Pam Shaw: 0, Land Crab: 1

Early last week, in the wee hours of the morning, Pam Shaw of Big Pine Key decided to take a leisurely bike ride to No Name Key, while her husband headed into work in Key Colony Beach, about 30 minutes away.

 Her keyring, sprouting at least a dozen keys was too bulky for the trip, so she hid them in the garden behind a bromeliad, in the same spot she always does.

An hour later, she returned to start her day. She climbed off her bike and went to grab her keys, but they were nowhere to be found. “My keys were missing,” she said. “I yelled across the street to my neighbor to ask her if someone had come into our yard while I was gone, but she said no.”

She got down on her hands and knees, sweaty from spinning her tires for the past hour, and started poking around all of her plants to see if she may had mistakenly put the keys behind another plant. “I noticed a large hole from a land crab in the garden and peered inside, but couldn’t see all the way to the end of the hole,” she said.

Frustrated, she finally called her husband. “He was not happy, to say the least,” she said. “This problem cost him two hours out of his work day. But, being the good guy that he is, he drove home so that I could get into the house.”

Once in the house, Shaw’s mind kept returning to the case of the missing keys. “I was positive I put them behind the bromeliad,” she said. “I took a high-powered flashlight and went back out to the garden and got on my hands and knees to shine the light into the crab hole.”

The crab, with its beady little eyes staring right back at her, was standing on top of her keys like it was guarding treasure. “I found a long rod with a hook on the end of it and inserted it into the hole to retrieve my keys,” she said. “The crab did not want to relinquish his prize and looked like he was trying to attack the rod.”

After about six attempts, Shaw was finally successful. And the case of the land crab and the missing keys was solved.


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