Two hours crab fishing, and only a leg to show for it. Okay, it may have been a crab’s leg, but judging by it’s already defunct existence, if something defunct can be said to exist, then it could hardly be put to good purpose in the culinary sense. ‘Rotten Crab’s Leg Paste’ just didn’t have the same appeal as the ‘Classic Crab Spread’ or ‘Crab Paste with Soya Bean Oil’ that Mother so often put in my sandwiches.
How could I go back home, with just a leg to show for my first unaccompanied trip to the beach? No, I couldn’t do it – the leg, as it was, would have to go back from whence it came. Maybe, just maybe, if I put it back, it might have a second chance at life.
After all, didn’t the Iron Man’s detached hand, in that Ted Hughes’ book, go around collecting up all of the other broken-off bits: arms, torso, head and legs, and somehow put them all back together again?
There was nothing for it, but to act upon my instinct so, returning to the edge of the rock pool, I tipped the contents of my bucket -all one leg of it – back into life. And sure enough, within seconds, a huge claw, probably a crab’s, grabbed my leg, the one and only leg I had dared to dip into the pool, and nipped it, right on the tip of it, right on my big toe.
Just one leg. One active leg. How would I make across Beach Front Road, and back to Mother now?
By Jay Cool, June 2020