A few months back, while exploring on the beach with one of my nephews, I was teaching him to leave the whole shells that could become hermit crab homes. He caught on really quick and only collected the broken shells to give to his Grammy. Every time he found a whole shell he would carry it to the waters edge to leave it for hermit crabs to find. I was pleased with the success of that lesson.
Today, the Hermit Crab taught me a lesson. I was on the beach at Discovery Park leading a Tot Walk. I had seven toddlers, their adults and even a couple infants along for adventure. We had already seen a lot of hermit crabs, some big, some small, some who liked to hide and others who wanted to make a dash for it as fast as they could. In one of the little pools I picked up a small broken Dogwinkle shell, to move it out of the way. When surprise of surprises, there inside the little cup of the broken shell, a space not even a quarter inch in diameter was the tiniest hermit crab I’d ever seen. In a broken shell. Well, darn. Time to change that lesson, maybe. Tiny hermit crabs need homes too, I guess.