Cassie the Crab
Jamaica, © 01.Oct.2003 kN (all photos © gM)
This is a story about a crab who looks like this:

YAWN. Cassie the crab sleepily yawns, opens her eyes, and rubs them with her claws to push away the sleepiness. As she rolls out of her bed of sand, she suddenly remembers - today is her adventure day! Today is the day that Cassie will cross the road! Cassie pushes her way up and part way out of her deep sand hole on the beach.

She cautiously peeks out.

BAM! BAM! Feet run by her towards the water and then splash into the water. The feet climb onto a sailboat.

Cassie carefully looks around again. WHOOPS! Little feet jump past her and sprinkle her with sand. The little feet jump into the water. The feet swim away and then jump onto a trampoline!

Cassie tries again. YIKES - she ducks! Feet walk by her and for a moment her hole is in a shadow ... of a big catch of lobster!
Catch of lobster

Despite the dangers, Cassie bravely scuttles out of her hole. The sun is warm! The water is inviting! Cassie, however, is not distracted. She will cross the road today!
Inviting water

Cassie crawls away from the water towards the path which leads to the road. The path takes her through buildings and trees. The sun continues to brightly shine and Cassie is beginning to feel very hot. She distracts herself by singing and imagining what it would be like to sip coconut milk out of a real coconut with a straw. She scuttles up a small hill to find ...
Buildings and trees

ZOOM! WHOOSH! Large, loud, smelly, fast animals are running up and down the road! Cassie trembles. She waits for them to leave the road. However ... they are a herd which never stops! She watches feet like those she saw outside her hole on the beach. Some feet say, "The cars don't stop for pedestrians!". Other feet say, "It's clear on my side!". And other feet say, "Cross now!". Regardless of what they say, the feet cross the road by running very quickly. After some time in the hot sun beside the hot pavement of the road, Cassie decides to do the same thing as the feet. She runs. The large, loud, smelly, fast animals are following her! Her heart beats quickly as she swerves among the scary animals. She is terrified.

Brave Cassie crosses the whole road!

On the other side, she finds a palm tree, plops down in the shade, and partly buries herself in the sand. She turns her head and sees a Jamaican beef patty beside her. She eats the yummy flaky pastry filled with spiced beef, and begins to feel better. However, the sun is moving, and so is Cassie's shade. She feels very, very hot. She starts thinking about how to get back to her side of the road. She watches everyone and everything around her on this new side of the road. She spots ... a hat under another palm tree! A hat would be the perfect thing to protect her from the powerful rays of the sun.

Cassie creeps over to the hat and tries it on. It covers her completely and so when she walks, it looks like the hat is wobbling down the road all by itself. Cassie peers out through the stitches of the hat and sees a strange phenomenon. A whole parade of feet are crossing in front of a stopped herd of large, loud, smelly, fast animals. A special pair of feet is holding a red sign labelled "STOP" - this special pair of feet stops the scary animals so that the parade of feet can walk - not run! - across the road. The parade of feet walk into a building with the sign "RESORT" on Cassie's side of the road.

Cassie decides to follow. Imagine the hot sun. Imagine a uniformed person who walks onto the road with a stop sign to stop traffic at a patrolled crossing, just like is done with kids who cross the street to go to school. Imagine a long line of stopped traffic of cars, buses, trucks, and more cars. Imagine a group of tourists dressed in bathing suits, sunglasses, sandals, and towels crossing the road to the resort on the beach. Imagine a gray hat with a brim trailing behind the group, slowly crossing the road all by itself.

This is how Cassie crossed the road! On the other side, she congratulated herself on not only protecting herself from the sun, but also for protecting herself from the large, loud, smelly, fast animals who for sure could not see her underneath the hat.

What a day!


Note: This story is based on true events at Negril - the people on Long Bay beach, the traffic and pedestrian challenge on Norman Manley Boulevard, coconut milk and beef patties, the patrol crossing on the highway for resort guests only, and a large crab walking alongside the highway ... without a hat.