The Tarantula.

As a lad I worked as a Market Porter at Smithfield Fruit and Veg Wholesale Market. The entire market was situated near the city centre over a labyrinth of Victorian Tunnels that spread for miles. One of our main imports was bananas fro The Congo and they would arrive by truck straight from the docks. Although covered in polythene to protect from `scratches`, we got them more or less as they had been picked. Large cumbersome bunches weighing in at well over a hundred Kilos. Our job (the lads) was to carry these bunches to a make shift ladder and hang them up in heated rooms (Congo temperature and humidity) until ripe. Now and then Tree Frog would leap out and climb the wall, or a small snake would wriggle out and hide in the straw covered floor. One of the lads said he had seen a kitten hiding in the corner and we all went down to see if we could rescue it. Sure enough we could see a small, dark, hairy thing stretching it`s legs (we thought) but as we teased it out we were stunned to see it was a huge tarantula. They were quite a common passenger from the congo and we could get £3 selling it to the local zoo. It moved very slowly and deceived my mate trying to get it into a jar. Using his hands to shepherd it along, it suddenly moved quickly and bit him.It was safely in the jar, and my mates hand began to swell so we whipped him off to the local hospital who stored the antidote. What I understood about female tarantulas was during mating she would bite off her mate`s head; hang it up in a web and feed it to the babies when born. The next time I heard my dad say to mum "don`t bite my head off!" Got to thinking............
dougle dougle
66-70, M
5 Responses May 19, 2012

Goodt hat I didn't had to bite hubs head off to feed our breed! lol

I was just a lad at the time, so had no idea what type of tarantula it was; there were many, mostly from the Congo, I suppose hiding in the bananas, and occasionally would pop out while the bunch was being carried to be hung up to ripen. They seemed to like the humid atmosphere of the ripening rooms, and would come out and browse around. Their bites were poisonous and the local hospital kept the antidote. The zoo gave us £3 for each spider, and in the main, that is how we were bitten, trying to put one in a jar. So quick!!

I wonder what type of tarantula it was...i work in an exotic animal rescue..and i handle many tarantulas on a daily basis...thankfully they are docile and do not bite..although i did get tarantula hair in my eyes....that wasn't fun lol

Yes, thank you, It`s one of those experiences that live on forever in the mind. A tarantula in Manchester UK, unbelievable but true.

Great story :)