Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Hermit crabs are one of those shore things that kids love and parents hate. Every other boardwalk shop has them, and most entice kids in with something free, colorful shells and the promise of a pet when you leave that night.

My parents resisted for a long time, but eventually caved -- can you blame them? Four kids asking over...and over...and over again?

They weren't bad pets. We'd let them race across the living room floor, watch them munch away, and scare our friends by picking up the crabs and showing off the claws.

But all that ended one fateful day when my crab, Charlie, decided to make himself top dog and ate my sister's hermit crab.

OK, so maybe he didn't eat the crab, but we thought he did. Turns out he just ate the molting, which is what comes off when a hermit crab sheds. After molting, a hermit crab is supposed to eat his or her own molt for strength. After my crab at that of my sister's, my sister's crab died. You can imagine what kind of turmoil that brought to the Miller household.

I bring this up today because, as I mentioned before, I'm judging the Miss Crustacean Hermit Crab Beauty Pageant in Ocean City on Wednesday. It starts at 1 pm at 6th and the Boardwalk. If beauty's not quite your thing, there's a hermit crab race after. I bet Charlie would have been a factor in that one.

So do you have a hermit crab story? Put it in the comments below.

Also, back in May, I interviewed Justin Catanoso, author of My Cousin the Saint: A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles, for the blog. He's featured in a wonderful article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer. Check that out here.

Photo by Vanessa Pike-Russell. And, no, it's not of Charlie. He was too sexy for the camera.

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1 comment:

Leah Ingram said...

Our hermit crab experience was more academic than beach--it was when my eldest daughter was studying them in the 4th grade, then volunteered to bring two home as pets once that science unit was over. They were Bobby Big Claw and Scaredy Crab. Eventually, Bobby Big Claw DID eat Scaredy Crab, and he died a few months later. But we had a fun few months with them, and it made me realize how very wrong it is for Mr. Krabs on SpongeBob to be serving up Crabby Patties--he's serving up his own kind as grub. Oh, the horror!