Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Hermit Crab's New Shell

Friday Fiction is hosted by
Sara over at Fiction Fusion.
Head that way for more inspirational fiction,
or add a link to your own.
***

The Hermit Crab's New Shell
--with a nod to "The Emperor..."--

By cutting out her plankton snacks

An urban legend states,

A hermit crab, by dieting

Had scaled down her weight.


Her toned-up exoskeleton

With dwindled fatty cells,

Necessitated acquisition

Of a slimmer shell.


The shop she chose to patronize

Was Decapod Boutique.

She'd clams to barter for a shell

To show off her physique.


Inside the shop, all eyes on her,

That gave them pause from work.

At once she was converged upon

By two aggressive clerks.


They sized her up from cheliped

To abdomen to claw,

Then grabbed some shells suspended from

The hangers on the wall.


The first shell for perusal was

A modest a-line shell,

Her thoughts—Improper dry-cleaning

Had left a briny smell!


The next shell was a bit risqué,

Très scant –décolleté.

When "scandalous" escaped her mouth,

They whisked the shell away.


The third shell's prior owner had

A heart with "MOM" tattoo

Emblazoned 'cross the backside that

Could not be hid from view.


The next one, a bit worse for wear—

For wrinkles lined the shell,

Apparently 'twas slumbered in

By former clientele.


'Twas then that one clerk winked an eye

As she began to tell

The attributes and glories of

"The shell to end all shells."


"A shell that was exquisite,

'Twas of antiquated fame.

A shell that sensed its wearer's mood

And warranted acclaim."


But there was one disclaimer,

"Though an ancient work of art,

The only crabs that see this shell

Are crabs with cheerful hearts."


They sashayed as they hauled it in,

'Twas plastic-wrap encased.

With pageantry and circumstance,

The clerks were stoic-faced.


Then hanging ties, unknotted by

The sales clerk entourage,

But was this just a shell game

Or an optical mirage?


She squinted thrice then scrunched her eyes

And dread began to swell,

Was not her crab heart cheerful?

For she couldn't see the shell!


Then they commenced to help her—

Incredulity dispelled.

They pulled and tugged and shoved on her

To wedge her in the shell.


Not sure if it was fitted straight,

She tried to shift the shell,

Not only could it not be seen—

It couldn't be felt, as well!


She could not let them ascertain

Her crabby heart lacked cheer,

Though obviously the reason—

That much was pretty clear.


She paid the price in clamshells

Then departed the boutique.

But breezes filtered through the shell,

'Twas felt by her physique!


She scanned the eyes of passersby,

In shock, they turned away.

And mothers shielded children's eyes.

They quickly went their way.


She thought, They harbor malice!

No cheer, their heart's possess!

It's clear my shell can not be seen.

It left her in distress.


Oh, somewhere hearts were cheerful,

Though here, they were appalled!

'Twas vocalized by one young crab,

"She wears no shell at all!"


***
© Beth LaBuff --May 2011
***
The woman Folly is rowdy;
she is gullible and knows nothing.
Proverbs 9:13 HCSB

5 comments:

Cozy in Texas said...

What a lovely blog you have. The book covers are very creative.
Ann

Yvonne Blake said...

Smile...love it!

Sara Harricharan said...

LOL!!! The poor crab! :) Very fun, Beffy! ^_^ I didn't catch the "Emperor" reference until I got to the end and then I just felt sorry for the poor thing. Teehee. Good one!

Rita Garcia said...

You blog is beautiful! Laughing at the Days, indeed! Delightful read!

Annie Lauren said...

Cute blog design you made. Thank you for reading my blog:)I'll try to read urs and comment just as frequently