by Carl Portman


Once upon a time there was a little baby spider. Her name was Brachypelma vagans although everyone called her Vera. Today she was very unhappy. It all began that morning after she had had a terrible moult.

No matter how she tried, she couldn’t pull herself completely out of her old skin.

A quarter of her carapace and her left chelicera were missing. Also two of her eyes appeared to have been affected so that her caretakers couldn’t tell if she could use them or not. To make matters worse two legs and her left pedipalp had also been lost. In short, she was as miserable as any spider could ever be.


Oddly enough, Vera was not upset about the fact that she had been so badly deformed. She knew that she could still try to live a normal life even without the lost appendages. She would re-generate her legs and pedipalp of course. That was what all the spiders did as a neat trick but sorting the rest out might be a bit more difficult.


The truth is, Vera was in such a state because she didn’t know what her caretakers would do. Were they the sort of caretakers that would send her to the dreaded "Freezer God" thinking they would help the poor dear out of her misery? Did the caretakers understand spiders enough to realise that she had a fighting chance of living a full (if not completely normal) life?

Vera hoped that caretakers understood that she could live perfectly happily even with one fang!


The caretakers had introduced her father and mother one evening and Vera was a direct result of that wonderful meeting when love really was at first sight.


Her worries were eased when she heard one of her caretakers, a male of the human species that was called "Carl" say out loud "Hey Su…she seems lively enough and although she only has one fang we’ll stick with her and see how she goes on. After all, where there’s life there’s hope."


Thank heavens she had caretakers who were not so quick to do business with the evil FG. Now Vera could get on with her life and set about putting right all the awful problems that the malevolent "moult-master" had given her.


From that day on, Vera learned how to catch her dinner with one fang and one pedipalp,until it grew back. She regenerated her legs and even her carapace and ocular turret seemed to return. She is a young lady now and lives her life to the full.


One day she will meet her prince and live in a great tank of her own with clean cork bark and a great white water dish. Maybe even she will have her own servant crickets.


Although her caretakers didn’t understand how Vera managed to survive, (only spiders know that secret) they were glad that they gave her the chance to sort her life out. All Vera hopes for now is that other caretakers think very hard before they put one of her relatives to death in the Freezer God. They may not be doing the spider a favour at all.


Vera fell asleep that night dreaming of her Prince. Rumours throughout the land of arachnia foretold of a dark handsome male roaming the bushes and burrows in search of a special lady. A lady with one giant fang and an amazing tale to tell...but that is another story for another time!


Vera: In search of the dark Prince



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