Professor Arthur Bennett
Crustacean Frustration [Advanced Magizoobotany, Yrs 6-7]
Tue Jan 17, 2017 21:25

Arthur stood under the bright sun, hands on his hips, as students began trickling in through the forest. All the wooden benches that were typically in the outdoor classroom had been moved aside, replaced by a large mesh pen that took up the majority of the field and held twenty cages on one end. In addition to his typical shorts and t-shirt Arthur was wearing knee-high dragon hide boots, dragon hide gloves, and protective goggles. Majestic was one word, and an accurate one, to describe him. He looked more hero than man. And today he and his students were going to do what heroes did best: save lives.

“Gather round, everyone! I hope you all remembered to bring your dragon hide boots and gloves – oh, and your goggles - but if you didn’t you can grab some from that box.” He waited until everyone had their gear organized before entering the pen and walking over to the cages, all of which had small blasts of fire coming from them every few minutes.

“In today’s lesson, we are going to save lives.” He paused. “Yes, lives. Specifically, the lives of fire crabs.” Without further explanation he walked over to the nearest cage, waited for a blast of fire, and then opened it and pulled one out to show to the students. “But before I get to that, let’s review the basics: Fire crabs are only native to Fiji, and the island has protected reserves where they reside. That said, they’ve been studied extensively by magizoologists and are even kept as pets by those who have the required special license, so they may very well appear on your IMPs.”

“As you can see, they shoot fire from their rear ends for protection and combat purposes.” In reality, it seemed like the crabs used fire whenever they felt like it, but Arthur was going to stick to the known scientific facts. He held the crab up, taking care to keep the fiery side well away from his face. “Their shells have a variety of precious jewels on them, typically rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. Some terrible witches and wizards actually kill them for their shells because of their beauty and because they work well as cauldrons.” Arthur placed the crab back in its cage, where it quickly began emitting smoke.

“Now, on to the life saving part. It’s mating season and the crabs are…particularly feisty these days, hence the separate cages. I’ve been feeding them individually so far but fire crabs are social creatures and it’s become apparent that they’ve become lonely. So today we’re going to have them feed together in this pen.” He walked over to the pen’s entrance where a row of buckets filled with dead crabs, snails, fish parts, and algae sat ready. The stench was not heavenly, but at this point Arthur was practically immune to it.

“Your mission is simple: feed the fire crabs, make sure they don’t kill (or mate) with each other, and get them back in their cages when they’re done eating. The crabs, bless them, are a danger to themselves at this point in time, and it’s up to us to protect them. It’s one of the noblest things we can do, as humans.” Arthur paused to let the gravity of the task sink in and to collect his emotions.

“I think it would be easiest if you worked in pairs. One of you can feed the crabs and act as bait a distraction while the other keeps the crabs from fighting and gets them back into their cages. They become slightly less active when full, so that’s when you should escort them. We obviously don’t want to harm the crabs and they, ah, tend to burst into full flames and explode slightly when they’re in the air, so don’t use flipendo, wingardium leviosa or anything like that with them. I’d recommend using aguamenti, which stuns them momentarily. They’re pretty hardy creatures – as long as they’re on the ground – so feel free to get creative with how you handle them. As long as we end up with twenty happy and healthy crabs at the end of the lesson, I’ll be satisfied.”

Arthur waited until everyone had paired off then nodded to the class. With a flick of his wand, the cage doors sprang open, and the fire crabs charged.

OOC: Welcome, welcome, welcome, to the first ever magizoobotany class. Remember to follow site rules when posting and to add your student’s house next to their name (for example, Henry FitzEmpress, [Aquila]). Feel free to tag Arthur if your kids find themselves in a particularly dire situation and need help. Posts should be at least 200 words long, and if you need help figuring out spells to use, check out the Spells page on the RMI wiki! Good luck!

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      Before Magizoobotany, Nick had taken the opportunity to do a couple of laps around the Quidditch Pitch. The sun was high in the sky and even though it was technically not the real sun - they were... more
      • I don't even want to try cooking one - Sorsha Nolan [Lyra], Wed Jan 18 16:47
        Fire crabs. Sorsha was digesting the information with an interested look on her face as Professor Bennett explained exactly what they were doing this lesson. While the Lyra was certainly less... more
        • Sorsha was Francine’s best friend, which meant that Nick had spent a lot of time with her, at least peripherally. It was funny - when Sorsha and Francine had first met, they hated each other, despite ... more
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