Who would LOVE to have a crayfish as a pet?

Daycare-wide email we received this week:

Hi All,
We inherited a few crayfish quite a while back that were found in the grassy area. They have become “pets” for P1 & P2. They love their new home so much, they decided it would be the perfect place to raise a family… and so the population explosion began.
Our 2 quick questions are as follows:
Does anyone have a fish tank about 15–20 gallons that they are no longer using and be willing to donate to P2?
Who would LOVE to have a crayfish as a pet?
If you have an older tank or would like a low maintenance pet that doesn’t shed, please check in with the P2 team :-)

A little background material to share:

  1. “Found in the grassy area.” Daycare is not near a creek. Last year some people on our street had a crawfish boil, like on the sidewalk. IT SEEMED AT THE TIME as if this shouldn’t be allowed. I’ve checked in on the crayfish at daycare for months and only this week put together that they must be escapees from the boil, meaning that they somehow crossed a street and got into the grass behind daycare.
  2. It wasn’t “crayfish” multiple, it was crayfish one. For a long time there was one crayfish in the tank at daycare. The tank is in a counter in the bathroom that separates the two preschool classrooms from each other. I visited it once in awhile and one day I noticed that there was more than one. “You got more crayfish?” I asked Alice’s teacher Caitlin. She explained to me that the crayfish had spontaneously reproduced. They can do this apparently, so that’s miraculous and horrifying.
  3. So for awhile there were some smaller crayfish in the tank.
  4. I looked in on Monday and the big crayfish was holding just the head of one of the small crayfish in its claws. Not its big “main” pincher claws but its small underbody claws like oh, whatever this old thing just got stuck there after I finished eating it, like how Hugh constantly has Cheerios and bits of strawberries stuck to his legs.
  5. Email sent out on Tuesday so I guess someone else had also felt compelled to act by Monday’s events. I love the wording of this email so much because there is no mention of the spontaneous reproduction or cannibalization or any of the other fucking disgusting things the crayfish are doing. It’s very “our crayfish are running out of room for their expanding family and are looking for a new home!”

I had a very, very brief twinge of “maybe we should take the crayfish they’ve been through so much.” It’s like that one goat that escapes from a slaughterhouse in the Bronx, runs through city streets becoming NYC’s sweetheart, and gets to retire to a farm upstate. But then I was like NO, NO, STOP. Instead I’ve just been thinking about them all week.

Then I wondered if I should tell the teachers “oh hey yeah we’re going to take them home” and instead put them into Fresh Pond in Cambridge, but I ran this by my boss (who is from Louisiana and has been mocking my spelling of “crayfish” on Slack — it’s supposed to be “crawfish,” according to him [yes, I’ve been talking about this to like everyone I know]) and he was like, “No! That’s how the Asian carp thing got started.” And it’s true we have no idea of the provenance of these crayfish, they are almost definitely not a native Cambridge species, since presumably someone ordered them online in the first place for the stupid boil that, as I said, never should have happened — but it did, and now the tender-hearted women, namely the wonderful wonderful preschool teachers, and also, guiltily and mostly in my head, me, are worrying about it, so doesn’t that sound familiar.

This is from my parenting email newsletter, I’ll Be Right Back, which comes out on (usually) Fridays. Subscribe here.

Crayfish photo by coniferconifer used under a Creative Commons license.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.