The morning came in silent calm, the thick air heavy with moisture lacking even the promise of a breeze. In the east, a ruddy horizon heralded the rising of the sun with a dire warning in the sky. In uncharacteristic quiet, great flocks of birds flew inland distancing themselves from the ocean. The bayou waited, holding its breath in the stillness.
“Look, look..., still they come!” Ma-ma Boudreaux pointed with a gnarled finger towards the ground around the dock. Thibault and Claire gaped as literally thousands of crawfish emerged from the water to crawl across the ground like a living carpet.
“You have seen this before, Ma-ma?” Thibault asked incredulously.
“Only once,” she replied thoughtfully. “Before Carmen, in ’74, I think it was. The Creole have always said mudbugs can hear an approaching storm in the water, so I could kind of relate, if you know what I mean,” she laughed dryly. “I believe they are just moving to higher ground by instinct, but no one can know why all of them move at once.”
Claire shivered involuntarily watching the ground seeming to undulate from the countless crustaceans and she hid her face behind Thibault’s shoulder.
“They’re harmless, Claire. Don’t be afraid,” Thibault soothed rubbing her back reassuringly.
“I am just worried they may know something that we do not,” Claire responded before turning away to go inside and check on Jamie.
Ma-ma Boudreaux and Thibault stood marveling at the strange spectacle while the crawfish continued their slow advance from the water unabated.
“What do you think it means, Ma-ma?” Thibault asked softly.
“Well, I hope it means the crawfish king is finally going to make good on a promise he once made to visit me, but I suspect that is not the case,” Ma-ma Boudreaux said with a chuckle.