and picked up the crab to put him in it (hermit crabs have to have water and humidity to stay healthy). There was no response. This particular crab is a little shy so he hides in his shell when you pick him up. He wasn’t doing anything. Hmmm. I checked the humidity gauge. Yep, exactly what I was afraid of- ‘Desert’. It should have read ‘Tropical’. I grabbed my spray bottle (think paddles for a heart patient) and doused him with water. No response. He’d flat-lined. He just sat there with his dried-up eyes looking at me, asking, “Why? Why didn’t you water me?! Why did you buy me when you know you aren’t responsible? Now I’m dead, and I’m really sad about it.”
I almost cried. Almost.
When I told the kids that “Peanut” had left the building, only my oldest daughter stopped watching TV to respond. She said, “What?! Why? Why didn’t we pay more attention to him?! Why did we ignore him?! Now he’s dead, and I’m really sad about it.” This conversation sounded eerily familiar. If I’ve passed anything on to my daughter, it’s my guilty conscience. That, and my love of simple carbohydrates, but that’s another post…
Okay, so I tell my dear husband the bad news, complete with the crusty crab eyes, and he says, half giggling, “Wow, you make that sound really sad”. Well of course it’s sad!! A crab died because of my negligence! I had to face the music: I just don’t have the time or desire (maybe that is the more determining factor?) to have a pet. My kids would love to have a dog or a cat someday but I just can’t (won’t) add that to what I’m already managing.
Well, maybe a beta fish wouldn’t be so bad..at least I don’t have to water them!