Monday, June 21, 2010


Leaving tranquility behind this weekend, I hopped the ferry and sailed across the Pacific to the mad-rat-race of Vancouver... to catch up with my mother visiting from the Prairies, my big sis & her kids from the Okanagan and a menagerie of local comical characters also known as 'the Relatives'.

We met at Crescent Beach for Greek at Pelagos, overpriced frozen milk at a sidewalk shop and a frolic in the sunny wet sand. My nieces had not yet seen the ocean, so this in itself was a huge thrill for them. Especially when the tide went out and we could walk along the sandbar.

Imagine their surprise while washing their newly collected shells on my uncle's patio, when out crawls a crab. Of course, this was the highlight of the evening as they fondled and harassed this poor discombobulated (I love that word) little crab. My niece insisted on taking it home with her to put it in her fish tank. She didn't believe us when we told her it would not survive the long ride to Kelowna, let alone being in a fresh water fish tank with other, larger, hungrier fish. We tried to explain that it needed salty ocean water... but her solution was to pour some tap water into the cup and dump in some table salt. Kids, they are so creative!

We awoke next morning to find the crab alive and well (somewhat) and it began again. The arguing, the crying, the insisting. Finally, she agreed that her aunt would take the crab back to the ferry with her and let him out on the beach. The things I get suckered into. Deep down though, the animal lover in me was relieved. Phew! All for a little crab.

They say their goodbyes and I crabsit the crab for a good portion of the rest of the day after they've left... Arriving at the ferry, I find that there is no way to get down to the water - as it was all fenced in. And of course, I could not just throw it off the side into the deep waters as it was still a young lad and the waters were churning. The crab had already been through so much!

So I carry my friend onboard and we sit up top in the sun. I read my book and take a break to open the hole-punched lid periodicly to check on the little guy, shielding him from the cold wind. By now, we've bonded. I tell him it's not much further. He knows I've lost my mind and other passengers look at me oddly. However, it is my mission of the day to get him to his new home safely. Once again, the area to the water is fenced off... so we drive, stopping along the way at one rocky access. However, in flip-flops, getting down there was treacherous, so we continued on to a more suitable location. Surprisingly enough, the crab survived the entire ordeal to find himself swimming away in the cool salty ocean waters of Nanaimo.

He didn't look back.

"As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?" The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean." "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man. To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!" At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."


Martin said...

Love it. Crabs are cool.

Now I want a pet crab. I think I may have been more like your niece in this one...

Trouble.Thinks said...

As long as you give it a good home, I'm sure he would be great company! Just don't let him near your BBQ.