Saturday, May 08, 2010

Diaphanous sand crab vs striped skink observed from a hammock during the final stretch of a great read*

If not for two dark all-seeing orbs the sand crab would be wholly diaphanous.

The lightning quick skink not quick enough on this occasion. Using its claw, the crab squeezes the life from the amphibian and then lassoes it around violently like a length of rope. The crab retreats down its hole when Dirk comes up keen to discuss alternative treatments for a scrape he received snorkeling. Apparently he was out of breath and lunged for the surface, arching his back like so and a jagged bit of coral lacerated his beehind. I pointed to the skink, he left for some paw paw.

Moments elapse, before the crab deems the coast clear and returns to collect lifeless skink. Skink arises and in a last gasp tries to escape, but the diminutive beach beast coolly collects him in his claw tightens his grip like a vice. Back-up arrives in the form of three neighbouring crabs, scuttling near. Crab with claw-toting skink does not appreciate this — having back-up — and begins dancing angrily in the sand. The three crabs exchange sneaky glances. Should they at least go for the tail the skink shed in fright a few centimetres from the hole. It's all over I reckon when the crab drags the skink into its hole, but incredibly, the skink pops its head up moments later, only to see the head pulled down as quickly as it popped up, the skink dragged down to the dungeon of its unquestionable demise.

I told Mom what had happened and she got pretty upset. "That's sick," she said, to which Dirk, lathered in a treatment that would cause an unpleasantly stingy reaction virtually unending, replied, "no Mom, that's life and death on the beach!"

*the reading material in question, Thomas Berger's Vital Parts, revisits the strangely enriching misadventures of Carl O. Reinhart, who, at age 44, is hitting all kinds of incendiary comic pinnacles. I would loan the book to my dear sister-in-law who would just as quickly hand it back to me and in her gruff voice protest: "he's a pervert, right?"

"He's man treating desire simply at its most base level, Pam."