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THE TALE OF THE FAT INNKEEPER WORM AND THE PEA CRAB: An ancient, beyond ancient story about commensalism

An ancient, beyond ancient story about commensalism

There once lived a happy chubby Urichis caupo called Mr. “Worm,” in the mudflats of the wild west coast. 

His home was a U-shaped burrow with just a little extra room for him to sleep and eat. 

Mr. Worm enjoyed filter feeding using his glamorous fine mucous net and pulsing dance-like waves of contraction that his body made. 

His one and only favorite food was the tasty nutrients in sea water. 

The only way to have those tasty water-treats was to do the dance-like contractions with his body, which allowed him to bring in big gulps of water on one end of his body. 

Then, on the other end his lush mucous was able to capture the water and filter out the nutrients in the water. 

One scary, pitch black winter night, a pea crab stumbled upon Mr. Worm’s burrow. 

Mr. Worm became startled at this pea crab that had entered his home, and said, “Who are you!!! And why do you enter my home!!?” 

The crab shivering and trembling with fear, replies, “I am Crabster the pea crab. 
I fell into this tunnel from a hole above, which led me to your chambers.” 

Mr Worm then says, “I am called Mr Worm; You fell into my home. But why do you look so frightened, what are you doing out at this time?” 

Crabster replies. “Mr Worm Sir, the night is dark and very scary. I am being attacked left and right!! I have been running and fleeing for months. They are trying to eat me! Please HELP me!” 

Mr Worm then says, “Stay calm you have a safe haven here. Do not worry, nobody can hurt you here.  

Crabster responds and says, “Why thank you, thank you for your generosity! I have no way of repaying you!” 

Mr. Worm says, “Your company is payment enough, but also don't eat me.” 

From that day froward, this friendship has been known and told a thousand times. Now, all pea crabs have a safe home and plenty of food thanks to the innkeeper Urichis caupo worms. 

This is the story that became known as The Tale of the Fat innkeeper worm and the pea crab :)

Written and illustrated by:


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