The Feisty Crab and Me

It was a beautiful morning at the beach. The mist simmered over the horizon in wisps. The waves murmured softly as the tide whisked them away. It was going to be a clear day. I took a deep breath.

The sun was coming up. Soon it would be too bright and hot to linger on the naked shore. I thought I’d better find myself some shade under the boughs of those coconut trees nearby.

Ah, maybe I’ll wait a little longer. Besides, I love the warmth of the rising sun. And the sand feels good. Digging your toes in the sand is so therapeutic. You keep wriggling your feet in and out of the sand and you will find yourself entranced in the golden grains of sand.

Out of the blue, I felt a sharp bite on my little left toe. I winced in pain. My reflexes were telling me to squash whatever it was before it snaps again. It was a crab. I scooped up the little fellow and glared at it. Never before had I come across an aggressive crab. By nature, crabs tend to move away from you if you try to approach them. But not this one. This crab was bold enough to nip me. I was about to find out why.

With utmost care I set it down on the sand. Watching it go crawling towards an equally small hole in the sandy shore. It seemed to first survey the surrounding area and then made a dash into the small hole. That was the last of the crab episode.

Or so I thought.

With a deep breath I fill my lungs with early morning fresh beach air and lift my gaze scanning the horizon for refreshing sights. Disappointed in not sighting any ships as usual, I stand up and dust the sand off me. I start walking towards the beckoning waves when I notice the crab again. It was the same crab no doubt. It seemed to me as if it was trying to get my attention by waving its claws in the air.

Now I am no crab talker, but I am certain that this crab was trying to make conversation. Its movements gave the impression as if telling me…my friend, stop by for a little while longer, watch me for a while and ponder. I was intrigued by its odd behaviour. I hoped I wasn’t hallucinating. Eventually, I gave in to its pleading and sat down resigning myself to watch the crab go about its business.

This time though it rushes to the small hole at frantic speed, carrying grains of sand to and fro from the hole. Soon enough a small mound of sand materialises with the labour of the crab’s excavation. Now it climbs again and waves its claws at me. Perplexed! I look at it. What was it that it wanted me to do? Pat it on the back and praise it. As I was thinking thus, it suddenly turns turtle and lies still as if dead. Then it rights itself and it is back to waving its claws.

I stood frustrated. I wish I could understand what it was trying to tell me or wanted me to do. I bent closer leveling its tiny eyes to mine. It did not want me to go away for sure; then what was it that it wanted of me. Again it went on with its work of excavation. Then it struck me, it needs help. So using only one finger I started digging immediately at the spot I was sitting a while before. I felt a nip. Ouch! I yelped and pulled my finger out. And with it came five small white crabs. They all stood in a row waving their claws in the air and quickly marched away. My crab friend then joined them and they continued crawling away.

Then it struck me, while plonking down on the sand I had unknowingly shut the entrance to their hole. And this little feisty crab had saved them all. He did not give upon them.

May be the morning at the beach was not so uneventful after all. Until next time then little crab.

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