It was a hot, sunny day with hardly a cloud in the sky. A pair of six-year-olds ran across the beach, their bare feet digging into the hot sand.
"Kaoru, Kaoru, look!" One of them cried excitedly to his identical companion, his amber eyes alight with discovery.
"It's a crab! A crab!" The other boy giggled. "Let's put it in the bucket! Pass it here, Hikaru!"
The bucket was passed, and the crab was very carefully picked up by Hikaru, his small fingers well away from its pincers. They watched the crab scuttle around the bottom of the bucket.
"It looks kinda lonely, don't you think?" Kaoru said, looking mournfully at their lone crab.
"You're right. We need to find it some friends." His brother decided.
"Where do crabs live?" Kaoru wanted to know.
Hikaru frowned thoughtfully, scanning the beach for any other crabs. There were none in sight.
"I don't know." He answered his disappointed brother. Then he was hit by a sudden idea. "Hey! Maybe Oneechan knows!"
Both boys scrambled up and raced over to their current nanny. She was pretty new, and had only been their nanny for about a week or so. She was hired after the previous nanny had an unfortunate mishap with a tub of blueberry syrup, courtesy of the twins.
"Oneechan!" The two boys hollered as they raced up to her.
"Yes?" She replied nervously. She had heard plenty of stories about what these two troublemakers had done to previous nannies, so she was very wary of them. But she needed a job, so she'd had no choice but to take this one. It seemed the boys' parents had been desperate for a nanny. That wasn't a good sign, but so far they hadn't done anything to her. She should've been relieved, but this only added to her anxiety. She knew they were going to do something horrible to her, and worrying about when it would happen was driving her crazy.
"Where do crabs live?" One of them asked her. She had no idea which one he was. The two of them looked and acted so alike that telling them apart was virtually impossible.
Relieved that it was only an innocent question, she said "Well, crabs like to hide under rocks."
The two children looked puzzled by this.
"Rocks? Why would they want to hide under rocks?" One of them asked her. They gazed up at her with innocent, expectant faces.
"So they can hide from predators and stay out of the sun." She replied. "Why? Are you looking for crabs?"
"Yes! We've already got one, see?" They exclaimed, holding up the bucket for her inspection.
"Wow! Good job!" She praised. "Let's see how many you can find."
"Okay!" They trotted off to a patch of rocks, their red bucket bumping against their heels. The nanny felt sorry for the poor crab bouncing around in the bucket.
The twins started picking up some of the smaller rocks. There were no crabs underneath them, much to their disappointment.
"Was Oneechan lying to us?" Hikaru asked in dismay. He looked back across the beach at their nanny, who was reading a book under the beach umbrella.
"I don't know. I guess so." Kaoru said, heaving a sigh of disappointment. He really wanted to catch more crabs. He shifted his feet and a slightly larger rock tumbled away. Kaoru gasped with joy.
"Look, Hikaru! A crab!" He pointed to the crab that was hurriedly scuttling out of the hole to find another hiding spot. "Get it!"
Hikaru scrambled after the crab. In his rush to grab it, he forgot to be wary of its pincers. "Ouch!" He yelped, dropping it. The crab scuttled under another stone and disappeared.
"Are you okay, Hikaru?" Kaoru asked in concern.
"I'm okay. It was only a little one." Hikaru said as he inspected his injured finger. "But now we know Oneechan was right! Let's look for more crabs!"
Kaoru agreed, and the boys continued their search.
A while later, they had a lot of crabs in their bucket, and they were bored of looking for more.
"What should we do now?" Kaoru asked his brother. Hikaru always had the best ideas.
Hikaru frowned thoughtfully. Then his face took on a sly, slightly evil smile. "Well y'know, it would be a shame to let all our crab-hunting go to waste." He said slowly.
Kaoru's face took on a look identical to his brothers. Anyone who saw them would have thought they looked very sinister at that moment, and would have quickly fled the area.
"Yes, but what should we do with them?" He asked, knowing exactly where his twin was going with this.
"You thinking what I'm thinking?"
"You know I am."
People on the road near the beach looked up in alarm as a woman screamed, frantically trying to shake the crabs from her clothes.
The twins never did see that nanny again after that.