We thought our hermit crab was dead, then he went missing!

We thought the hermit crab that our four-year-old daughter, Harper, got for Christmas was dead.  But then he went missing.

“Did you move the crab?” Annie, my wife, asked me last night at 2AM. 


“He’s not in the dish!” Annie said. 

Our house is for sale and anything that isn’t necessary needs to go. A  hermit crab habitat complete with “I’m crabby” sign was taking up a chunk of our kitchen counter.  And since the crab that lived in there didn’t seem to be moving, drinking, or eating, and by all appearances was dead, the habitat had to go. Annie had already had the, “your crab is dead,” talk with Harper, which ended in tears, but for some reason Annie didn’t make final arrangements for the crab. Instead, she put his habitat in the garage and placed him in a small dish on the counter.

But dead crabs don’t climb out of small dishes and go missing, which was our dilemma. I, managing my grief, immediately went back to sleep while Annie searched for him.

“Kelsey, come here!” Annie whisper-shouted into the bedroom, a few minutes later.

Annie stood in the kitchen staring into the sink.  I followed her gaze.


I followed her gaze deeper, into the garbage disposal, and there was our “dead” crab trying to crawl out.  He had climbed out of the dish, walked six feet across the counter and our stove top, and plunged into our sink.  For a crab that we hadn’t seen move an inch in days, that’s a pretty big adventure.

Like a scene from a bad horror film, I reached into the garbage disposal and pulled out the crab. Annie retrieved his habitat, and, our crab, has come back from the dead.

Part of the reason parent’s get pets for kids is to teach them about life and death. In an epic parenting fail, we taught our daughter that if something dies, wait long enough and they’ll come back to life.




Beth says:

We learned when our daughter had hermit crabs not to tell her they were dead (because you’re right, they can be incredibly still for long periods) until they started to,um…smell.

So glad there are no more hermit crabs in our house. Harper’s is much cuter than the ones we had!

Kelsey says:

Beth, It’s like we’re running a retirement home for a great grandma crab that we just met. It’s all work and no enjoyment or love. Really other than guilt there was no reason not to turn on the garbage disposal.

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