The Cobweb in the Sky
The tarantula saga continues, thank goodness.
Fuschia, the pink-toed tarantula we are arachnid sitting for the summer, is a casual eater, dining on her crickets only periodically. I have yet to see her dine on her buggy entrees, a lucky coincidence I earnestly hope to continue experiencing.
But as a result, I can’t just dump a load of crickets every other day in her terrarium/condo, but have to peer in to see if any of the doomed hoppers remain. She usually moves a bit, a tiny leg wave as if she’s annoyed that I’m blocking her light.
Then, on Thursday she didn’t move. I came back later and checked again. Nothing. I blew gently on her, which is a sure fire way to get her moving. Still as a rock. I was horrified. Somehow we had managed to kill the third grade class tarantula. The kids were out of town for the night with dad, so I decided to spare them the bad news.
The next morning my guilty conscious required me to send a message to Mr. Herzog, the teacher who had entrusted us with Fuschia’s care:
Bad news. The tarantula has gone to the big cobweb in the sky.
While Fuschia has been a relatively quiet member of the household, I was not looking forward to breaking the news to Mireya who would be mortified that we had managed to fail arachnid sitting. She’s been a dutiful, if distant, guardian of the eight-legged summer guest, regularly filling her water bowl and reporting on her location in the web.
When they arrived back home I realized it was time to break the news. I checked on Fuschia one last time.
I did a double take. It looked a little crowded in there. Like Fuschia had a guest.
Certainly we had not invited over any gentleman suitors to her condo. And, as far as I knew, no one else was bringing in more “pets,” although around here you can never be sure.
I peered in for a closer look, and sure enough, there were more legs in there than there should be. I left the room to… er… get some air.
Then it slowly dawned on me. Fuschia has molted. And apparently she has learned from my daughters that the best place for a discarded outfit is right in the middle of her room.
I sent an update to Mr. Herzog. He had been out of town, but had surmised that we were witnessing molting, not expiration.
He then suggested we could keep Fuschia’s outgrown shell, to which I sent a message back: