.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, December 20, 2004


Crab-fed Octopus

Two of my friends were fishing off Kodiak Island this summer. One of them owns a fairly new commercial fishing boat - got a deal due to the collapse of the wild salmon business. In their wanderings over the sea they dropped a crab trap one day, intending to pick it up the next day. Well, other things intervened and they didn't get back to the trap for five days.
Here's what they found. Firstly, a large octopus was trying to escape but was trapped, as it turned out, due to his over-full stomach. (They killed the octopus for some friends whose kids love octopus fritters.) There were two live crabs and the empty carapaces of eleven more.
So imagine how the sinister tableau from the inky depths might have played out. The crabs get trapped (so far, so good). Then a large octopus happens upon the scene. He squeezes into the trap and immediately murders and eats one or two of the crabs. Then he hangs from the ceiling (these traps are about six feet on a side) and naps. He wakes and queries his stomach. Maybe naps some more. Meantime, the crabs are in complete terror. They push against the netting clanking their armor against each other, scuttling over the corpses of their comrades. (Okay, crabs are about as uncomradely as it's possible to be, but we're having fun here, right?) Mr. Octo rouses himself and decides that he deserves a big dinner to celebrate his good luck. He hangs down a bit and drops a tentacle, flops it around a bit, feels an empty carapace that reminds him of his previous delight, and then feels a live, fat, juicy crab. The crab barely has time to feel the terror when Octo swoops upon him, engulfs him with shroud and tentacles, punctures the shell with his powerful beak and feeds. Our crabby friend is lucky if he dies right away. Maybe he lingers for a few minutes - minutes of agony and despair. Mr. Octo feeds relentlessly, without a care in the world. Repeats over the following days. Evil bastard.
I, on the other hand, have rarely menaced a crab with anything fiercer than a ramekin of melted butter. We humans are so much nicer.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

eXTReMe Tracker
Support Bloggers' Rights!
Support Bloggers' Rights!

Search this site powered by FreeFind