By Adrian Flynn
Photos by Adrian Flynn
The Beacon community was rattled in April by the unfortunate and untimely passing of Cassius Clay the crab. The female blue crab, named after the prolific boxer Muhammad Ali, somehow made it out of her tank and into a sink in Mr. McKenna’s classroom. By the time she was discovered, she had passed.
Cassius Clay was purchased in Chinatown along with three other crabs by Marine Bio club co-founder and junior Leo Ku with the goal of keeping and possibly breeding them. According to Mr. McKenna, the breeding “didn’t go well. You can’t just throw ‘em together in a tank and expect some magic to happen.” Cassius Clay had no choice but to escape and secure her freedom.
The tank was not covered on the Friday night when Cassius Clay made her daring escape. After a custodian who shall remain anonymous found her hard-walled body, he decided to not interfere with the rest of the room, feeling that the room was either a crime scene or the site of some large-scale science experiment. After Mr. McKenna was notified by the custodian, he put the crab in the freezer for scientific preservation, mindfully aware of a possible dissection opportunity in the future. A few weeks later, the power to the freezer was cut off and the body failed to be further preserved, and was buried unceremoniously as refuse.
Heartbroken, Ku commented “She was my favorite crab, I was in my bag. It was sadder than Endgame, which I saw later.”
A short gathering was planned but then cancelled as another one of the crabs suddenly passed in their tank without explanation. No foul play was suspected in either of the cases, as crabs could plausibly pull off escapes if determined and can die of natural causes. The remaining two are on careful watch by the Marine Biology club.
McKenna allocated all the entailed responsibility to Ku, “they’re Leo’s crabs.”
On a lighter note, one of the remaining crabs, Larry, shocked both students and Mr. McKenna alike when he appeared in a brand new light-colored shell, with his old one molted and sitting on the side of the tank. Some initially thought that Leo had got a new crab and it had ate the old one, but this rumor was quickly disproven by scientific observation. Long live Larry, until the summer when Leo will have to think of something to do with him.