My Guess Is That More Often Than Not, They Probably Won't Kill You
Shoot--I've left my water bottle in the tent amid the frenzy
of packing up camp in Tembe. Kicking off my sandy running shoes, I duck in to
retrieve it, emerge fifteen seconds later, slip my bare feet back into the shoes,
and head toward the trucks to continue packing. I feel a slight prick in my
right big toe but dismiss it as one of the Acacia thorns that litter the ground.
Two seconds later, the lump I had passed off as a pile of sand at the base of
my shoe begins to move of its own volition. I decide this would be a good time
to remove the shoe. After the shoe lands, I walk forward to inspect its contents
and am somewhat taken aback to discover that it is occupied by a large, hairy,
and extremely unhappy spider, eerily tarantula-like, and noticeably bigger than
the big toe on which it had expressed its displeasure upon finding its new shelter
shared by the smelly foot of some ignorant bipedal primate. I deliver the shoe
to Berndt, the grad student who knows about such things. "Oh, laquer,"
he says, meaning cool. "A rain spider." He informs me that they're
usually harmless. I inform him that I don't like the word usually. But my foot
never swells up, turns color, loses feeling, or falls off, so I believe Berndt's
diagnosis is, happily, correct.
Back to Main Page
Last Updated: 13 January, 2003
This page © 2003 by Zenmervolt.