Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ode to a hermit crab

I believe that the King family business of pet-sitting has closed before it got off the ground. Actually, the in-your-home branch of the business is still intact. Jesse has done wonderfully with Frankie, the robust cat belonging to the neighbors. She (yes, Frankie is a she) is alive and well. However, please do not ask us to watch your pet in our home as our home has been shut down for this type of business due to Department of Public Welfare concerns.

You see, it all started when Eden's friend asked her to watch her pet hermit crab for the week. Eden was excited that her hermit crab, Bella, would have a friend for the week so of course she agreed. All went well for the first five days and Bella and Pebbles seemed to be enjoying the company. On the morning of day six we awoke to find Pebbles out of her shell (ewww, grotesque!) and on the floor of the cage. Warned that sometimes they exit their shells only to molt and even though they appear dead, they are not sincerely dead. So, we waited. Twenty-four hours. But the hermit crab was still dead, not just merely dead. We had to break the bad news to Eden's friend's mother who had to break the bad news to the seven year old. Not good. Bella immediately went into mourning and moved into her deceased friend's empty shell; apparently in an attempt to remain close to Pebbles forever.

Thankfully, having a pastor in the family can come in handy at these times so even though we failed in the vet department, we were able to take over the funeral arrangements for Pebbles. Pastor John lovingly wrapped the deceased in a white fabric and plastic-lined metal coffin and she is lying in state in our garage. The public is invited to calling hours daily for the next week. Next Wednesday, right on schedule, the kind and compassionate folks at Waste Management Funeral Home will bring their big, green hearse roadside to pick her up.

For those that couldn't make it to the funeral service, I give you excerpts below:

Pastor John spoke about the life of Pebbles and all of the good she has done. He reminded us that, "She's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead. However, we do not grieve as those who have no hope. As William Shakespeare once said, 'All that live must die, passing through nature to eternity.' Pebbles not only passed through nature, she was a part of it until a large net scooped her up and delicately placed her in the wire box of joy where she was chosen by an adoring child."

The funeral dirge was sung by the Lollipop Guild. They moved us all to tears with their beautiful rendition of Crusta Est Et Vacuus, Non Est Hic (or The Shell Is Empty, He Is Not Here, for those not familiar with this beautiful Latin hymn by the 18th century songwriter Oceanio Maritime Cousteau). They chose the aqua-marine colored choir gowns, decorated with pearls. The congregation joined in with 4-part harmony, closing the service with Under the Sea.

Reflections and memories of a hard-working life were given by Pebbles' closest friends, Dory, Nemo, Sebastian, Flounder, Flipper, and SpongeBob.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Crabitats of Love: Foster Care and Adoption Services for Lost and Abandoned Hermit Crabs.

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