Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: The Family Pet( 05/15/08)
The Family WHAT?
By Betsy Markman
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A glimpse is all I've caught.
We hoped he'd be a lot of fun. . .
I fear 'twas all for naught.
We bought the best we could for him,
New tank with lid, spare shells,
Expensive sand, salt water tabs,
All the whistles and bells.
We even got a friend for him
Or her. . .we know not which
We only hoped their intro would
Come off without a hitch.
How'd it go, you ask me? Well,
I guess that all depends
On whether hiding in their shells
Makes them the best of friends.
If it does, I guess that means
They like <i>us</i> very much
And gratitude is why they stay
Completely out of touch.
You see, as far as we can tell
We feed an empty tank
It must be sand that ate the food
And rocks the water drank.
The heating pad provides its warmth
For nothing but the air
And no one but the peaty moss
Soaks up our tender care.
But have no fear, they're still alive
Though we never see 'em
Though their shells stay motionless, like
In a wax museum.
We know, 'cause when it's dark they work
With their stealthy movements
Rearranging everything in
Nightly home improvements.
Is this a pet? Well I suppose
You might just call it that
Although by day it seems to be
A vacant habitat.
I've looked it up, and Webster says
Hermits crave solitude
And "crab" is just a nickname for
A grumpy, grouchy dude.
That must explain why our two guys
Stay buried nice and deep
And only dig their way out when
The family's asleep.
I ask again, "Is this a pet?"
I guess it's up for grabs
At least they've lived up to their names. . .
They're true hermits, and crabs!
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