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The Great Crayfish Rescue

When: Midnight, April 10th, 2023

A few nights ago, I was out walking with israelistyping near the local college campus. We had been walking around for a while and we were headed back to my car when I saw something on the ground. "That's a crayfish... no, that's a leaf... no... that's a crayfish!"

From Wikipedia:

Crayfish [...] are also known as baybugs, crabfish, crawfish, crawdaddies, crawdads, freshwater lobsters, mountain lobsters, mudbugs, rock lobsters, signal crawfish, or yabbies.

Around here, I usually hear people call them "crawfish", but I'm just going to stick with crayfish for this article, since that seems to be the more widely used name for them. You know, even though they're crustaceans, not fish... So anyway, there was a crayfish, just sitting there on the sidewalk! Keep in mind, we live in a landlocked town, with no natural bodies of water anywhere near us. I poked it, and it was alive! I picked it up, even, and it brandished its claws at me, though I had it from the back where it couldn't snip me. I was completely baffled at finding a living, seemingly pretty healthy crayfish in such a strange place, when israelistyping (Iz for short) told me to turn around. It was a food truck that served crayfish! This little guy had made a break for it!

Well, Iz and I weren't gonna let its efforts thusfar go to waste. Our new crustacean friend was a little feisty at first, but it seemed to realize before long that we weren't going to hurt it—at least that's what I like to think. Iz looked online and confirmed that crayfish live in freshwater. We weren't near any natural freshwater ponds or lakes or anything, as I said earlier, but he told me that there was a man-made pond on campus that even had fish in it, and it wasn't too long of a walk from where we were. So I handed our mini-lobster pal off to Iz, and we headed in that direction. On the way there, I thought to reach out to my friend Apollo, who keeps shrimp, which I figured was close enough for her to be able to help us. I filled her in on the situation, and funny enough, she told me she also keeps crayfish! She told us we had to get it in water ASAP or its gills would dry out and it would die! Concerningly, our little friend had stopped pinching the sleeves of Iz's hoodie and was looking pretty tired. Luckily, by the time Apollo told us that, we were already at the pond. We deliberated for a bit whether this would be the best place to put it, or if we should try to keep it alive until the morning and take it to a natural freshwater source, but we eventually decided that the sooner we got it into water, the better, so we put it in the pond.

Maybe it would have been better to get it to the lake, but that would have been a 20 minute drive and I think they barricade it off after dark. There were also the ponds off the walking trail near my place, but it's pretty dangerous after dark, therefore it's also closed then because of it. The water in the pond on campus was a little dirty, but on closer examination, it seemed to be mostly grass trimmings, with just a little bit of actual trash. It wasn't a glamorous studio apartment with a view, but it was better than the sidewalk, and time was of the essence. Initially, I set it down in the shallow end, submerging most of its body. It kind of just sat there, not moving much. I once again consulted Apollo, who said I could just toss it into the center of the pond. Well, I didn't do that, but I did set it in a spot where it would be fully submerged. It sunk to the bottom and immediately came back alive and started crawling around! We were so relieved! Iz and I hugged it out for a job well done. This was another moment that made me think "man, I should probably go vegan." At least I already don't eat seafood! Iz doesn't either, so this crayfish really lucked out. I hope our little buddy is still going strong.