Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Harriet the Habitual Runaway

From the NEWS FROM MY HOUSE Department:

I believe I've mentioned before that I have two pet fiddler crabs, Ozzie and Harriet, who share a five-gallon aquarium with a couple ghost shrimp. Ozzie doesn't do much but stand on the rocks and wave his big claw around (and we're all impressed over here, let me tell you!). Harriet's been much more active since the beginning.

When we got back from our San Francisco trip in March, Harriet was nowhere to be seen. Not such a big deal, since when she molts I frequently don't see her for several days. However, they hadn't been fed in a week and everyone else in the tank was fighting over the food I dropped in--still no Harriet. DH insists she couldn't have gotten out of the tank--you'll remember this refrain from last winter when Norman, my previous crab, ran away--until later that evening, we see something brown skitter across the rug in front of the fireplace. Guess who?

Yes, indeed! Harriet had managed, probably that same day, to climb out of the tank through the hole in the lid where the air hose and heater cord come through. Somehow she got from the top of the five-foot-tall games cabinet to the floor and then all the way across the room to the fireplace. I can only assume she was planning to climb up the chimney and escape the house completely! LOL

So DH scooped her up and put her back in the tank and I blocked up the hole in the aquarium lid with some tape, although I didn't seal it because DH insisted it would be too hard to clean the tank if the lid were taped down. Harriet was a little cranky for a day or two after her adventure, but then seemed fine.

A week later, she's over by the fireplace again. She couldn't have been gone more than an hour because that's how long the dog was out of the house. Apparently the unsealed tape flap opened right up for her like a little crab door. We put her back again and sealed the hole completely. And a good thing, too. She behaved herself about six weeks until she molted again and twice now I've caught her hanging upsidedown from the tape at the top of the tank. Naughty, naughty crab!

From this we have learned three things: DH is not an expert on crab behavior, the dog must have eaten poor Norman, and Harriet is a crafty little bugger!

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