Crayfish Crisis

L brought one of the second grade crayfish home to take care of over the summer. It had grown considerably since its capture over a year ago when the then first graders hiked to a nearby agricultural high school's experimental farm to fish for the creatures in the farm pond, which must have been stocked for that purpose every single child managed to catch one...The students who didn't want to keep a crayfish as a pet at home let theirs go back into the farm pond and each group of four or five students adopted one to keep at school and observe.

The clear plastic case had a list of names of the children in his group who usually take care of feeding the crustacean and cleaning the cage during the school year. None of them volunteered for the summer job so L brought the case home with him on the last day of school, along with a plastic bottle with a baby crayfish for him to keep, and did a fairly good job of making sure the water was changed and food was offered regularly with a little help from N. His friends asked about the crayfish from time to time, making sure that their group still had a crayfish.

Well...while we were off on our annual camping trip, the balcony must have gotten too hot as both crayfish failed to survive three days of neglect, even though we'd tried to shade their cases to keep them out of any direct sunlight. L was very sad at the loss and also worried about what his group would do without a crayfish. We decided to tell his friends about the demise of their crayfish and ask them if they felt we should take some chunks of squid on string to try to catch a new crayfish for their group to observe. They all agreed that they were sorry to lose their original crayfish but that they still wanted to care for a crayfish at school from September.

So...N, L and I headed off on our bikes for L's first (very wobbly) on-road bike ride to see if the ag. school farm about a mile away was open to the public or not and if we could catch and keep a crayfish or two. The teacher in charge told us that usually they don't allow the crayfish to be taken home as it would be a problem if people let them go in local rivers and the crayfish population became a problem. When I explained the situation, he agreed to let us catch two to take to school in September. Whew! Now L will write about his exciting first bike ride and the crayfish crisis as part of his summer homework.