A Devil and a Crab
My earliest crab memory dates back to when I was a wee child who woke up in the middle of the night to a strange rustling sound.
I awoke from my stupor and swung my legs over the side of the bed only to land on something hard, scaly... and moving...
Too young to know about the critters and too old to believe that the ground had turned into a hungry monster, curiosity made me flip the switch of the night lamp.
And there... scurrying away from the warm yellow spotlight...on the purple tiled floor of my parent's 1st floor apartment in a respectable neighbourhood... was a red crab the size of my fist. I quickly yanked my foot away from the ground... only to see another cheeky creature dashing under my bed.
I remember yelling like a banshee. I remember jumping up and down on bed thinking it was the worst nightmare come alive. My house was overrun with crabs and we were about to be taken down by the scarlet army waving their pincers high!
I also remember thinking that it was the most exciting thing that had ever woken me up in all the years of my existence.
Soon, however, the parents appeared along with the cook who was the cause of the crustacean invasion. She had bought fresh (read: alive and scuttling) crabs in a basket from her seaside home and somehow over the course of the next five minutes the two errant escapees were restored to the basket and it was secured again.
I remember feeling a little bad for the poor creatures who had attempted to escape their cruel fate (read: our lunch the next day)
I also remember eating the selfsame crabs the next day. And believe me tinged with guilt they tasted sweeter - a bit like the famed forbidden apple.
That was the original sin.
You nipped at my feet
On an expansive stretch of pristine white sands
On a moonlit night
By the silvery waters of the Andaman Sea
You scuttled sideways into my plate
A study in scarlet.
Curried in a medley of orange and green
Devilled in a duet of cheese and pepper
Steamed in a bouquet of butter and garlic
Fried with the trio of tomato, onion and potato
You came to me in a goblet of silver on ice.
You came to me on a banana leaf with rice.
I tore you apart with my ten digits
I hacked at your sweet creamy innards with my gleaming fork
I attacked your pincers
With my powerful weapons of crustacean destruction.
You waged a mean battle
Even as a dead one
Refusing to yield
Nice and easy
To a gentle poke
Or a violent jab.
I am not sorry I ate you.
My dear "pair of ragged claws"
You made a sinner of me.
This post is a vindication of my sin. It is dedicated to all the little river crabs and all the giant sea crabs that have found their way into my belly.