Photo: A tarantula feeding

Have you ever heard the question “why does the chicken cross the roads?”  The answer is “to get to the other side.”  Not very funny to me now, nor the first time I heard it.

When I lived in College Station, I witnessed the migration season of the Tarantula spider.  The best I can remember it was in late summer or early fall.  I had heard about this migration on Highway 60, just west of Snook, Texas.  I was returning from Lake Sommerville and came upon hundreds of large Tarantula spiders crossing the highway in front of me.  It was unbelievable.  I stopped, along with other cars, to just look at the sight.  There seemed to be no end to the spider parade across the highway.  I am almost as fond of Tarantulas as I am snakes.  I could just imagine trying to drive through this caravan and being attacked by these huge spiders.  But, I finally got my nerve up and drove forward and let each Tarantula worry about being crushed by my tires.  I couldn’t miss all of them, so a few were smashed.    

Now, back to the question of why Tarantulas cross the road.  It is not to get to the other side.  Only the males are migrating.  They are looking for females.  I guess the females must have been on the other side of the road.  The males do not live among the females.  They remain bachelors until they mature at about age three.  (Most of the males I know aren’t mature at 23 or maybe even 33).  So, the males migrate seeking older female company.  The females may live to be about 20 years of age and the male only lives about 3 years.  I think the females live longer because they don’t cross the highway looking for younger males.  They just wait in their burrows and wait for a good-looking young male to come along.

After mating, the male quickly leaves the presence of the female.  If he stays around, she will eat him.  If he escapes, he still dies shortly, while she guards her eggs and waits for the hatch of 500 to 1,000 little Tarantulas.

I have always had a fear of Tarantulas.  I thought their venom was deadly and being bitten would be something terrible.  I have found out their venom only caused pain very much like the sting of a bee.  Their venom only has an effect on their prey and man is not their prey.  They do not have an aggressive nature.  So, there is nothing really to fear.

How often in life do we fear something?  We mostly fear the unknown.  Our imagination can cause us great fear.  We often concentrate on our fears and problems rather than seeking wisdom and focusing on the Answer.  Satan can cause great fear in us unless we continue to focus on the Answer.  God did not give us a spirit of fear.  He has gifted us with His peace.  In all things we must continue to look to Him for the answer to our fears and problems and place our very lives in His hands.  God only wants the very best for His children and we can rest in that.  Just as we don’t understand the ways of the Tarantula, we don’t understand fully the ways of our Lord.  Not understanding His ways should never deter us in placing our faith in Him.




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