crab and me

japanese spider crab

i just met a swiss ironman athlete and we had some wine and chocolate cake in the center of stellenbosch. while i was walking home i noticed two small crabs on the ground. i instinctively picked one up and wanted to show it to martina, my girlfriend, who was home. i decided to carry the crab to our flat without harming it.

it was a bit difficult as the crab tried to push itself off.

while it was struggling i started thinking how i did a terrible thing and i felt very sad that i first took this crab away from its mate and also i was full of respect for this little creature that amongst all the terror of being picked up was still fighting and trying to save itself. i decided to continue anyway because i started it and wanted to finish what i started. the crab kept trying to free itself. crabs do not have face expressions nor make sounds but i was projecting a face of extreme panic onto it.

home was few hundred meters away and somewhere in the middle i met some cats. i was interested to see what would cats think of this crab. one wanted to cuddle and i showed it the crab but it was not interested. the cat did not share my enthusiasm.

when i got home i told martina i have a gift for her and that she should close her eyes. she was lying in bed watching a movie. at first i wanted to put the crab in her palm but than i realize she might get too scared so i decided to just show it her from my hand. she got a bit scared and than she said how cruel it was that i took it from its home and how terrified it must be. it just made me feel worst that i did this but i also wanted to share the discovery of this animal with her – do not ask me why, i do not know.

i put the crab in my training shoe and it seemed to feel better there as it had a place to hide. it seemed so weak and fragile while hiding in my shoe. i felt even more sorry for it. martina said what i was thinking: i must take it back to where i found it.

i went back on the street and walked back the way i came, with a shoe and the crab in the shoe. i started feeling very bad and thought how i really have no idea how much damage i have done to this crab. maybe it will never find its way back or it will never find its mate again. i tried to convince myself how maybe i saved it from being run over by a car but i still knew i was bad, that i should have left it as it was. i was sorry i did not check on wikipedia what crabs do so i knew better what to do with it. i was not able to remember where i actually found it and i did not see any other crabs.

i decided to leave it next to a small creek and watched it for a while and than walked home. i thought about writing this post, about how bad i was and how i hurt this little creature because i did not think of the consequences of my idiotic impulses. i also thought about many other things like morality of zoos and other animal imprisonments. i also thought about how i act in general.

it was a very stimulating experience meeting this crab and i am sorry i made it feel bad. i am sure it felt enormous fear, i am sure it felt this emotion just as i would feel it if something huge would just pick me up and take me away.

i just researched crabs online a bit and found out that a japanese spider crab can be 4 meters wide. that is one reason not to visit japan.