Passing thoughts of an animal handler: Tarantulas

Tarantulas, ghastly, hairy and downright creepy to many, cute and cuddly little critters to me. We’ve had many pop in to say hello at the station of late, one such Tarantula even went so far as to try and jump on Paddy to give him a cuddle (Paddy, who its fair to say screamed like a little girl, was not amused). I’ll give you three guesses who was immediately called to the rescue. If you guessed me, then you sir/madam are correct. She was a beauty, a common Curly Haired Tarantula who was hiding under some wooden planks that were in the process of being turned into bunk beds. Initially I invited her to climb on my sandal, she didn’t approve of this plan, so I produced some cardboard with which she was very co-operative. One painless journey later (yes, finally an animal that hasn’t tried to savage me), I placed her near some burrows at the bottom of the station, where she casually strolled to freedom, as if it was all like one big stroll in the park.

This however was fairly undramatic compared to the events of the following night. There I was happily cooking some pasta when Paul’s voice came booming urgently down the stairs,

“Dave!!! There’s a massive Tarantula in my thong boxers, come and get it out!”

Not exactly the sort of thing I was expecting after a long day of work, so apparently now I’m spider man? If in doubt call Dave, well maybe Dave doesn’t want to be disturbed at all hours of the night to rescue people from the small hairy things in their underwear. I had quite an audience for the capture of this critter (or maybe just to spectate on Paul’s gallery of underwear strewn across the floor), which had left a long silky trail over the said underwear. A magazine cover was the Tarantula removal instrument of choice (or availability). We opened it up and knocked him down into it, where he seemed content to hide in its shade until I flicked him out to freedom in the garden. The relief amongst the room was immense, all that fuss over a small hairy arachnid. The said underwear was burned later that evening…

So what about Harriet? She’s our station Tarantula, and a very pretty little beast in my opinion. Typically of her species, she is very docile and prefers flight to fight. Even in her timid state, she still manages to scary many visitors, whom I openly encourage to give her a stroke or hold. I delight in the twisted expressions of horror from those whom are not accustomed to those eight hairy legs slowly creeping across their open palms. She has never bitten in the two plus years we have had her (or so I’m told), a fact that would no doubt help calm the visitors in the event that I actually tell them this information (I should have a little fun too right?) Alas Harriet’s former counterparts, our two deceased Tarantulas are in a very sorry state, one of them is totally legless (and not just due to the alcohol preservative), and the other has been ‘swallowed’ by one diver too many (thank you Parrot’s divers), however their large, gleaming black fangs are still intact, which is the important part after all.

Don’t you love these happy (and bite free) endings?

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~ by iguana321 on July 21, 2011.

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