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Henry The Hungry Crawfish
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"Time's awastin'", Henry, the little crawfish yelled. "Git up! Git up! Mama, git up! We've gotta start diggin our tunnel and build our mud house!"
The sun was just starting to peak up over the edge of the world, it was early.
But Henry realized he was hungry and it was breakfast time. "Mama, I'm hungry. What's there to eat?" Henry's mama tilted her crusty head while her beady eyes lolled to one side, and squeeked, "Henry, I think there's some leftover sac-a-lait fish meat in the pantry." Henry rocked up and down on his 8 skinny little legs ponderin if he felt like having some fish for breakfast or not. "Awlright, Mama, that'll be fine" and he crawled over to the pantry and used his right little claw to pull open the pantry door. He pulled out a hollowed out pecan shell finding the stinky fish meat inside. "Mmmm mmm! Mama! The stinkier the better!" You see, Henry could be like an old yard dog rolling in some stanky old rotten thing.
Mama crawfish, smiled. Henry was such a good little crawfish. Always wanting to do something and looking for something adventuresome to get into. Today was the day they were going to dig a little escape tunnel to their burrow, and then they were going to start the sides of the mud castle to their burrows' main entrance.
After breakfast, in which Mama crawfish couldn't resist having some of that stanky sac-a-lat too, Henry crept up to the edge of their burrow and looked outside. It was getting light and there was a low lying mist hovering above the ground just the way Henry liked it. He felt like he could crawl around on top of the ground, undercover in the mist and nothing and no one could see him.
He backed up a little bit, "Mama, it's foggy outside. We can start diggin' and haulin' mud around now." Mama crawfish sighed, "OK Henry, let's get on it, but let me go out first."
Henry backed down into the burrow a bit and let Mama pass. Mama crawfish edged up to the entrance checking outside with her two long tentacle whiskers. Just to make sure there were no coons or possums hanging around waiting to grab her and Henry up for their own breakfast. The coast was clear and they inched their way to the outside.
"OK Henry, let's go over here a little bit behind our main tunnel. We'll start digging a new escape tunnel there. So, Mama crawfish went over there with Henry right behind her. She put her head down and started pushing in the mud. Henry watched for a few seconds and crawled beside her and started doing the same thing. After a while, they'd gotten a good dent going in the mud and Mama crawfish said, "OK Now let's start pulling the mud back with our claws." So they did and after another long while the only thing showing of their bodies above ground were the ends of their flipper tails.
"Break time!" Mama crawfish announced.
"Whew, Mama, I'm tired. I sure am glad it's break time."
"Me too." Mama crawfish said. "Let's take us a little rest".
By now the sun was up good and the misty fog was gone.
It's getting a little bit hot too, Mama. Can we go inside for a while"?
"That's a good idea Henry. Let's go down in the burrow and cool off in the mud". So, they went back inside their burrow into the dark cool dampness that was their home.
After napping an hour or so, Henry asked,
"Is it time to go back outside now, Mama?"
Mama crawfish replied, "Yep, let's get a move on".
So back outside they went, Mama crawfish first of course, to feel the outside with her tentacle whiskers first. The coast was still clear, so they marched over to their new escape tunnel and went back down digging through the mud with their claws. Another hour went by and all of a sudden they broke through the mud into their main living area.
"Hurray!" Henry yelled. "We made it! We dug ourselves a new tunnel."
"We certainly did", replied Mama crawfish.
By now, it was getting late in the day so Mama crawfish decided,
"Henry, let's call it a good day's work and stop for the rest of the day. Is that OK with you?" To which Henry agreed, "Yessum Mama. That sounds good to me".
They slipped back into their burrow.
Upon coming to rest in the main part of their home which was kind of like a living room, Henry said, "Mama, I'm hungry again". Mama crawfish smiled and agreed, "Me too Henry, let's see what we have in the pantry", and Mama crawfish sidled over to the pantry nosing her way among the different choices of grasshoppers, beetles, some more sac-a-lait, and a little bit of satsuma fruit they'd found the week before.
"How about some green grasshoppers and fruit for dessert?"
Henry's tummy was really growling by now and he had no disagreement with Mama's choice for supper.
Mama crawfish and Henry munched and crunched on green grasshopper and topped it off with a little bit of satsuma.
Nightfall had come and Henry and Mama crawfish were bushed.
Mama crawfish yawned, "Henry, you ready for bed?" "No Mama, I'm not tired" but Mama crawfish knew better. Henry's beady little eyes were drooping. "Well, come over here beside me and rest a bit".
Henry sidled over to his mama and nestled against her shell the best he could. Mama crawfish laid a tentacle whisker over him humming, "Go to sleep. Go to sleep. Go to sleep my lil Henry. Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep and dream of fish in the deep".
In no time, Henry was asleep. Mama crawfish tucked some mud around him, and moved over to her little sleep area in the burrow and quickly drifted off to sleepland herself.
Early again the next morning, "Mama, Mama! Git up! Git up! We have to build our mud house castle today."
Mama crawfish rolled a lazy beady little eye toward Henry.
"Awlright Henry. Let me wake up some and we'll get going."
She knew what was coming next!
Henry whined, "Mama, I'm hungry. What's to eat?"
Mama crawfish, smiled and said, "Well, Henry, I think I saw some leftover crab bait in the pantry when I was nosing around in it last night."
"Leftover crab bait!," Henry grinned. "Yummy, Mama! I love crab bait!" Crab bait was usually some kind of disgusting liver from an unknown source.
Mama crawfish grinned big, "Well, let's just have us some for breakfast" and they feasted until their little tummies could hold no more.
"Mama, I'm too full to do anything now. I feel like a roly poly bug, like a full tick ready to pop on a dawg."
Mama crawfish laughed and said, "OK Henry, we'll wait a few minutes to go up and out. How about I read to you"?
"Yes maam!" Henry exclaimed! "Let's read a story. Can we read the one about the human boy that went fishin and caught a great big ole redfish in a rainstorm?" "Yes, Henry", Mama replied. "Go and get the book off the bookshelf and bring it here."
Henry scurried to the other side of the living room, stretched on his pointed legs, pinched the book he wanted in his little claw and brought it over to his mama. He settled in a little nook next to her and she read to him the story of the little boy who caught a big old redfish in a thunderstorm.
Afterwards, they were ready to make their way up and out of their burrow to start building their mud hut castle.
They carried, dragged, and clawed clumps of mud upon mud clumps all afternoon long. Then when the sun was getting really low to the ground, they had a nice tall mud castle to the main entrance of their burrow.
Henry looked at it proudly and grinned, "Mama, we did it, we really built a castle."
Mama crawfish smiled and laid a claw gently over Henry's back.
"Yes we did Henry, yes we did. What do you want to do now"?
Henry grew real thoughtful for a minute.
He looked up at her with his beady little eyes grinning, "Mama, I'm hungry. What's for supper?"
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