Our cultural broker B was waiting for me in the shade of two short palm trees as I talked to her 7-year-old son, C. I pointed down at the ground, look, a spider! C glanced up at me. That’s a tarántula, he said.
B jumped up from her seat, pulled off her flip-flop, and deftly smacked the packed dirt ground. I looked at the hairy poker chip-sized thing with guts spilling out. “You saved my life!” I joked.
B was not having it. “You scared me. Those things can jump. It could have bitten you. One of those bit my uncle’s ankle and he had to go to the hospital because of the poison in his body. They say he nearly died.”
C stuffed the dead tarantula into the ground, using a stick, “back into your house you go!” Sure, its house, I thought, wishing I knew the word for grave.