I put the fear of God into these bi-pedalled monsters who trespass into my domain and mess up with me. However, one look at me results in violent shrieks and terror attacks in them though they usually come with their dangerous fire-spewing arms which they call guns. And they call me the Tarantula.

Tarantula! Doesn’t it sound ominous? Well, that’s me. I fear no one in this jungle while most fear me. Especially the smaller avians and reptiles. My fangs are my defence and my fangs are my offensive weapons of choice. 

But…but, I am a mother too. Recently I have given birth to many little ones who are still in their protective shells. The carnivorous ants living nearby are giving me hell, targeting my poor babies. And my fangs, which can immobilize a bi-pedalled delinquent, are of no use against these smaller ants. I need some solution fast or I stand to lose all my babies. Hey, don’t look at me like that. My face is not designed to show emotions, if that’s what you are trying to see. I feel very sad though you can’t deduce it from my visage.

Then I see him. My knight in shining armour. Well, not exactly. He is small and dotted and hums an unknown tune. But he has the longest tongue with which he makes mincemeat of my enemies,  those horrible ants. He looks so vulnerable due to his size, I want to protect him. So I make the first move.

“Hi handsome! Would you move in with me?”, I ask while trying to make my eight eyes as innocent as possible. 

One look at me and he freezes in fright. Next moment, he tries to scamper off. But I won’t have any of it. I embrace him tightly so he can’t escape. His frog eyes bulge out further. Then, sensing that he is still in my arms and more importantly, alive, he finds his croak.

“Oh mighty Tarantula! What can I, a humble frog, do for you my lady?”.

“The length of your tongue impresses me. I need you to protect my little ones from those scampering, devious ants. Please stay with me. You will have an unending supply of food and my babies would be protected. And I will protect you from your tormentors”, I tryto convince him.

“But how can I stay with you? What will the jungle-folks say?”

And so we argued till he was convinced. And moved in with me. 

What a shooter he was! A real Quick Gun Frog’un. Now my babies are well protected from those horrendous ants. I am really chuffed with my decision to invite him into my parlour. Like those bi-pedalled nincompoops say, “It is not who fired the shot but who paid for the bullet”. 

My investment was successful with interest. For my babies have readymade food on-the-house. 

Psst…he needn’t know.

Glossary:

Tarantula – a huge spider, most humans are afraid of 

Dotted humming frog – a frog which has a mutualistic relationship with the Tarantula; he eats the carnivorous ants which target the tarantula’s eggs and in turn, the Tarantula protects him from his predators 

Bi-pedalled monsters – a species to which the writer and readers belong.

Protective shells  – eggs

photo credit – unsplash.com, Timothy Dykes


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