Friday, August 08, 2008


If you ever had any doubt, let me assure you - hermit crabs will pinch. Drew and Mikayla have gotten them every year when we go on vacation to the beach and they have never been pinched before. Now, Mikayla will not hold them, but Drew loves "playing" with them. We did not get hermit crabs at the beach this year, but instead bought one last week from a friend who got one at the beach and was tired of it already. This crab is huge - well compared to any that we have gotten at the beach. The people we bought it from said it has doubled in size in the three weeks that they have had it. I'm a little afraid to think about how big this "creature" will get.

This crab is very active - again, more so than any we have ever gotten. My plan is to transfer him/her (I can't tell) to a 10 gallon aquarium (and maybe get a few friends) and take it to my classroom. We have taken care of the hermit crabs in a fourth grade classroom every year while they go on their annual trip to Charleston and my students always love that. Since school is not in session yet, Drew and Mikayla are enjoying it at home (we are going to have to name it soon). After this episode, Craig said we should name it P.P. (purple pincher).

Mikayla enjoys watching it, and Drew (as usual) has enjoyed playing with it. That is, until later on the night we got it. Drew was playing with it, when all of a sudden he came running up to me screaming "she pinched me". Well, I'm thinking Mikayla has pinched him and I'm trying to calm him down and find out where. That's when Craig cries from across the room "the crab is pinching him" (He had his fist closed and then moved it down and I couldn't see it, but Craig who was behind us could). When I realized what it was that was pinching him, I sent him over to his daddy. I don't touch them, and I'm so thankful that Craig was home when it happened - I would have had to handle it myself had he not been I guess. The crab would not let go, and Drew would not let his dad pull the crab off, nor did Craig want to do that for fear of breaking the skin (then you worry more about infections and such). If you know how to get a crab to let go, we would love to know (although I'm pretty certain we don't have to worry about that around here anymore). Craig finally got the crab off by running water over it in the kitchen sink and then flicked it off of Drew's hand when he saw it loosen its grip. If anyone is out there saying "the poor crab", I'm sorry but I was thinking about my poor kid - just to let you know the crab is alive and well. He just stays in his cage a little more now.

In the crab's defense, I completely understand that pinching is one of the only ways they can protect themselves - that and their shell. I also understand that my son closing his hand around the crab is more than likely what caused this crab to pinch. That knowledge does not make me feel any better about my son (or anyone else) holding this crab again without thick, thick gloves. I will never forget the look on my son's face, nor the sound of him screaming during this ordeal and although it seems like it took forever to get the crab off of his hand, it was more like a couple of minutes. I'm sure it was painful for him, but it did not break the skin and I am grateful. I think he was screaming more from terror than from actual pain. We have still had him wash it good with soap and water many times a day, put peroxide on it, and a dab of Neosporin, just in case!!

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