Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Nancy To the Rescue

It's after midnight and it's time to shower and brush my teeth.

I open the door to the women's washroom at Padre Island National Seashore and I see movement. A fleeting movement. On the floor. Not the kind of movement caused by the wind picking up a paper towel someone left behind. A skittering kind of movement. By something small and low to the ground.

Oh, gee. There's a critter in here. I follow the path of the skitter, pushing open the door of the first toilet stall. Nothing.

I move on to the second stall and place my palm on the door. I'm not afraid. This thing won't launch itself at my face.

So I push. And there, I see it, zipping under the divide into the third stall. A crab. A ghost crab actually. And he's no bigger around than a tennis ball. He's quite flat, though. And transparent gold.

And scared. And totally out of his element.

These guys come out at night (ergo the ghost name) and hate the light. So this poor thing must be in a panic.
And I know I have to save him. Because earlier today, a family triumphantly killed a rattle snake. Killed him. Why? Because he lives here. Where they decided to visit for a while. He wasn't threatening anyone. He was sunning himself. Where they could see him. And that got him dead.

So I didn't want them to see Marley's ghost (yes, I named him) dead. I also didn't want Marley to meet the 17 junior high school students from a Montessori School in Dallas, who are sleeping on the beach. Imagine the screams! And it'd get him dead, too, just like the rattler.

So I get Allen and he holds the bathroom door open (he's standing behind it, hiding) and I get to rustling. I move to the rear of the washroom, further inside than where Marley is, and bluster my way toward the door. He skedaddles (sideways ... that's his forward) away from me, just like I hoped, and and now he's almost free. Then ACK! He ducks behind a couple of crumpled up paper towels, under the sink, way in the corner.

That means I have to crawl on the floor, on my hands and knees, and get my hands within inches of Marley's pinchers to pluck his shelter away so I can rescue him.

I need tongs, or a pole. AH! I have my toothbrush. And my toothpaste, which is longer than my toothbrush.

So I kneel, crawl and reach, using the end of the toothpaste tube to crunch down the paper towel and drag it away.
Poor Marley. He's flattened himself into the corner and is now the size of a quarter. And he's not moving.

So I get my bath towel and flick it at him several times. Now he's mad.

Out comes those pinchers and he scissors the air as he runs away from me, toward the door, out into the night, to freedom.

Yea, Marley! He's alive and free.

1 comment:

Molly Fennell Manchenton said...

God bless you, Nancy. You're a friend to crabs everywhere! Sweet story. Thanks for sharing your adventures.