A few years ago I decided to rent a room at the Outer Banks of North Carolina all by myself for a relaxing weekend. The John Yancey is a prime Oceanfront motel with few amenities, but it is right on the ocean. All the newer places at the beach are set behind the dunes, but the John Yancey was older and somehow hadn't been washed away yet.
I selected a room on the second floor hoping to sit on the deck at night with the lights off, watching the beach and what stars could be seen above the horizon wash and glare of security lights.
Did I just see a scorpion? No, it was a fiddler crab, scurrying sideways across the sand from a dune next door, to stop just under my balcony to preen and glint in the moonlight.
I could see completely through its body; its organs pulsating under its translucent exoskeleton. I marvelled in the perfection of this creature of God which lay fewer than twenty feet away from where I sat in the darkness.
Now, in my view appeared a young girl, maybe 6 or 8 years old. She was probably staying in the room below me. She was so pretty and fair with blonde hair and deep blue eyes; an example of pure, innocent youth. "Will she be afraid of it?", I wondered as the little girl approached the crab, studying it carefully. I decided she'd probably daintily try to trap it and take it home as a pet.
As I watched, she swung her sand pail and with one swat she crushed the sand fiddler to a pulp. It twitched once and was no more.
-- Dalton Hammond