Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Tale of Big Legs the Green Crab

For those not in the know, while I spend my mornings having a great deal of fun over at Black's Creek, I get to spend my afternoons at the Childrens Museum, where I am able to interact with a variety of individuals who find themselves, for one reason or another, passing our stretch of boardwalk in front of the Childrens Museum. I like this shift in focus, as many our visitors come from all different walks of life, and run the gamut in terms of age demographics. As much as I love seeing the wonder in a childs' eye as they hold a green crab for the first time, I also really enjoy every time I can get a parent to say, "Huh, I never knew that!", or to see a group of adults on their lunch break taken aback at the idea that they can hold a crab right here and now. Yes, it's the fullness of different experiences I can have teaching different groups of people about the harbor that helps me enjoy my time at the Childrens Museum.

"This is Big Legs. I named him Big Legs!"
One of my most favorite experiences so far at Childrens was working with a pair of twins, who had visited us earlier during the first week of programming. They liked working with us so much, that they dragged their mother back so they could fish and check out the crabs for a second time. As of the time of this writing, I know they are planning at least one more visit to see us before the summer out. These two boys are naturals, and we joked that they will both end up working for Save the Harbor one day! They did not flinch at the thought of picking up the crabs, and even made a point of taking out each individual crab so that they could give it a name. The names were all creative and unique, some examples being, "Red Dude", "Speedy", "Shelldude", and "Movey". Okay, maybe they weren't the most unique.

Big Legs driving his new car!
 However, the most notable of all the crabs, was the largest one in the touch tank. His name was "Big Legs", appropriately named for the large size of his legs. One of the twins in particular, the one who named him, took a strong liking to Big Legs, and would show him off to every visitor that came by, proudly exclaiming, "This is Big Legs. I named him Big Legs." He and Big Legs were inseparable, though he took great care to make sure Big Legs did not dry out or die. He told me that while it was important to protect all the crabs, he thought Big Legs was the most important. It was funny to watch as he took Big Legs out of the tank, and sat next to him as they both watched his brother play a game with Sam, another Save the Harbor staff. It was eventually an emotional goodbye, but I know it was a connection he will never forget.

I think that this is the take home message of the experience. Through the day, this boy formed a strong connection with a facet of the Boston Harbor. We already know it's one that his entire family values, or they would not have come to visit for a second time, with more planned to follow. When someone forms a connection, they are more likely to want to protect the harbor. Through our work that day, I truly believe I witnessed the birth of one more steward for the Boston Harbor.

Until next time, I'll be walking away with my big legs!

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