The Tiniest Hermit Crab
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Author Topic: The Tiniest Hermit Crab  (Read 478 times)


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The Tiniest Hermit Crab
« on: May 03, 2020, 04:04:50 AM »

It was a cool, breezy night. The tide was calm, but the sand bar was restless. The days were shorter outside of summer, and there was never enough daylight to sate the beachcombers. They ate and drank through the night, and some had a tendency to fall asleep before others. Parrot Head, ever indulgent, had this tendency.

Tonight, however, was different. Tonight was special. Parrot Head was inspired, and she longed to share that inspiration with her peers. She didn't need to do much to gather their attention. They saw her gathering her collection of musical shells— ones that rattled when shaken, or bellowed when blown— and they knew to keep a close eye. None were the type to press her on the matter, and she was thankful for that.

She started her set by playing on her own, warming up the crowd, and warming up her voice with her hums. With her crowd attentive, and her song ready in her head, she passed her shells to one of the totoma, Catch-Up. He was excellent at keeping up with her tunes.

With a deep breath and a bright smile, Parrot Head started to sing her jaunty little song.

There once was a little crab
We’ll call him… itty-bitty
He was too small to have a shell
And for that he had my pity

For the other hermits steal from snails
And some find their homes in skulls
Itty-bitty worried his only home
Would be in the stomach of a gull

What a sad, sorry crab
My poor itty-bitty
All naked and cold
No shell made him pretty

I really wanted to help him
Brought him clam, conch, and cone
Still I couldn’t find him
A shell to call his own

I tried oyster and cockle and whelk
But each one was too grand
I say, the only thing too little
Was a single grain of sand

What a sad, sorry crab
My poor itty-bitty
I didn’t know how else to help
So I wrote him this ditty

Won’t someone please help me
And my poor little friend
If he has no shell by sundown
He’ll surely meet his end

I sang and I sang
‘Til my throat became sore
Took a moment to breathe
And I sang a bit more

Wouldn’t you know it?
My own witty ditty
Helped our itty-bitty
Find a big shell committee

A whole crowd of crabs
Lined up on the shore
Each traded one size up
And that left just one more

A tiny mouse tooth
For our itty-bitty
A home of his own
Well that made him giddy

I cried out of joy
And I bid him farewell
For my itty-bitty
Finally found his shell...

Parrot Head finished her song with a bow of her head, and her crowd erupted in cheer, kicking their empty coconut shells and stirring up a ruckus. For this, Parrot Head couldn't help but laugh. To cause such a stir among the lot of them over a story about a tiny hermit crab, it was delightful. With this kind of response, they'd likely demand to hear it again. She'd have to commit the song to memory, or at least pick one of her smarter tribe members to learn it, should she forget. The song might leave her head, but the feeling it gave— the pride she felt in that applause— that was unforgettable.