"So would you rather be a girl tarantula or a boy tarantula?"
Jeff, our rainforest guide at Charlotte, North Carolina's Discovery Place museum, was holding Lily, the resident furry spider and she was a beauty. The room was crowded with kids and shouted votes- "BOY!" or "GIRL!" depending on their own gender, naturally.
"Well, let me tell you, boys and girls, that you would most DEFINITELY, ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT, want to be a GIRL tarantula. Do you know why?" Jeff would then, of course, explain:
"Boy tarantulas are lucky if they live for six years. Girl tarantulas live for up to 30 years. When a boy tarantula meets a girl tarantula, he does a little dance. If the girl doesn't like his dance, she bites his head off!" He let that float awhile for dramatic effect.
"But if the girl tarantula likes the boy tarantula's dance then he's the spider for her. Let's just say they... ahem... get to dance together more and then baby spiders come along."
Tough, short life for a male tarantula.
Truth is, I have found a male with great moves. He is a strong and handsome mate who lives life with joy and love and compassion and I have adored life with Jack. He's the one for me.
Unfortunately, the hormonal (and can't we always blame everything on hormones?) and angry she-tarantula in me bites his poor head off every now and then. Like this morning. (sigh)
The good news is, love covers a multitude of sins and forgiveness has flowed from the heart of my sometimes wounded male all these many years.
So this one's for you, Jack. Your moves still make me swoon.
Sorry for all the bites.