Monday, December 14, 2009

Billy the Blue Lobster Gets a New Home

Billy the Blue Australian Lobster lived in a large aquarium with many other fishes and eels and snails and other lobsters. This aquarium was in a neighborhood pet shop. Many people came to peer through the sides of his home and peck on the glass to try to get them to move around. Sometimes the Angelfish would sedately swim up to the side of the glass to see what all the commotion was about. Usually the lobsters would jump in all directions to get away from the strange noises and sights. The lobsters were grouchy sorts of animals, and they fought over everything. Sometimes they would fight each other and one or both of them would lose part of a leg or one of their pincers. One time an especially grumpy lobster picked a fight with Billy and Billy lost part of one of his pincers. It didn't really hurt, but it was inconvenient. Many of the lobsters and fishes were caught by a huge net that came down into the water and lifted them out never to be seen again. Finally, Billy was the only Blue Lobster left in the aquarium and nobody wanted a lobster with part of a pincer missing. One day, this really nice young man came into the pet shop and saw Billy. He thought Billy was very pretty and would be just the new pet for his aquarium at home. So the big net dipped down into the water and caught up Billy, took him out of his aquarium, and put him in a small bag filled with water. His new owner proudly took him home. When Billy found himself in a new aquarium with new fishes, new shells, and a lovely new "sunken ship" to hide in, he didn't know what to think. At first he was frightened. He wondered if there might be some other Blue Lobsters hiding somewhere who might jump out suddenly and want to fight him. He saw a couple of Veil Tail Angelfish swimming slowly around. They came up to him to see this newcomer to their home, but they were too dignified to make friends. There was also an Orange Apple Snail slowly crawling up the wall eating algae. Billy crawled around to explore this new place. He crawled into the "sunken ship" and was delighted to find that this would be an excellent place to play and hide. Except for the shark. There was a redtailed shark who already lived in the "sunken ship." Sam the Shark did not like this intrusion into his home. He swam straight at Billy and tried to frighten him away, but Billy stood bravely with his one good pincer and his one broken pincer raised high above his head. When Sam got close enough, Billy pinched him right on the nose! This surprisd Sam and he zipped out of the sunken ship and swam around to the other side and peeked in to see what kind of thing this was that could pinch him. After this, Sam would chase Billy and Billy would chase Sam right back and pinch his beautiful red tail. They fought and played like this for some time, while the Angelfish and the Orange Apple Snail watched, until one day Billy didn't feel just right. He didn't feel sick, and he didn't feel hungry, and he didn't feel tired, yet something was wrong. He had a sort of tight feeling. Billy didn't know what was happening and he was just the tiniest bit afraid, so he crept into the hollow prow of the "sunken ship" and hid there for a very long time. His new owner could not find him, although he looked and looked. Everyone thought Billy had crawled out of the aquarium and gotten lost like the Orange Apple Snail had done. Billy's new owner looked high and low for him--under the couch, under the drapes, under the bookcase--but he could not find him anywhere. He even picked up the "sunken ship" and turned it over to see if Billy were hiding under there, but he could not find Billy. But Billy was holding on very tightly in the hollow prow of the "sunken ship" and did not fall out when his owner turned it over. His owner didn't know what to do. He really liked Billy, and he was sad that he was lost. Later, Billy came out of his hiding place, and guess what? He had a new, whole pincer in place of the broken one! He was also a bit larger than before. He had crawled out of his old exoskeleton, which had become too small for him. This is why he had had a sort of tight feeling. Billy was so proud of his new pincers and his new size! Now he could really zip around and tease Sam the Redtailed Shark!

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