My wife and I travel a good bit as you may know if you come here often.
My wife had dogs when we first got married and found our first home. Later we moved into our condo but the yard was small so we decided that they deserved better. We found a wonderful family that gave them leftovers and piano lessons.
We then were left without pets for some time.
We bought a small aquarium and fish were fine at first, but they were a bit boring and short lived. They were also less than entertaining.
That’s when we somehow fell upon the idea of having a pet crayfish. They come in different colors and are a lot smarter than goldfish. We chose the blue variety.
By the way, you can buy several live ones at the Asian market near you or much less than one at the pet store and have a fine meal deciding on which one to keep as a pet.
They live for about five years and are easy to care for. They can be left with a brick of food if one goes away for a week or so on vacation.
My wife fed them most of the time and they recognized her when she walked by the aquarium. They danced in front of her for a little treat, or so it seemed to me. Beware. One to a tank or trouble soon follows.
We had little knowledge of the habits of these fine creatures but learned quickly.
One morning we got up and saw two crayfish instead of one in our small aquarium. Our little friend had molted and shed its exoskeleton as we slept. That was very interesting and like a pair of baby shoes, we kept the exoskeleton as a keepsake in our freezer. Sweet, right? Actually they eat them if given a chance for the calcium.
We had five of these fine animals over a twenty five year period. One however was far smarter than the rest, as with humans and other animals.
At one point we had a problem with the lid on our aquarium and so my wife fixed it with some cardboard until we could find a new top. The current crayfish tenant watched closely as my wife did the repair. It sat quietly in the corner and pretended not to notice. Its beady eyes pretended to look away. They are crafty.
At that time my wife left for work before I did each morning. When she woke the next morning she noticed our crayfish had disappeared.
My wife suggested that I get up and help her find it.
As I knelt down on the floor looking up into the bottom of the tank lid, I mentioned that if it had climbed up near the light bulb and fried its self, that was his problem and not mine. My wife was not pleased. They had developed some kind of relationship by this time.
We looked for some time but couldn’t find the thing and we both left for work. I might add here that my wife was not happy. Need I say more.
She called me from work and informed me that I needed to find it when I arrived home or things would go badly for me. I was already aware of that fact.
After a long day of work, I arrived home to find the crayfish crawling through the entry way near the kitchen. I walked into our kitchen, pulled a large bowl out of the cupboard and filled it with water.
I was bending over it when my phone rang. Guess who? That’s right.
“I can’t talk dear. I have my eyes on your little friend and am about to try to grab it, bye.”
“Get it back safely in the aquarium, she shouted over the phone. I hung up not thinking about what that might cost me later. I had to catch her little buddy.
The thing was slow after a night of partying in my condo and going through my income tax returns. I have no idea what he might have found to eat beneath my chair. There is usually a good supply of small remains of snacks there.
The night of its escape, I had a dream about it climbing into our bed and trying to slice my throat with its little claws. Was it a dream or was that something that happened while I was asleep? I have a mark on my neck from that night and I am still not certain where it came from.
I got it into the bowl of water before it could escape and the story ended happily for all of us.
When my wife returned home, she placed him back into his palatial, water habitat.
The crayfish lived a few more years and danced every time my wife walked past him. He paid little attention to me, of course. Remember, he had seen my income tax returns and figured I that was of little value to him or my wife.
I also had a hermit crab that I used to walk on our patio when I had the time. Sadly he dug a large tunnel under his house while we were on vacation which he didn’t reenforce it with steel rebar. It came down on him and so he was sent to his maker before his time.
Dogs make nice pets as cats do.
However, if you want excitement and unexpected surprises, there is nothing better than a blue crayfish.
Remember that there are many stories like this here on my website and more on my Facebook page at R.C. Hand along with many podcast interviews.
Don’t miss the audio interview of me on my Facebook page titled “Growing up with murderers” by email@example.com from England.
“Sunrise, Sunset” my book of short stories is now also on Audible.