Try to imagine: you’re opponent weighs 80 pounds; stands 2 ½ feet high; has sharp canines and vice-like jaws; great stamina and a predatory instinct honed over millions of years. You weigh 6 ounces after a hearty meal; stand a paltry 2 ½ inches high on your tip toes; and the biggest fight you’ve ever been in was with a feisty minnow. Now you have an idea what a match between a Labrador retriever and a sand crab would look like. This is exactly what happened on our beach walk when our lab “Queenie” took on a sand crab who inexplicably forgot where its hidey hole was.
This confrontation entertained us for quite a while last evening. At first we were horrified that “Q” was going to devour this poor little guy who suddenly found her between him and the safety of his burrow. But before we could grab her collar, we realized this was not going to be a quick kill at all. This prey was going to give as good as it got.
Startled that this crustaceous Rocky was not in full flight, Q seemed puzzled. She couldn’t quite figure out what those miniature scissors were that kept snapping at her nose. And what footwork! This little guy could move sideways with blinding speed. You know, kind of a “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” thing. No slouch herself in tactical maneuvering, Q would feint left and then quickly come in from the right. But the crab would counter by jabbing with the small pincer then crossing with the big gun. Q would then bark, sensing that this would somehow intimidate the crab and shorten the bout. But this just managed to stiffen its resolve. It would stand up on its legs, claws open and leer at Q as if to say “is that all you’ve got”?
Well, this went on for a while and although Q was ahead on points, the crab managed to find some soft sand and dig its way underground. The judges had no choice but to call it a draw.
We’re going back over to the beach with Queenie tonight. This time we’re taking some wine and snacks, just in case the next one goes the full 15 rounds.