Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Very Special Spider

I want to tell you about my beloved friend, Audacia. Audacia is a Chaco Golden Knee tarantula Grammostola pulchripes. Out of all the spiders that I own, I probably have the tightest bond with Audacia. Her name is Latin for "Courage" and is very fitting of her personality. She's helped many people overcome their Arachnophobia, and some have come to cherish spiders from their meetings with this sweet spider.

I met Audacia on Friday, January 29, 2011. It was a cold night, and I was heading home from a week of college to go see my family. It was getting dark, but I realized that I needed feeder crickets for the seven tarantulas that I already had at home. I asked my Dad, who was driving the car, to stop at a small pet shop in town so that I could go in and get some. He pulled into the store, and I went in. As I walked towards the shelves in the back, I had no way of knowing that my life was soon to change forever.

Sitting in the back of the shop, were two tanks. Neither of the tanks were properly labeled, and the tarantulas inside were misidentified, but I couldn't look away. She was sitting there, next to a water dish and a plastic cup. Something about her was captivating. I knew then that this was soon to be my spider.

As I looked at her, I knew that I couldn't leave without her. The cashier walked up to me and we began to talk. He told me that she'd only been in for a few days.

I looked back into the tank. By this time my dad had walked in, and was looking at the spider, as well. "You've got plenty of spiders." He told me, but I couldn't look away from her. I walked over to get the feeder crickets, when Dad said "Aren't you going to get your spider?" I looked at him, and he smiled. I walked over and picked up her tank. Smiling from ear to ear, I showed her to my twin sister, who was happy that I was happy.

Since that night, Audacia has been my near-constant companion. I spend most of my free time with her. Not just for tending to her, or feeding her. She's also my stress relief and confidant. I now carry her around the state and region doing speeches and programs about tarantulas and spiders in general. She's always super-friendly and calm for the duration of the speeches. Children love her, and enjoy gently petting her soft fur.

She's a great spider, and an even better friend.

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