"A properly set up tank requires six inches of substrate," Regina read from the aquarium setup brochure, titled, 'Your New Crabitat,' as Henry and Emma worked on the new addition to the Mill's home: a lovely hermit crab with a sassy personality.
"A mixture of coarse sand and coconut fiber helps with water retention," Regina continued. "She'll want to bury herself underground when she gets ready to molt. She'll be very vulnerable at that time."
Henry and Emma both petitioned for a puppy, but that wasn't going to happen anytime soon. It was a wonder Regina had compromised at all. A hermit crab wasn't much of a pet in Emma's opinion.
"Do you think she can climb the sides of the tank and escape?" Emma asked eyeing the extravagant aquarium as she attached the little rope hammock and slide to the interior. Why a hermit crab needed a slide was beyond her, but Regina only wanted the best for Henry's new pet: Crushella, the hermit crabstress.
"Why would she want to leave? This top of the line aquarium is temperature controlled, and she's got a fresh water dish for drinking and a salt water dish for soaking in, extra shells of different sizes if she wants to change up her fashion…all these climbers and huts to lounge in…"
"Yeah, she's one lucky crab. Yep, a little crabby Jacuzzi. That deluxe tank is like living at the Four Seasons. I don't know…she's looks a bit adventurous…I hope she doesn't climb out on that rock and fall to her death," Emma peered into the track lit tank and tapped the glass with her fingernail.
"She doesn't like that, Emma," Henry pushed her hand away, acting very possessive of his new pet.
"Sorry, does it even have ears?" Emma hovered over the tank again. "Kinda prickly looking, isn't she?"
"Emma, focus on the crabitat," Henry said as he Regina both glared at Emma. She stepped back with her hands up and rolled her eyes.
The crustacean was as far from a cuddly canine as possible, but Henry seemed to like her, and she looked harmless enough with her little black and white shell and tiny pinchers that peeked out.
"Mom, if I promise to take care of her you said we can get her a friend, right?" Henry asked anxiously.
"Yes, dear…if you tend to Crushella and show a high level of responsibility, we'll go back to the store next weekend and get her companion, Urshella."
"Awesome! Can we make a welcome home dinner for her now?" Henry asked with excitement already running to the kitchen.
"What does it eat anyway?" Emma asked confused, looking through the many boxes of supplies Regina had purchased. She held up a personalized crab feeder spoon and lifted her eyebrows.
"She will eat healthy, dear. We'll make her vegetables and meats so she can get a wide range of vitamins and minerals, but land hermit crabs do have quite a sweet tooth so I'll make her fruit medleys and applesauce."
"You're really going to spend all that time to cook dinner and feed her real food?" Emma asked incredulously.
"Funny, I ask myself the same question when I make your favorite meal every Saturday night," Regina smiled playfully and patted Emma on the shoulder with affection. She puffed up in gratitude and almost started drooling thinking about Regina's roast.
She realized then why Regina was so against getting a puppy.
It was because they already had Emma.