"I should have been
a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across
the floors of silent seas"
--T. S. Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

"Beelzebub himself could never keep a Capri fisherman out of a sea-cave if there was half a franc's worth of crabs inside it."
--Norman Douglas

"A crab is a slutt to kerve and a wrawd wight" (a perverse creature)
--John Russell's Boke of Nurture, 1460

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The crab is a crustacean that, as a general rule, will eat anything and likes to fight. So much for Eliot's image of a repressed creature too inhibited to bite into a juicy peach.

Crabmeat tastes as expensive as it is: delicate, sweet, also rather wonderful to look at, in a diaphanous kind of a way. And it comes in a number of edible varieties: The Dungeness can be found off America's Pacific coast. The giant King crab is found northwards off Alaska (used to be called the "Japanese crab" until World War II, at which point the territorial possessions changed hands). And the magnificent blue crab (Callinecte sapidus)--those "Beautiful swimmers" so eloquently described by William W. Warner. These last are found along the Atlantic coast and in the Chesapeake Bay. In good seasons--which, alas, are dwindling because of pollution and other environmental pressures--all you have to do is throw out a raw chicken neck on a line and these tasty little critters will scuttle across floors of silent seas right into your crabpot.