Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Talking with Tarantula's

The Tarantula's name is Killer. He's as big as my fist with more eyes-that probably see much more-than I care to think about. He's covered in thick brown hair and he moves a little slower than frozen molasses. You see, he is very shy. You would be too, if you were his size and lived in a house with four sporty, rambunctious young boys--Who happened to find it entertaining to shake your cage to see if you would move.

He became the newest member of one of the households I work at last week, when the six-turning-seven year old's father presented him as the paramount birthday gift.

As I mopped up the waterfalls pouring from my eyes while I chopped onions at the house this morning, I happened to glance down at my elbow to find him watching me with all those beady little eyes.

"Well," I spoke in nasally tones, trying not to sneeze, "it's nice of you to finally grace us with your presence sir." I nodded at him cordially, "Those boys have been awfully keen on pulling you out of your reticence. Not that I blame you for hiding really, I'd be frightened if someone put their face that close to me as well."

His little hairy body bobbed slowly up and down. I was reminded irrestibly of Harry Potter's first encounter speaking parseltongue to a python in the London zoo. I couldn't resist.

"Can you...understand me?" I asked slowly.

Killer simply stared at me unblinkingly. Can tarantula's blink I wonder? Hmmm...but perhaps that is a question for another time.

"Hmmm." I said. "You know Mr. Killer, the more I see you, the less frightened I become of you, and the more sympathetic I grow. It seems you enjoy a quiet conversation as much as I do. I notice you only come out now-when it's just me humming along here in the kitchen."

At this point the four year old and his playmate came running into the room screaming.

"I'm gonna spank you-I'm gonna Spank YOU!" They bellowed at each other.

My legs became a mighty fortress and the kitchen an endless track. Killer quickly retreated into his coconut home.

I fed the boys their lunch of slightly warmed hot dogs with apples and cheese and sent them back to their upstairs playroom/battlefield.

I turned to the plastic cage next to the sink.

"That was an adventure wasn't it, Mr.Killer? Goodness those boys are silly. I do wish I had that much energy, don't you?"

Killer stuck one leg out of his coconut, and then another.

Eventually he re-emerged from his hidey hole and we spent the afternoon having a lovely conversation about the best methods to cook stew, how to entertain children without electronics, and what Santa might be bringing the boys for Christmas. After all-how do you top a tarantula?

I got to thinking after I left this afternoon-that perhaps I will never be cured of my inexplicable desire to speak to little furry critters. Of course, it could be an even worse sign that I seem to be under the impression that they understand me, and are communicating back to me in whatever various sundry ways they can.

This realization hit me when I was dropping off dinner at a friends house, and I was mid-conversation with a perversely mean cockatu who takes particular issue with human females. What am I doing? I wondered. This bird probably thinks I'm insane. Of course, that thought just proved my issues went even deeper.

I thought back on all the conversations I've had with God's smaller, speech debilitated creatures over the course of my life and it hit me like that crazy flock of sparrows that attacked me behind the outhouse in the middle of Idaho.

I have a problem.

Does this problem stem from feeling that there are not enough humans on whatever brainwave channel I'm using and so I must release myself to the animals? Or am I simply unable to consider that any living creature might not be able to communicate with the world around it?

Now come the deeper questions. Am I right? Am I simply more in tune with nature? Or am I an escapee from an asylum for Disney princesses gone wrong? After all I'm pretty sure the birds in all the movies I've seen sing along with the princess-rather than attack her at every turn.

Did you know I've been attacked by more than 22 different types of birds that I can count? Five of those in flocks?

Perhaps the birds are the more intelligent animals and they can sense whatever it is that is wrong with me?


Bri... only she said...

If you have a tarantula in your house when you "grow up"... I'm not visiting. I draw the line at spiders.

You're probably right though... the rest of us just aren't up to your intellectual par, your royal Disneyness. :P

KayKay :D said...

Ok-so I realized from your comment how concieted and horrible that sounded. Sheesh. Consider it edited ;)
Love you!