My boys love animals. They are desperate for a pet. Our last ‘pet’ was a couple of frogs. They lived maybe a few months but the upkeep for them was too intense for me, with having to feed them live crickets. So after the last one died, I said we could get a hermit crab one day. They seemed easy enough…at least I wouldn’t have feed them live insects and be afraid to live in my house when a cricket got lost (yes this happened, I was a crazy, jumpy person for a week).
A few weeks ago, my dad found a praying mantis at his work. He put it in a container and brought it for my boys. They were in love! They named him James and talked about their ‘pet’ constantly. James had been with us for a few days when I walked out in our backyard and found the top off his container and a huge James perched on the container. I did what any i-don’t-like-bugs-mother would do and screamed for the boys to come out and help me. They came running out just in time to see him take flight off of his box!
These poor boys were so broken hearted. They both wailed and wailed. Not like the whiny, irritating cry, but the heart-wrenching, so desperate type of cry. They were so, so sad. We couldn’t mention the “J” word for days.
I melted and said it was time for us to get our hermit crabs. I wanted them to feel some ownership of them and they have been earning allowance for a chore chart that we started. They had to pay for half of the hermit crabs and all the crap that you have to buy for the little critters. They decided to have a lemonade stand and earned all the cash they needed in less than an hour (our neighbors are great). So we headed to the pet store and got our hermit crabs.
We learned that Pet Smart doesn’t live up to their name when it comes to hermit crabs. By the time we got home Nathan’s was already dead. Michael quickly took it back and got another one. The next day we were going camping and right before we left , we realized that again Hermit Crab (Nathan picked the name) was dead. Again we took it back. We had a week of two healthy hermits when I picked up Caleb’s hermit crab, Cooper, and he fell out of his shell. Not a good sign! To Pet Smart we head, again. We kept the shell and just brought the crusty crab and exchanged it for a really big, creepy hermit crab. At the store Michael asked a few of the workers about hermit crabs and no one seemed to know much.
Later that night when we checked on the hermit crabs, I noticed that there were still parts of Cooper in the shell. Michael had done research earlier that day and he said the Cooper had just molted, so he didn’t really die. This gave us a flash back to our African Dwarf Frog, Rod, who died and came back to life. Anyway, now we have 3 hermit crabs and we really enjoy watching them with all their creepy ways. Oh by the way, I named the 3rd really big one Creeper because he really creeps me out.
I hope one day our boys will be able to have a cuddly pet. But Michael’s allergic to most animals and he refuses to take meds in order to have an animal (I tried that early in marriage, it didn’t work. I do have a funny ‘rub a cat on your face’ story, I’ll share later).