Monday, November 15, 2010

Crab Dream

Sunday was a great, grey morning. I got up and made breakfast, thinking about the lingering images from my dream: a big crab scrabbling around the floor and somehow losing its long legs and claws. It rolled on its tummy and scuttled away on little legs like my fingers. Odd dream.
A quick hour in the little Dragonfly inflatable took me to see the familiar places along the east shore. The kingfisher was calling again, there were harlequin ducks and mallards and coots drifting along the glassy water.
Maybe I should have been practising speed over distance, but when a family of otters climbed half-way up a rocky slope, that was my cue to drift for a while and watch them gambol and tumble. One of them was gnawing on a mussel shell, and prying at it to get the meat out.
Coming back, I passed the little rock garden and saw some splashing to my left. It looked a little as if several small fishes about the size of my fingers were struggling at the surface. I paddled a little closer and saw it wasn't a fish.
It was a crab, lying on its back on the surface and thrashing its legs wildly. A second later it rolled onto its tummy and sank, moving its legs as if it were swimming down. "Wait a minute," I said, looking down into the winter-clear water as the crab sank to the bottom ten feet down. "Crabs don't swim UP at the surface. How did you get up here, Brother Crab?" And as it scuttled away, I saw that it was missing a claw. Maybe both.
Did an otter bring the crab up and struggle with it before swimming away? Odd, but as the crab scuttled away it looked like the one in my dream.

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