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3
Jun 03
Tue

Zed (2002-2003)

“Who’s Zed?”
“Zed’s dead, baby. Zed’s dead.”


Zed the Yabby

I stumbled out into the kitchen this morning to be confronted with a bucket sitting on the benchtop. I peered inside, and there was Zed, sitting motionless in a shallow pool of water. I picked up a nearby chopstick and gave him a prod. Apart from the presence of a bucket of water with a yabby in it on my kitchen bench, which was already decidedly strange, what was stranger was that Zed wasn’t moving. Mark, crashed out on the sofa bed after an all-nighter stirred and groaned out to me: “He died last night. Dave and I found him, upside down in the tank.” And so, our prized yabby kicked the bucket some time between 2.30 and 3am today.

We have three yabbies: Zed, Marsellus and Butch. These are appropriate names. Zed was the biggest of our yabbies. He was a bully, always muscling food away from the others. Crab killer, goldfish terroriser (he dispatched four), owner of the ceramic log. And the yabby that molested all the other yabbies from behind.

Butch used to be in the tank with Zed before we got Marsellus. Zed took all of Butch’s food and terrorised him so much that he was conditioned not to eat even when we dropped food right in front of him. As a result, Zed grew into a tank and Butch lost his pincer and became a shrimp. We kept him there until our crab, Gimp, was found eaten one morning. We decided the humane thing to do would be to separate Butch out into his own tank.

Marsellus is the runt, which we bought to replace Gimp. Having no third tank, we just dropped him into the tank with Zed. Remarkably, the two have lived together in near harmony for the past few months with only the loss of one of Marsellus’ pincers. Meanwhile, Butch, safe in his own little tank has flourished into one mean mofo, snapping at us with a vengeance whenever we feed him.

Last week Zed moulted. This event signifies another leap forward in growth. In the 24-48 hours after a moult, a yabby’s exoskeleton is quite soft, so it was very amusing to see Marsellus wave his pincer at Zed, and see Zed leap back in fear. It’s like a scrawny 50kg teenager waving a fist at a 200kg 7 foot wrestler. However, Zed never quite regained his regality after that last moult. He seemingly grew too large for his log, and just stood there for hours, motionless in the corner of the tank. Then a few days later – this morning – he inverted himself and expired. After we removed him from the tank, Marsellus was seen to be running excitedly around the now threat-free tank, chomping on Zed’s old shell.

We are still clueless as to what killed Zed, because when a yabby moults, it grows, and growth implies health. View more pictures.