I have always been afraid of spiders – not sure why, but they just seem creepy.
There are not many bugs in Tonga, and no dangerous wild animals, but they do have harmless spiders. We were on an uninhabited island, Ouleva, in the Haap’ai Group, an absolutely breathtaking island with white powder beaches and crystal clear turquoise water. We had this gorgeous Tongan island all to ourselves.
I had read that there is only a big centipede (“molokau”), that has a painful bite, and a few non-poisonous spiders.
When we arrived, the owner showed us to a beautiful little cabin, with a canopy bed, and an open air bathroom and shower attached at the back of the cabin, very clean, very modern. We were unpacking, settling in, and I paused to use the bathroom. Sitting there, smelling the fresh jungle air, looking up at the trees and sky, I was quite enthralled with this open air bathroom and shower.
Then I looked towards the sink and down along side a short wall there was a big black fuzzy spider the size of my hand! And a baby spider, the size of a toddler’s hand! I screamed blue murder!
T came running in,
“What’s wrong?! What’s wrong?!”
T looked down, and his eyes popped. He ran out and then back in with a homemade grass broom.
He did not kill the spiders, who had frozen stiff, not moving at all. The Mother spider’s eyes were so big and she looked so very frightened. I was still sitting frozen to the toilet with equally big frightened eyes. T just scooted them both off the edge of the raised floor, and back into the jungle.
I was paranoid for a few days, always on the lookout for spiders but never saw one. Then one day when I was alone in the cabin, I moved my suitcase from a corner to reach something else, and a gigantic black spider ran out from behind, and then froze. I froze too! It was a stand-off. He was so big that again I could clearly see his eyes open wide, and he was completely frightened out of his wits! He was more frightened than I was!!!
That’s when I got over my fear of spiders. That poor little spider was ten times more frightened than I was, and so he should be – I was at least ten times bigger than him!
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