It was a sad day yesterday. Kaitlin came into my room and said, "I think Max is dead, he's not moving and he looks really pale". Max is the hermit crab that she has had for almost a year now and, may I say, has done an outstanding job taking care of him - feeding, watering, and cleaning his crabitat.
I am sure Max is not dead. After all, we have had scares with him before, like, "Mom! Max is missing!" and after trying to figure out how he could have Houdinied himself out of his crabitat, sure enough we had found him under his water dish where he had burrowed into the sand.
So, I followed teary-eyed Kaitlin to her room to see this "dead" crab for myself. Sure enough, I pick him up and he does look pale and he's not moving. So we called out to Bill (he IS the MAN of the house so he's in charge of the dead-pet department). Bill picked the little hermit crab up and when one of Max's little crab legs fell off, all hope was lost. Being the Chief Coroner in charge of the Dead-Pet department, Bill made the official announcement:
Kaitlin started sobbing. I started sobbing. We were sad.
It was decided that Max would need a memorial service with a proper burial, so we found an old watch tin to use. Kaitlin wanted him to have a blanket so we went through some fabric and sewed a small blanket together for him. Kaitlin attached a red heart button with her new-found button-sewing skills. The tin was filled with sand from his crabitat, topped by his blanket, and finally, the remains of Max. Not to be buried alone, Kaitlin wrote him a note, added a picture of herself, a flower petal, a small penguin from dad, a note from mom, a shiny rock from brother, and a bit of food in case he got hungry on his trip, and finally, we set up the viewing:
After the viewing and Kaitlin and Bill had scouted out the proper burial spot in the flower bed, Kaitlin decided she needed a few pictures. So we arranged everything around Max's tin, and we started taking pictures.
We were so sad.
Then, Kaitlin says to me, "MOM! HE'S MOVING".
"Um, no honey, he's dead" (didn't I mention that We were sad???)
"MOM! I SAW HIS LEGS MOVE"
Poor Kaitlin, she must be in denial. I must have bumped into his tin and moved him.
However, on closer inspection, he WAS moving.
There were small bright orange legs coming out of Max's shell and the nasty, pale, cold, dead legs were falling out of the shell. Being the brilliant marine biologist that I am, I put 2 and 2 together and sure enough, Max was MOLTING!
The sadness left our little household and the crabitat was prepared for Max's joyous return.
Who could have known we would have a dead Max but then he would be alive again?