True Hermit Crab Stories


A very prim and proper lady came into our beach town shop dressed to the hilt (high heels, buffed nails, jewels, hat) - the whole nine yards and softly called out to our manager, "Sir, oh sir, could you please help me." Our manager went to her immediately, at the same time mentally questioning the attire. She then said, "I would like one of those hermit crabs for my grandchild. She has requested one." He proceeded to help her pick one out and as she did she said, "Sir, could you please show me exactly where to put the batteries and I'll also take an extra pack."


A very adorable little boy stood over our cages of over an hour while his mother shopped. He proceeded to ask questions and often related his own six year hermit experience. Several people carried on quite lengthy conversations with him thinking he was an expert or perhaps he was one of our children. One lady, missing some of the conversations, asked him, "Exactly what do hermit crabs eat?" He said, "Oh they eat anything you give them. They love cereal, lettuce, this special hermit crab food, cookies, cake, peanut butter and even pizza; but they absolutely, positively DO NOT LIKE SPINACH."

I wonder who else doesn't like spinach?


At one time one of our stores was below a condo where many elderly lived during the winter and many visited us daily. One particular 88 year old hated even the site of hermit crabs and would walk by them with her head turned. One day her great grandchild who lived several states away begged her to bring him a hermit crab. So she marched in and purchased not one but three of these little lively critters. She asked many questions, got all the necessary paraphernalia and carried them out FAR away from her body. She was not happy about the situation but willing to do anything for her grandchild. The very next day, before we opened, she stood excitedly by our door. She could not wait to tell us about her night with her newly named friends. She loved them. They kept her awake, active and talking all night. She said they talked to her and yes, they do make a chirping noise. She said she couldn't get over their different personalities. She then purchased three more for her great grandson and kept those three for herself.

The hermits became her project, her true pets. She took them for walks on the beach, bathed them and fed them special food. Cost was no object when it came to her hermits. She then purchased three more making a family of six. Over the rest of the summer and throughout the next winter I guess she spent a great deal of time with her hermits.

Well spring arrived and she came to visit. She referred to them all by name and she had each marked accordingly. She told us she had trained them to come when called. She said they wandered loose in her apartment and slept in a special bed. Now who would believe that? After all, I'd been selling hermits since I was a tot in 1953, and I never heard of such a thing.

She ran up to get them and came back, all six in hand. She showed me their names on the backs of their initialed shells and then set them at the end of our then 50 foot store. She called them one by one by name and YES, they did come and ONLY when she called them. Believe it or not, I saw it with my own eyes.

Her hermits knew her well and were lovingly trained by her. So anything is possible.

Many tell us that their hermits start scratching at their bowls just at the time the kids are expected home from school, knowing it will be play time. I guess you'd have to say, Hermits do make perfect pets.