This is a story of two sand crabs named Angel and Strawberry. Crabs who were peacefully hiding in a large pile of rocks on the beach. Two unsuspecting crustaceans just minding their own business until the tide rolled back in.
How did the two crabs become Angel and Strawberry? Courtesy of Ava and Mia, of course.
Let me back up a bit to earlier in the day. I don’t even know why I ask anymore, I should just yell out “BEACH!” and the car would be magically loaded with two kids ready to go.
After lunch at our favorite place, it was just a quick walk down the wooden staircase to the beach.
Ava ran straight into the water. She jumped. She swam around. She rolled in the sand. Her deep love of the ocean was tangible in the sand swiped across her nose and the smell of the ocean wrapped around her hair.
Mia began gathering “lost things.” A real life Tinker Belle, Mia carefully scoured the ground as she walked the beach. Precious to her, she gathered bird feathers, shells, and a big yellow flower. Mia took her lost things and built a fairy castle.
When her castle was completed, Mia wandered over to a large pile of rocks just down the beach. She explored the rocks with great interest. She had her collection box with her. A small pink plastic box with a latch, in which she lovingly placed her found things in. In a word, It’s her briefcase.
It wasn’t long before Ava joined her sister in the mystery hunt for lost things.
Some time later, I heard excited yelling, ” MOMMY! MOMMY! COME LOOK NOW!”
I ran down the beach and they pulled me in close, “Look, look he’s under the rock! We FOUND A CRAB!”
I see a small sand crab between two rocks, cowering in a small patch of seaweed. He looks terrified.
They could only look because he was tucked so tightly into the rocks. I walked back to my towel and sat down.
However, it wasn’t long before they successfully caught a sand crab and placed it in the pink collection box. Mia sported a large piece of driftwood and a purple plastic cup; her tools for the big capture.
They had given themselves new names. Mia was the Crab Master and Ava was the Crab Trapper.
Meet Angel, sand crab number one. Mia named him.
Meet Strawberry, sand crab number two. Ava named him or her, can’t really tell with crabs. He was reddish in nature and smaller than Angel. He also looked a bit tougher with a stare that said don’t eat me, or I will PINCH YOU!
Both crabs were studied intently by both girls. I remembered doing the very same thing as a child. We had a summer cabin out on the Hood Canal and my sisters and I used to fill our buckets with crabs we found under the barnacle covered rocks.
In the middle of all this finding, Mia discovered a deceased crab on the other side of the rock pile. She drew a circle around it with her stick and then said a prayer for the dead crab. It is not unusual for her to give a short prayer it she stumbles across a dead insect. We aren’t practicing religious folks, so I’ll chalk up this goodness up to her attending a catholic preschool. However, her attention was suddenly drawn away, when Ava yelled out that she found a family of crabs. Ahhh, the circle of life.
The girls spent over an hour on their crab adventure alone, when I finally encouraged them to let the crabs go. Mia sprinted away with her collection box and released Angel and Strawberry onto the open sand. She didn’t understand that this made them an easy lunch for the passing birds.
Both crabs were mad as heck and started their backwards sideways walk to get away from us; claws opening and closing. I mean who could blame them?
I quickly scooped up Angel in my hands and returned him to the safety of the rocks.
The girls were impressed I picked up the crab at all. Next, I gathered up Strawberry. Ava wanted to hold him, but she squealed when I tried to hand him over. With both crabs tucked away in their home, we shuffled back down the beach and headed for home.
And as for Angel and Strawberry? I hope they enjoy their crabby life amongst the seaweed covered boulders on the beach.
Ready to be discovered by the next set of kids.
Or maybe, they moved to a better neighborhood on a rock further out in the water. Safe from prying eyes and little hands.