Look Daddy… a spider!

I must have been 5 or so.
One evening my father came home from work with a present for me.

I opened the parcel and found a rubber tarantula. It had a plastic tube inserted in its abdomen and attached to the other end a rubber hand pump.

When you squeezed the pump the spider jumped.

When my mother entered the living room to say hi to my father I joyfully ran towards her.
“Mommy, mommy, look what Daddy got me,” I beamed breathlessly.
I made the spider jump.

I remember my mother screaming with fear and turning pale. My father took her in his arms and then upstairs.
It took a while before she came back, still shaking.
I was way to young to understand what had happened.

The next morning I searched for my rubber tarantula.
In vain though and being a kid a soon forgot the toy.
My father had discretely thrown it in the garbage bin.


My parents had been married for 5 years or so and my father did not know my mother suffered from extreme arachnophobia.
Well, he finally found out, didn’t he?

What happened that evening changed my perception of spiders. For years to come I too suffered from arachnophobia albeit not as extreme as my mother did.

A few years ago I started taking close-ups and later macro’s from spiders hoping I would get past my phobia.
I must admit it did help although I still tend to freeze when I’m confronted with a big, black and hairy house spider.

One species I really like are crab spiders. They are small, very colorful and a pleasure to photograph.


7 thoughts on “Look Daddy… a spider!”

  1. I have to tell you. My daughter used to scream omg what a scream every time she saw a spider. This went on until one day there was a spider in the car near the headrest on the other seat in the back where she was sitting. I pointed the spider out and told her he was waving at her, saying hello, trying to be friendly because his front leg was raised and waving in the air towards her. For a while she kept looking for the spider in the car and I told her he had to go back to his family and take care of them. After that every spider was now her friend. She was probably around 7 or 8. I swear that spider was there for that very purpose to help my daughter no longer fear spiders. She has since held a scorpion as well as a tarantula.

    1. Indeed. I once read it was more about a primal fear somewhere in the brain. Not so much for a spider but more because it form and the 8 legs. I used to dive and had similar problems with the form of a crab before my conscience told me it was a crab and not a spider.

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