The sun beats down from the sky, making us squint. Man, I really wish I hadn’t lost my sunglasses in the sea. Twice.
We trek across the dunes, sliding and sinking in the loose sediment as the ocean grows larger and more daunting the closer we get. We’re going on a crab hunt. We’re not scared. The old children’s book runs through my head while we walk to catch an invertebrate for science class. Oh no! The sea! The deep cold sea! We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. We’ll have to go through it!
The waves crash in front of me, spraying me with salt water, gentler water from the wave runs forward lapping at my ankles trying to pull me in. The waves crash again.
“Go! Go! Go!” someone yells from behind me.
Knees drop to the ground, chunks of dirt fly everywhere as we dig in the wet sand hunting for the holes from which bubbles appeared only moments ago.
There is barking in the background as the dogs join in the fun. They don’t know what we’re looking for but they want to help.
Dirt flies into the air and hits me in the face. “Ow!”
I look up to push the dog away but now there is a bigger concern.
“WAVE!!!” I shout.
We stumble backwards, tripping and falling over nothing in particular, managing to stand up only seconds before the next wave hits.
We look out for air bubbles. None. Those smart crabs know we’re coming for them.
Moving across the beach as another wave comes in, someone calls out. I pay no attention to it.
Man I’m really hungry. I want some chicken legs right now. Oh, oh yeah, they’re called chicken drumsticks. Whoops.
I look up to see Mallory staring at me. Did I say that out loud?
Then I spot something in her hand. She’s reaching towards me. Thats right, I have the sieve. She places a crab in the sieve while Grace fills a small jar up with sand and water.
Jeff walks over, “Woah, that’s a huge mole crab! Good job!”
We put the mole crab into the small jar and he burrows down in the sand. We screw the lid on and head back to class, which is basically show and tell.
Talking goes on in the distance as I mess around with the crab, tilting the jar sideways and watching the crab try to burrow into the shallow sand before I tilt it to the other side.
The voice in the background comes into focus “Alright, who’d like to go next?” Mallory’s hand shoots up and my group gets up.
We talk about what we did and then pass around the jar with the crab in it. Comments float around the group of people in front of us and then someone coughs and speaks up.
“Uh, that’s a scud. Its more shrimp than crab.”
Mallory shoots daggers from her eyes at Jeff.
“Jeff. You lied to us.”
Wow, our own science teacher lied to us about science…. How cold