Monday, March 21, 2016
My friend Becky and I were sitting on the bench outside of Vaughan's Lounge on a Saturday evening, about two glasses of cheap Chardonnay into it, when suddenly she peered out at something in the street. "It's a crawfish!" she said.
The night before had been one of Big Chris's weekly crawfish boils. Looks like a fugitive had made a run for it and he'd got this far, a mere 50 or so yards from the kitchen. There he was, scuttling along in the gutter, bent on freedom.
"I don't want him to get run over," said Becky, and she started to pick him up, but his claws opened and closed menacingly.
I thought I'd give it a try but he intimidated me, too.
A few minutes later, we saw Mario heading toward the bar. "Mario! Can you tell Big Chris there's a crawfish out here in the street?"
Mario bent down and expertly picked the little guy up. We've all seen steamed crawfish, bright coral red. But this guy was the color of a thundercloud, brown-blue and dusty from the street. He was a good-sized mudbug, alive and kicking - and angry. Even in Mario's fingers he waved his red-speckled claws at us to back off.
"What are we going to do with him?"
Becky figured we could put him in one of the yards down the street. At least that way he can't get run over by a car. Mario showed her where to grip him to avoid getting pinched. She held him at arms length, his claws waving and his antennae winding in circles around his head, and we ran around the corner, She bent down and released him in the cool grass and weeds.
"Do you think he'll be all right? How long do you suppose they can live out of water?'
"I don't know."
"What about cats?"
"Crap, I forgot about cats."
"Well, he's pretty lucky he got this far, anyway."