Tuesday, April 13, 2004

RIP, the death of a hermit crab.

Rip Van Winkle was a one-eyed hermit crab.  He was a crusty companion for my kids for about a year, along with his friend Houdini.  His little life passed on last night, laying cold and naked in his little oasis in the girls bedroom.  My 3 youngest children cried as hard as they would over a family member and their forlorn wails broke my heart.  This wasn't the first time a pet passed away, we've got a whole cemetary out behind the shed where our hamsters, another hermit crab and a hedgehog were laid to rest.  There were also numerous fish, but they took the water-way express to Fish Heaven via the toilet.

We discovered the shell-less crustacean shortly after returning from dinner out.  My husband tried to warm it up, but it was obvious that the creature had just died.  I went from child to child trying to comfort their grieving, but to no avail.  Their father stood there as if trying to will the crab to revive and end the heartbreak, but it did not.  I was so touched by the bewildered, helpless look on his face.  He was so used to fixing things and righting situations, but this one was out of his hands and there was nothing he could do at the time to ease his childrens' pain.  So he just stood there, blowing warm air on to the cold, lifeless body of the hermit crab.  I think I loved him just a little more at that instant.

The children have accepted the crab's death well now and insist that Houdini, the remaining crab, needs a companion.  So we will go out and get another hermit crab.  My husband wonders about the wisdom because he hated seeing the children so hurt over the death of their pet, but I see it as a lesson in life.  They have already had to deal with the untimely death of a very dear family friend and it devastated them.  Perhaps this will help them to cope with inevitible future heartaches.

8 comments:

cw2smom said...

Ohhh so sorry for the kids' loss.  Your hub sounds like a very compassionate dad!  Lisa

ilovechibitama said...

If you used http://hometown.aol.com/jill307/hermitcrabdoc7_caq.html, that may be why your hermit crab died. I'm really sorry, I really am, and that's why I'm telling you this. That site has false information. For example, it tells you: "Don't bathe your hermit crabs!!" That is UNtrue. You must bathe your hermies. It sort of makes up for the rain that you can't cause. If you want some real info, go to http://www.hermit-crabs.com. I know that's more reliable because she got her first hermit crab when she was five and she was born in 1968. I think she's like forty now, so she's had hermies for like, 30 years. The other one says s/he has has hermies for 8 years. Only 8 years.

tamachibilove said...

DONT GO TO HTTP://WWW.HOMETOWN.AOL.COM/JILL307 EITHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tamachibilove said...

uhh.. heh heh. ilovechibitama and tamachibilove are the same person... ME!!

tamachibilove said...

Here. Just dont go to any site that has jill307 in it.

dornbrau said...

Thanks for the condolences and the advice.  One of the first things we were told when we got our first hermit crab was to bathe it regularily and so that was a weekly ritual for the kids, one the crabs seemed to look forward to.  I'm thinking the problem was either caused by the cold... or maybe more probable... nutrition related.  Unlike our other crab, these ones didn't like fresh fruit.  We've been feeding them some new high protein pellets lately (stinky!) which they seemed to like but their favorite was that sweet, cake-crumb like food that the petstore was feeding them.

tamachibilove said...

yeah.. if you go to www.hermit-crabs.com, you can get a load of cool info on hermies. And other sites( i check by comparing info ^_^)state that they have crabs that like french fries, chips, basically junk food, and rock music, like the beatles. as ive never had a crab of my own (i plan on getting one soon ^______^), i dont know how a crab could show you  it likes rock music, but if it can, it can, and im ready to believe it.

lights4me40 said...

Wow, I had to double check where you were from. My daughter worked and sold hermit crabs from one of the carts in our mall. We ended up giving hermit crabs to everyone we knew for Christmas..hehe..she got a good deal. We ended up with a few too..but..some reason and believe me we ended up spending a fortune on them. All of ours died. My nephew just loves his and they are doing great and no one elses have died. Hmm..I think my daughter brought us home all the ones that she felt sorry for that just weren't moving like the others. Ours never did anything fun but everyone else always has a funny story for us about how one got out and bit the dog..etc. The cart closed up and we can't find a hermit crab anywhere. :( Alls we have is a million different size shells to remember them by! Hope you have found a friend for the one left..they really need companionship!
psssssssst...love your journal!