Biodiversity challenge – Fiddler crab

Fit as a fiddler
Fiddler crab

Illustration by Mishka Westell/BBC Wildlife Magazine www.discoverwildlife.com www.mishkawestell.com

Cocksure crustaceans,
Shell-suited north- and southpaws
Dwarfed by insubordinate claws,
Scuttle free
From subterranean sanctuary
And loiter by their intertidal stations.
Stalk-eyed wide boys
On burrowed time,
Nippers out for a ritual bout
Of pincer posing,
Flaunt flags of semi-semaphore.
Fightin’ fit
In their chromatic chitin kit:
Blue is the colour;
The future’s orange;
Come on ye reds.
Not waving, but downing
Their imaginary pints.
Sidling into hole position,
Sizing up the opposition:
Mine’s bigger than yours.
Rebels with outsized claws.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2006.

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