Thursday, December 20, 2018

Parade of Pets Day Five!

Mango the crab!

Mango the crab!

Our family pet is neither furry nor feathered, and is a direct result of our misspent years on the water.

My youngest was only two when we moved aboard the boat. All the animals she knew lived in the wild - howler monkeys in the trees, dolphins in the water, parrots overhead. And anywhere the land met the sea: crabs. They scuttled along the rocks, hid behind concrete pilings and burrowed in the sand. And a patient child with table scraps could occasionally tempt a crab closer to see these little beauties up close.

My daughter was in love.

Years later, our feet firmly back on the ground, Youngest Child wanted a pet. Not a dog, not a cat. Not a bird or a lizard or even a fish to remind her of “home”. She did her research, presented her proposal and asked if she could please, please, pretty please finally have a crab to call her own.

And so, on her birthday this year, Mango joined our family. He is a Hallowe’en Moon Crab. Aside from engaging in crabby-type activities like dancing through his fresh and salt water dishes, digging tunnels and discretely eating grasshoppers and cucumber behind his log, he is quite happy to crawl onto a hand for a little attention. I never expected my heart to melt for a small purple and orange crustacean, but here we are. Mango is a delight, and my daughter couldn’t be happier with her friend.

16 comments:

Cecilia Ortiz Luna said...


I'm almost sure this cutie belongs to Amy Schaeffer i.e. her daughter.

Purple and orange crustacean? Boy, I wanna see Mango up close.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Mango the crab is SO COOL! I've never seen a crab that looked like that before!

I've had hermit crabs as pets, but I didn't know enough about animal behavior and the study thereof at the time to delve into their behaviors.

Amy Schaefer said...

Yes, Mango is our pet. And he is truly delightful. It was all I could do not to bombard Janet with a thousand photos of him at different angles. We are finding as time goes by he is less interested in his crickets and grasshoppers, and has taken a shine to our human food. Homemade chicken curry has become a surprise favourite.

I must say, the kitties on the blog this week have made me miss having a cat. What a group of furry, cuddly beauties!

(As a postscript, when I happily read through the post this morning until I hit "discretely", at which point the needle scratched across my internal record player. That should have been "discreetly", of course, and I apologize to all whose eyes were similarly burned by the homophone error.)

nightsmusic said...

Oh!! So Cool!! What an awesome pet to have. I too had Hermit Crabs but this, this is just...cool! And now, I have all sorts of questions about how hard they are to keep, what about their salt water; is it a special mix or can you just mix it yourself? Do they shed? How big will he get? Is it a he or she?

This is just cool. :)

NLiu said...

This is the coolest. I had no idea you could keep a crab as a pet! Kudos, Amy's daughter!

I think I may have been reading too many of these posts just before bed. Last night I dreamt about a little black and white stray dog with big butterfly ears who wanted me to adopt her. (It was very obvious she wanted this because, it being a dream, she could talk.) There were some mean dognappers after her. Can't remember the ending. It definitely involved canine memory loss at some point. Should I stop reading these in the middle of the night?

Julie Weathers said...

Amy, that is an awesome pet. I love it. A group of writer friends who allow me to hang with them invite me to a retreat now and again. A couple of years we rented one of those huge houses in Myrtle Beach. My first time near ocean water. What an experience. I even got my feet wet!

I adored watching the little sea creatures.

Elissa M said...

We had a pet crayfish when I was young. I think a crab like Mango looks like a lot more fun--and definitely cuter! It's been very entertaining to see people's pets. I'm eagerly looking forward to more.

Claire Bobrow said...

Wow! Mango the chicken curry-loving crab is totally cool. Amy: I love that your daughter picked this awesome pet!

Jen said...

So awesome!! Love how she researched and then presented you with everything she'd learned. Great parenting! :)

Craig F said...

When i first read it, I thought Amy had retired from world traveling and retired to Florida. We have Rhesus Macaques in the trees, instead of howler monkeys, but the day is young.

Yes, I was one of those weird kids that tried to make pets out of way too many creatures. Mom made me keep my door closed.

Mango is a lovely little beast and seemed happier to be handled than the hermit and fiddler crabs I once had.

If you need fresh mango, papaya or guava for it, and can't find any in you local Piggly-Wiggly, let me know. I'll send you some.Glass or brine shrimp from a pet store might also add some variety to its diet. cfenner13 at the gmail thing

Beth Carpenter said...

I didn't realize a crab could be so cute. Hello, Mango!

Kara Ringenbach said...

What a dapper little fella. Sounds like he has quite the little personality, too. What a cool creature!

Casey Karp said...

Wonderful story and fabulous critter!

Thanks for the introduction to the less fuzzy side of pet ownership.

Sam Mills said...

Everybody stop, THIS IS THE BEST ONE! :D

Donnaeve said...

I love, love, love this little crabbikins! Too cute, Amy! The name Mango is perfect, and how in the world did y'all "discover" Mango likes. . . curried chicken???

V Brown said...

I've never seen a Halloween crab before, but how cool! And beautiful too. Love the name Mango.