A huge spider, almost 4 or 5 inches of leg span; long slender legs- 8 in all curved gracefully to support a big yellow body having just enough space for its big tummy and 8 tiny eyes only two of which I could clearly see, tiny black spots and sharp hair all over. It was definitely one of the most fascinating things I have seen from that close a distance. It’s complicated movement with all the slender legs dangling and moving in a seemingly haphazard fashion, like the ropes in the back stage of a puppet show; and yet with all the randomness there is an element of eloquence which only made me painfully perspicacious of my inability to cohere the random swings with the svelte movement. I am not even trying to describe the way it hunts because that I believe, like all other uncanny creations of nature, beyond the vocabulary of the greatest of poets and the imagination of the greatest of painters (may be pixar can do something about it!).
Almost immediately I decided that I am going to adopt it, have it in my room and observe more fascinating things… we made a temporary accommodation in a transparent plastic box, bored holes put some moist cotton, some mud and slipped it in and the first night it was restless, trying to read the conditions and searching for a route to escape from what is going to be a happy home for it… that was when I started suspecting the credibility of my decision to have it as a pet. So I decided to ask for opinion of people around me. The opinions can be broadly categorized into two: Wow! and Eww! A lot of people expressed concern that I am restricting the freedom of a highly 3-dimensional unsuspecting arachnid that just came to grace the warmth of Swaroop’s CPU. So I researched... the more I learnt about spiders, the more convinced I was that it is ok to have a spider in a terrarium which is now officially 'The Spigloo’.
Having a spider in a terrarium is no different from having an aquarium with goldfish in it. In fact it is better. I feed my spider live insects which it hunts and eats if it likes them otherwise just kills them and leaves them to rot unlike those poor little fish which are forced to survive on those artificial food pellets which I am sure tastes like fish crap when compared to a live worm. Ask any fish and it would definitely agree with me on that account. Fishes are social animals and move around in schools and colonies and having just two or three of them in a small tank, there is a chance that the fish might feel lonely but spiders unlike fishes are not at all social. They eat just about anything as long as it is alive and smaller than itself. Even other spiders of the same species! The average male spider is smaller than the female and often runs the risk of being mistaken as prey and eaten when it approaches a female during the mating season!. So I am actually doing my spider a favor by keeping it away from those evil female spiders! (I am assuming mine’s male)
Spiders are very clean (unlike fishes) and noiseless (unlike a lot other pets) animals. They need no pampering, no socializing and more than happy to stay alone as long as an odd insect keeps flying in its web. They don’t need much attention either, a few hundred million years of natural selection has done a lot of good to them. Have a busy week ahead with exams, deadlines and submissions? It’s ok; just leave the spider alone because they can go without food for a couple of weeks (though I make it a point to feed it every alternate day... I don’t want to risk starving it). And feeding it is real easy and cheap too… All I have to do is catch a few bugs and insects that come to my room everyday and drop them in the spigloo and then enjoy watching spiders do what they are best at- hunting. I have also designed the least yucky mechanism that doesn’t involve me actually touching any of those insects with my hands (though I am comfortable touching insects and stuff). And the best part is that they can make real men jump around like silly little girls. :D
P.S: I have to give my spider a name, I know they never respond to names but still people always name their fish and teddy bears! So I have zeroed in on Octavius. I think it is an obvious name… eight legs, eight eyes and I found it in the eight month of the year and we can go on giving instances of 8 like numerologists do! If you have any suggestions for a better name... Please comment