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Finding the cause of the strange, bad smell in my daughter's room

by Traci Schumacher on Fri, 02/15/2013 - 12:49pm

Yesterday I discovered the source of the strange, foul smell we had been noticing on and off in my daughter's room. It was an elusive odor, faint but definitely bad. My husband even suggested there might be a small dead animal in hiding.

The trouble with tracking down the smell, besides the fact that we didn't smell it all the time, was that our daughter is a pack rat and not very organized. Periodically I make her clean her room, but she always seems to have piles of this and that, all of it near and dear to her heart, so it is no easy task to locate things in there.

But yesterday, while my daughter was at school, I determined to organize at least the books. I had not smelled the stink in a while, so I was not even thinking about it. I came across her pink cloth knapsack, closed up and folded over. She uses it sometimes when we go on hikes and other adventures. It was rather heavy and I wondered what was in it. As soon as I opened the sack, I smelled the stench.

A peek inside revealed the culprit... oyster shells. These were oyster shells collected a couple weeks ago when we hiked a marshy trail. They were gathered straight out of the marsh mud, and apparently one shell still had a dead oyster in it. Nice. The entire contents of the pink sack stunk like dead oyster. At least the mystery was solved!

As bad as the smell was, our dog found it irresistible, revealing the canine extreme lack of good taste. I put the shells and other items outside on the patio, and before I knew it our boxer was running through the yard happily playing with the oyster shells. I took the shells away from her and put them on the shelf on our grill. A few minutes later she was at it again, having managed to grab the shells off the shelf. Finally I moved the shells to the top of the grill where the dog certainly could not reach them. When our pooch came inside, she smelled like dead oyster. Gross!

So now, my daughter knows that any shells collected must stay outside until they are cleaned, her room smells much nicer, and our dog has a new-found love for oysters. Amazing what a little cleaning up can do!

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user comments

Careful with the sea creatures

I know... I hate that! We're usually very careful about making sure shells are empty and we never bring home sand dollars or starfish unless they are most certainly dead already. If their little bristles are moving at all, back they go in the water. My kids even do jellyfish rescues at the beach, scooping up stranded jellies and putting them back in the water. So it was quite a surprise, a couple weeks too late, to see the one closed oyster shell in the cluster of open shells. Sadness. Somehow his cluster had been knocked loose and my daughter just came along and picked it up.

Shells Are Homes

I felt so bad when I brought a shell home from the beach. It was winter and I stuck it in my pocket. Then I discovered a tiny hermit crab that would not survive the drive back to the beach. I really feel badly when I see people pulling conk shells out of the sand and starfish.