Mud Crab


Hermit Carb Out Of Shell


  Hermit Crab


THE Hermit, or Soldier-Crab, is a very curious creature. 

Unlike other shell-fish, it has no shell of its own, which enlarges with its growth, but it selects an empty shell fitted to its size, which it finds on the shore, and into which it establishes itself so firmly that it moves about with it more or less briskly. 

When it outgrows its first habitation, it sets out in search of another shell a little larger and better suited for its increased size.

When the tide retires, the hermit may be seen leaving the old shell and examining other ones; and it will sometimes go in and try a great number, as a man might try many new clothes before suiting himself. When it finds one that suits its taste and seems to be comfortable, it enters and attaches itself so firmly to it that it cannot be taken out without pulling it to pieces. 

In no other race of creatures is such a practice known. It makes at the entrance, too, a cunningly devised barricade, and bravely defends its home against all comers; hence its name, 


This is a more appropriate name for it than the hermit, for unlike the latter, it likes company, and has attachments, especially for the Anemone, a curious sea animal.  The Anemone is sometimes fastened to the outside of the Crab's shell in the manner shown in the picture, and sometimes their mouths are so combined that they can feed together, agreeing most where others would least agree.





Purple Crab



DEAR CHILDREN: I am seated upon a large rock beside the river, under the shade of a great tree. It is a cool, breezy place, and I love to sit here watching the birds, insects, etc.

While doing this, I find many, many things to call my attention to the wonderful work of God in making this beautiful world for us to enjoy.

I see much to write about; but that which interests me most is the actions of two crabs in the water below my feet. 

They seem to be neighbors, one living under one stone, while just opposite, his friend dwells under another. I must say they are ugly-looking fellows with their long, awkward arms reaching out before them, and each ending in a savage claw.

One seems to be eating his supper; and those long arms and sharp claws are very useful in stirring up the mud, while two other smaller pairs, each ending with a finger and thumb, pick up the bits of food and carry them to his mouth so fast that I almost want to say, "Hold on, Mr. Crab. You will have the dyspepsia if you eat like that."

But see! There's a minnow about two inches from the crab's nose, and looking him right in the face. I should think he would be afraid; but guess he knows the crab cannot catch him, and he is careful to keep out of the way of his claws.

What do you suppose he wants? 

Wait a minute while I watch, and see if I can find out. Oh! I think he wants to get some of the particles the crab stirs up; for I just saw him dart down after one, and It seemed to frighten the crab so that he backed under his stone quicker than I supposed he could do. Don't you think the minnow was almost stealing? 

And would it not serve him right if he should be pinched a little in the crab's claw?

Now the crabs seem to be going out to meet each other, and what do I see? Yes, sir, the larger one has lost an arm! Do you suppose he was wounded in the army? If so, I think the Crab Government ought to give him a pension. But they are very near each other now, and they look so wicked that I expect they are going to have a battle just like some boys who can never meet without quarreling. If they have a fight, the one with two arms will have the advantage.

Now their arms are together; but they do not seem to hurt each other, nor do they seem to be angry, and, would you believe it? They seem to be embracing each other! There, they have parted, and gone back under their stones.

Well, I have learned a lesson; and if ugly crabs can love each other, I hope all the little boys and girls who read this will resolve that they will never, never be guilty of quarreling or unkindness. If they will do this, it will greatly please