Maybe not so little.
Monday, I had a furry visitor. He had brown fur, snuck into my room, and had eight legs. And yes, he was a legit tarantula, which crawled out from under my bed and was creeping towards my wall when I noticed him in the dusky light of my room, out of the corner of my eye.
If you know me, you know I am not ok with this. I have been downright terrified of any sort of spider for as long as I can remember. Daddy long legs, wolf spiders, “bubbly-butt” spiders, baby spiders…didn’t matter. I was terrified. The thought of having to deal with a tarantula was one of the main things that made me think twice about applying for PC and accepting my invite to SA. Since joining PC, me and the spiders have struck a truth, and I’ve been ok with them hanging in my pit latrine, my room, school, my face…whatever. They honestly aren’t that bad. I’m in Africa, I have no choice but to deal with the arachnids.
Tarantulas are a whole other story. I knew they exist here, but I honestly thought only the Limpopo people would be dealing with them in their homes. I figured that I’d be ok, out here in the desert, chilling with the mini-me spiders in my room. Ha.
So, when I saw this, I freaked out. Now, my Mom gets to be proud of me because I did not cry, holler for a man to kill it, or even dig out a biohazard suit to deal with it. I jumped out of bed, in my SOCKS, and turned on the light. After appraising the weapons in my room, I grabbed my broom and SMACK! hit him hard.
It didn’t faze him. He scurried towards me, and then I did scream and jump on my bed. After gathering my wits again, I found him hiding by my bath basin and SLAM! hit him again. To no avail. He scurried under my dish rack, and I took a few deep breaths. My host mom wandered by and obviously saw my face and realized something was not ok. She asked how I was, and I tried to remember the word for spider. She turned away and I thought she abandoned me to deal with the beast on my own. So I grabbed the rack and swung it out of the way, then decided to go with the jabbing method of death, and grabbed my umbrella and POKE! got him good. He was still alive and kicking though.
Then my host momma came in, and I’m sure she had to choke back a laugh. Imagine: a frazzled white girl, in socks, broom in one hand, umbrella in the other, pathetically trembling as she tries to kill the spider. She grabs my broom, smashes it on him and presses down a few times to smoosh him good. Then she drags the broom out the door, spider still smashed beneath it, and sweeps it into the yard. Then she hollers because it is STILL alive, and BAM! she dealt the final blow.
I think the chickens must have eaten the carcass. No photos, but I did find a leg in my broom the following day. I even touched it! A dead tarantula part, imagine! Big step from the girl who was once afraid of baby spiders.
So….I am going to assume that was the only tarantula in North West Province. Ok? Ok!