Saturday, September 18, 2010
2 days ago, I noticed that one of our hermit crabs, Flower, was a little more lethargic than usual and she was hanging out of her shell which I have come to realize is not a good sign in a hermit crab. Yesterday, she was more out of her shell and Miss E started to notice. And get excited. Because she thought Flower was changing to a bigger shell which is a very exciting event.
"Mommy! Flower is changing! That's so awesome! Thank you for getting me these hermit crabs for my birthday! It was the best present ever!"
Uhhhh..... "Well, honey, she might be changing but she might also be sick. We should just give her some space and see how it goes"
Anyway, long story short, Flower climbed completely out of her shell and lay there on the sand. Now, this is not good for a hermit crab and I knew the end was near. This morning at breakfast, I prepped Miss E a bit that she seemed pretty sick. And I knew she would be upset, but I had no idea about the tears. There were sobs and I reassured her that we would see but also let her know that Flower was probably going to die. Then I sent her off to school
This is not the first pet Miss E has lost, she was 2 when our beloved dog died and we have lost fish and even other hermit crabs but this one was different. When she went off to school Peter and I debated the merits of putting the crab out of her misery or letting Miss E watch her die a slow death. We finally decided to end it so we could bury it after school instead of having her watch it slowly die. However, we could not think of a way to kill it that wouldn't leave a mark she could see. So.....
PETA FOLKS AND CHILDREN STOP READING HERE.
.....we tried to drown it but it was still moving a little bit. Finally, when Miss E got home we told her Flower was dead, swiftly put her in a little box, told Miss E not to open it and buried her alive. Yes, that's right. We buried something alive. Barely alive and certainly dying, but still ALIVE. I don't even want to think about the karma on that one.
So we buried her, said a few words about what a great and spunky hermit crab she was and Miss E cried a lot. She and I sat on the deck with her sobbing into my shoulder for about 20 minutes. Then she asked if we could get another hermit crab.
The stone pictured above is what Miss E painted to put over her grave. Pretty nice huh? I hope my gravestone looks something like that.