At Times Unsupported


The soft-shell crab is not a special breed;
it is an ordinary crab that has moulted its old exoskeleton.
It does this periodically.
Patiently working
its way out of its old support,
which lacks the elasticity
to stretch and fit its maturing body.
This shedding process is critical;
getting stuck means death.

When removed from its wet habitat
before a new shell has formed
and hardened, the soft-shell crab
stays weak and vulnerable.
Some would say, at their best:
a delicacy,
or easy pickings for lazy predators,
impatient, greedy, big eyes
on stalks and gaping mouths.

The soft-shell crab is an ordinary crab
that did not get a fair chance
at rebuilding a proper support.

14 thoughts on “At Times Unsupported”

  1. Evolution might teach softshell crabs to be outspoken, consequent, dominant and from time to time aggressive. Traits they need to keep things far enough from their vulnerable skin.

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    1. Interesting theory ๐Ÿ™‚ The soft-shell crab does develop a hard shell again if left in peace in its environment, but for a brief time it needs to hide from predators.


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