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It’s just so fascinating how tarantulas can unknowingly teach us patience. I’ve been observing them whenever they eat… and boy, each genus has its own dining ritual. Take for example, Hewey, my Chilobrachy huahini.

I take a cricket from the holed cannister, shake it in the air and throw it inside Hewey’s tank. The cricket’s a bit stunned from my brisk shaking, as well as from the huahini’s gossamer-filled home. Cricket roams around, irked at the sight of this heavily webbed place he’s now in. Unsure of this new terrain, he wanders around and looks for food, not knowing that he himself spells out dinner. Hewey now begins his stalk. The manner in which he eats is quite remarkable: he knows I’ve placed food, but he doesn’t run to it despite the hunger. His appetite is as big as mine, or a lil over it, but he remains discrete about his hunger pangs. Instead, he patiently waits till his sumptuous meal gets trapped at a specific point within the cobweb area he painstakingly weaved.

Mr. Cricket now seemed to stay at one place, unaware of the trap, perhaps thinking of where else to find food. Then, in quick cadence, he moves and gets near the trap, but suddenly shifts direction as if sensing Hewey’s stealth. Hewey, on the other hand, seemed hopeful of his trap’s success, and so, he gets near the cricket.

Mr. Crix gets past him. The two of them suddenly brushed each other’s leg. The cricket is now confronted with the jolting truth… he is food. Hop and run!

Hewey now stands still, disregarding the thought of pouncing on the prey. I sighed. He could’ve feasted by now, I thought impatiently. Growing tired of Hewey’s ritual, I took a pair of forceps and guided the cricket near Hewey. Again, he allowed it past him. Uggghhh…fine! If I were that hungry, I could’ve stuck a toothpick in between my teeth by now.

A couple of minutes later, the cricket seemed to have fallen into the trap! Mr. Cricket tried to break free from the sticky substance he smudged into, but is unable to budge out. I keenly watched as Hewey nears him, lifts two of his front legs to hold the crix in place, and finally eases his fangs into the crix’s soft flesh as it releases its venom.

He was built for this kind of kill, I thought to myself.. He knew that there was a right place and time for his meal.

It’s a known fact that these spiders are voracious eaters. It is just remarkable how they seem to be more human whenever they display such discipline at mealtime.
These spiders constantly remind me of patience in the midst of failure. They tell me how hardwork, through their meticulously woven home, can help me achieve my goals. I get to be reminded that somehow, despite disheartening circumstances, my dreams can still be achieved at the right place and at the right time.

As for now, I must weave… and stalk!

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