The trip to North Carolina was far longer than Fox and their beloved had originally planned for, the trip that was supposed to take only four hours ended up taking nearly ten. This meant the trio ended up setting the tent up in the dark at midnight with the help of flashlights. Once the tent was in place and the air mattresses inflated, the teen curled up and happily went to sleep, while Fox and their beloved wandered down to the water. Fox was sure that after the long car ride in the heat, the offspring was glad to be somewhere other than a vehicle where he could stretch out and sleep comfortably.
Fox and their beloved strolled down to the bank of the Neuse River, half followed, half lead by two semi-feral young cats. Fox could hear the waves lapping on the beach and smell the salt water before they even reached the shoreline. As the made their way onto the sands, Fox kicked off their flip-flops and wiggled their toes. The view was beautiful, stretched out before them was the dark calm waters of the river, seeming like it would almost go on forever. Fox edged closer to the water, shining their flashlight into the murky depths.
A squeal of excitement erupted from Fox as they danced back and forth from one foot to another. “CRABS,” they giggled carefully hopping onto one of the partially submerged rocks. Fox perched on the rock and scanned their flashlight across the water, darting the light’s beam from crustacean to crustacean with a childlike glee. Never before in their life had Fox seen crabs in the wild, and after the long drive down from the mountains to see something they had never seen before filled them with a childlike awe.
Fox walked up and down the beach with their beloved looking for a crab they could catch, all the while being leery of the crab’s pinchers.
“There!” Fox shouted with the same childlike enthusiasm they had since seeing the first crab. “There’s one!” Fox pointed at a crab that had been stranded in some muddy mire by the tide receding. Carefully, Fox slipped out into the mud and flipped the crab onto the bank of the river using their flip-flop. “Pick it up! Pick it up!” They giggled tip-toeing back onto the sandy beach. Fox’s beloved laughed and squatted down to show Fox how to pick up the crab safely without getting pinched by the crab.
Just as Fox took the crab from their beloved it started to kick its feet. They squealed as the tiny crab kicked at their hand and dropped the it back into the sand. “It was going to get me!” Again, Fox carefully picked up the crab, holding it more securely this time.
“Under the sea! Under the sea! Darling it’s better down where it’s wetter take it from me!” Fox began to sing as the couple headed back towards the entrance to the beach. Before leaving to go back to their tent for what remained of the night Fox released the crab back into the water.
Shortly before sunrise Fox’s beloved woke them up and together they went back to the shoreline to watch the sunrise over the river.