I met a very affable gentleman by the name Paul at my guesthouse in Ouro Preto, Brazil. Paul was an Irishman who fell in love with Brazil and had been living in Belo Horizonte for the last 10 years or so. In the mornings over breakfast, Paul and I would discuss a variety of things – Brazilian Culture, Ecotourism and world affairs.
One morning, Paul looked very distraught and told me about a terrifying experience he had the night before. As Paul explained, he had returned to his small room to go to bed. Upon turning on the lights, he discovered a huge furry spider about the size of his fist crawling on the ceiling above his bed.
Like most people, Paul was very fearful about spiders(Arachnophobia). Horrified at the prospect of this furry creature crawling into his bed at night, Paul decided to take the offensive. With the heel of his shoe, he bludgeoned the spider to death.
After hearing the story and his description of the creature, I told Paul that he probably killed a Tarantula, one of the largest spiders in the Arachnid family. Most of the tarantula species are relatively harmless despite their ferocious appearance.
I was somewhat upset at Paul for killing the poor Tarantula – after all if he was uncomfortable with the spider in his room, he could have trapped it into a container and released it outside. As a nature lover, I would have welcomed the tarantula as a visitor to my room. I would have conducted a photoshoot before setting the creature free.
In a way, I could understand why Paul killed the tarantula. He felt that that the large spider had invaded his personal space. I am sure if Paul had encountered the tarantula outside in its natural habitat, he would have respected the creature’s right to live. After discussing my philosophy of nature and all living things, I told the Irishman that I forgave him.
Funny thing - In Portuguese, the name for Tarantula is Caranguejeira while in Spanish and English, the same word applies - Tarantula