Crab stretches legs in new home

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Speedy has a new home. Gone is the small, plastic tank that he once called home.

Now he has a new, larger tank, complete with a new water bowl and special, calcium-rich soil designed to meet the needs of our growing hermit crab.

Our 10-year-old daughter, Bailey, loves the crab. It's her pet and she takes care of it. She makes sure it has food and water.

But earlier this month, Speedy repeatedly crawled out of her shell. With her antenna eyes, she glanced around her small yard. She seemed restless.

My wife, Joni, concluded that Speedy needed a bigger shell and more room to roam -- although roaming may be too strong a word for the activity of a hermit crab.

At any rate, Joni and Bailey went to the pet store and came away with a new home and even new food for our pet crab.

As Bailey tells it, the new food involves worm guts. I'm sure those little morsels are delicious to a crab but it sounds pretty disgusting to me.

But Speedy, no doubt, is thrilled by his new abode.

I can't imagine it gets much better for a hermit crab.

The way I see it, Speedy has just moved up to the country club set.

Not bad for a crab that we purchased from a mall kiosk. We figured it wouldn't last more than a year. But it's fast approaching two years.

The people at the pet store say hermit crabs can live for years.

Speedy has a new larger shell that should keep him content for some time.

More importantly, he doesn't chew on socks or bark at the trash trucks like our pet pooch, Cassie.

I'm just amazed at Speedy's size. You would swear he was on steroids.

It's hard to believe that you can bulk up on little food pellets and some bottled water.

And when it comes to water, we have only the best for our crab.

Joni and Bailey came home from the pet store with a special bottle of pollution-free salt water so they can give Speedy a healthy crab bath.

Apparently, this water is better than the ocean itself, judging from the information on the bottle.

I never figured that crabs needed special bath water. Next thing you know, they'll want their own beer and golf carts.

To my way of thinking, Speedy is getting close to being a pampered pet.

If Speedy were a dog, he'd be in the penthouse.

As it is, he'll have to settle for being a little lower on the food chain.

Still, I figure, he can't complain about his surroundings.

He'll be able to live out his life without getting stuck in seaweed or being stepped on by vacation-happy families hanging out on the beach.

His new abode is spotless. Even with a few extra shells around to visit, Speedy is a tidy pet. He doesn't make a mess unless he's molting.

Children have no such excuse.

Bailey's room is far less tidy. In recent weeks, I've found Bailey's clothes scattered about her room.

But Speedy's new home has encouraged our daughter to clean up her room with a little help from her dad.

We can actually see the floor now and so can Speedy from his new home atop a bedroom shelf. It's amazing what a change of scenery can do.

Mark Bliss is a staff writer for the Southeast Missourian.

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