Saturday, March 12, 2011

Close encounters

They're just creepy.  They're all jointy and over-articulated, over-engineered.  They move each creepy bit of their creepy legs separately, like they're stalking you, one menacing movement at a time while their bodies are creepily still.  They move in a way that is purely designed to scare the bejesus out of small children who eventually grow into adults who continue to have the bejesus scared out of them.  And they're hairy.  Hairy and creepy.

I've never liked spiders, seriously never liked them, especially the large, hairy variety.  Which is why I'm mystified by my reaction to my first tarantula-spotting.  I was a sea of calm.  I was interested and intrigued but not in that peeking-through-my-fingers-with-shivers-up-my-spine kinda way.  The perfectly-formed, generously-engineered, hairy, brown arachnid appeared on the inside wall of a large open-plan hut that we were using at a campsite in Chile.  Which makes it ever odder.  Generally I can be at peace with spiders outside, in the wild.  If they're in the garden or the bush, they're wildlife, they're in their space, and it's all good.  But if they venture inside to people territory, they have evil on their tiny little minds.  But here I was, cool as a cucumber, with the chunkiest, furriest specimen of spiderhood I had ever encountered, and not behind glass.  I feel very proud of myself and all grown up and zen about the whole situation.  Sure, I have been fastidious about sealing all zips to all bags at all times since the encounter.  And yeh, I carefully investigate all shoes before donning them, and if one of them big buggers wanders into the tent, they'll hear me squeal in the arctic.  For now, however, spidey and me are okay...

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