I know, that's a strange thing for me to say. I'm the woman who once had a six-foot long pet iguana named Cedric...who rescued a crow who's feet were frozen and took care of him until he was okay...who rescued mice from my cats at the old farmhouse we lived in...who thinks praying mantids are the most awesome creatures out there...who tried to find a live dung beetle for my girl scout troop's Egypt presentation...who has told her girl scouts for years that the various snakes, bats and mice they encountered at camp were babies (they weren't) rendering them suddenly "adorable"...who attached dozens of locust carapaces to a friend's (who must not be named) screen door when they were out of town...
But this might be the one thing I can't do.
Margaret turns 13 Sunday. And she wants a tarantula. A Chilean Rose tarantula like the one we all held at the bug museum in Denver last winter.
Remember, this is the kid who also wants a capybara (world's largest rodent) and a miniature anteater - why? Because we saw stuff on youtube.
This is also the kid who has 3 dogs, 2 cats and 2 guinea pigs. She's actually a lot like me.
I used to have arachnaphobia. Spiders terrified me. It wasn't until I had a bizarre, psychedellic situation with a pregnant wolf spider at 3am that I stopped fearing them. (Alcohol with a denial chaser really helped.)
I ordered a book on the Care and Feeding of Tarantulas. It didn't help. Did you know that tarantulas have OHMYGOD HUGE FANGS??? Oh sure, they rarely bite. That's what they all say, but I've seen enough movies from the 1950's where, when exposed to radiation, giant tarantuals roam the countryside, eating tall, fabulous redheads.
And a tarantula in captivity can live for 20 years??? My husband says, "Oh, good. She can take it to college with her." I don't believe for one minute that my daughter will do that. Then I'm stuck with a hairy spider until I turn 64. Insert shudder here.
And then, well, I should be more mature than this but tarantualas are ugly. I know, it's not their fault and I shouldn't blame them. But I'm me, and I do.
As the day draws closer (and my husband is out of town) I wonder if I can suck it up and do it. I feel my arachnaphobia coming back...
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Posted by Leslie Langtry at 2:12 AM