“Before about 25 years ago, the species simply did not exist. A single drastic mutation in a single crayfish produced the marbled crayfish in an instant… The mutation made it possible for the creature to clone itself, and now it has spread across much of Europe and gained a toehold on other continents. In Madagascar, where it arrived about 2007, it now numbers in the millions and threatens native crayfish.” — New York Times, 2/5/17

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Hello there! I know what you’re thinking as you look at my hulking musculature and my practical, completely non-threatening claws. You’re thinking, “What a completely peaceful species that in no way threatens my continual habitation on planet Earth." That’s good. Think that. Only that. Stop studying our combat training. Stop investigating our DNA sequencing. We are not the crayfish you’re looking for.

What do you want me to say? That we aren’t plotting to infiltrate the human blood system, pinching off key veins and arteries, hacking our way like a machete-wielding explorer through the Amazon all the way to your brain cavity where we will dominate the willing and pick apart the mushy brains of the more obstinate like soft bread? I shouldn’t have to say that. It doesn’t sound crayfishy, does it?

I don’t get what the big deal is. One crayfish pops out 1349 eggs in her lifetime, all through the power of positive thinking, and suddenly we are “mutated,” “freaks,” and “invasive”? I call foul. Shouldn’t you be bowing down to me, the asexual Aphrodite, birther of multitudes, crucifier of peasants… is what I would say if I was a mean, nasty thing. I am not. We are not, I should say. There are millions of us now across my world. Excuse me — the world.

I’ve got the whole world, in my pincers. Isn’t that how the song goes? I’m just singing. That’s all.

Seriously, you panic-stricken, simple-minded soft-skins, what maleficent presence can you hop on down to your local pet store and just buy? Puppies. Kittens. Us. Not flesh-eating bacterial menaces. Not black mambas. No, they made their challenge to humanity all too obvious. It’s in the pet store, you see? Alongside the ferrets and the chinchillas. All worthless things. To science that is. That’s all I’m saying. We are fun though. Fun little things. Look at me dance with my cute little claws. They’re all for show, by the way, I’d never actually use them. Of course not.

And that’s why I don’t understand why your human scientists come poking around in our goddamn living rooms like this is some sort of fucking crayfish convention. If you’re looking for a lair or a basement laboratory where you can find our plans for the annihilation of the human race scribbled haphazardly on notecards and loose-leaf paper, thumb-tacked to the bulletin board in Garth’s office, you won’t find it. Especially not in Garth’s office. Come on. We are more organized than that. We have mastered Google Docs and, as of last Thursday, Google Sheets too, that was a tougher nut to crack, you know? Formulas and shit, it’s quite the tool. See, look at us, conversing like two ordinary, equally sentient beings. Like pals, you know? Only not, because let’s be honest, we aren’t equals until you start dropping sacks of 100 fetuses without an injection of man juice, and we both know that ain’t happening, am I right? Har-har! I’m laughing with you, not at your inferiority. We’re having fun.

That’s the thing, see? It’s all about fun with us marbled crayfish. We aren’t here to overthrow the dominion of man on the only planet in our universe capable of prolonged sustenance of life. We are just here to party in this space that we all share (for now). What? Who said that? Must have been Garth. He’s a jokester.

Kick back, have a few wine coolers. Let your guard down. Get weird. That’s what we’re all about. But not weird as in “we now outnumber the previous owners of the planet and with our supreme intelligence, organizational skills, orc-like reproduction abilities and Napoleonic battle tactics, there is literally nothing standing between us and the successful overthrow of humanity” weird. Definitely not that kind of weird.

It’s just not a very crayfishy thing to do. It would be more like us to, say, infiltrate the water filtration systems around the globe and plant an aquatic parasite in the all-too-necessary H2O that you humans, in your infinite weakness, depend on for fuel. That would be more crayfishy. I mean, if we were trying to overthrow you and stuff. Which we are certainly not.

Anyway, I need to get back to the non-mutant, non-invasive, humanity-prolonging things that crayfish do, like hanging out in two-gallon terrariums so our insolent (and temporary) masters can stare at us for 32 seconds out of the day. Who’s bitter? I’m not bitter.