Crabs in the Bucket

Growing up in Southeast Louisiana, I had the luxury of experiencing Sportsman’s Paradise to the fullest. As a child, I’d spend endless summer hours with my father boating, fishing and crabbing. Having an inquisitive mind, I’d often sit and watch the crabs in the bucket after daddy removed them from the traps. I thought crabs were truly fascinating.

What I found to be the most interesting was the behavior of the crabs in the bucket, as one would climb and rise above the rest, the others would grab the hind legs of the climbing crab, pulling it back into the bucket. “No need for a lid,” he’d say, “because no crab will allow another crab to move up and get out.”

I questioned that behavior and thought, “Can't they lend a helping pincer, form a chain, climb up and pull the entire group out of the bucket? Why can’t they do like ants and work as a team?” Instead of thinking about dinner, at 10-years-old, my fascination with behavior began.

Although crab behavior should not be analogous to human behavior, I can think of many instances where it is. Just show a little ambition to escape the confines of your situation in the workplace and your management and co-workers will swoop in to give you that extra boost of support you need to make it to the next level. Right? I don’t think so. Far too often the ambitious are kept in their place and the mediocre dictate how it’s going to be for everyone, pulling you back into the crabby abyss.

I escaped the abyss by being kicked out of the bucket. Having an ambitious soul, I’ve moved on to better things. When asked recently, “How did you land that gig?” I smiled and thought to myself, “I expostulate crabs in the bucket behavior and embrace the social networking of the ant…for the greater good of all.”

This week’s blog is dedicated to my mentors, thank you for the amaranthine encouragement, overlooking our temperamental differences.


  1. Bonnie, you have emphatically described the behavior of the crab. I love your analogy. It is unfortunate that some people exhibit crabby behavior instead of ant behavior. I am glad to say, I am an ANT.

    Also, it is even nicer to say, I knew you when. I love you girl!!! Keep writing and I will keep reading.


    Always, ROAN



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Bonnie Morét is an award-winning photographer recognized by The Georgia Council of the Arts as "an exceptional representation of contemporary Georgia art work." Her photography is featured on Georgia Public Broadcast's Georgia Traveler. Her exhibitions include Fifth Annual Exposure Awards at Musee du Louvre in Paris, France, Art Takes Miami at Scope Art during Art Basel Miami, Metro Montage XIII at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, World of Water at the Georgia Aquarium, Open Walls at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Wholly Georgia: A Look at the Effects of Southern Religious Culture, sponsored by the Art History League and Georgia State University, at Mint Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, 6x6 at the Rochester Contemporary Arts Center in Rochester, New York, @Phonography: Dialogue in the Wireless Age, at 3 Ring Circus in New Orleans, Louisiana, and About Lands and Lives of the Civil War at the 6th Cavalry Museum in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia. Her photography appears in Modern Luxury/The Atlantan, Jezebel Magazine, and hangs in the executive offices at the Georgia State Capitol as part of the Art of Georgia exhibit. Corporate clients include Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta History Center, Chanel Cosmetics, Christian Dior Cosmetics, Sharp Mountain Vineyards, PM Realty Group, Granite Properties, Road Atlanta, Patrón Tequila, StubHub, CBM Records and The Washington Auto Show.