They're called hermit crabs because humans decided to call them that. If they knew, they wouldn't care.
While wandering across the Villas tidal flats, which extend hundreds and hundreds of yards out from the high tide mark, I stumbled across a posse of hermit crabs. Every time I walk the flats, I think of the Five Chinese Brothers.
They were grooving and fighting and loving and just being their ornery hermit crab selves, fighting for shells, for space, for love.
I was hunting for quahogs, found a few (but not enough) for dinner, not even thinking about the hermit crabs before I got there.
I am thinking of them now.
I teach biology to sophomores. I teach AP Biology to seniors.
A mother brought her three children to the flats today, one still young enough to remain attached to her hip the whole time.
She stumbled on the name of the horseshoe crab. But that hardly matters.
The children were in fairly new clothes, probably bought for school this year. The mother told the children not to worry about that.
She knows what matters. I wish all parents did.
I teach in a public school, and proud to do so. Not sure what happens when our culture loses the concept of "public," but until the whole thing falls apart (or I do, mortality has its disadvantages), I will continue to do what I do.
We had something good here in the States.