Sleeping with Tarantulas

Hope Shack

   It was pitch dark as we returned from a day of military maneuvers. This was a tactical exercise, so no lights were allowed. Days begin early in the military and all I wanted was to crawl into my pup tent and go to sleep.

    The night before I had hurriedly erected my tent over a tarantula hole. We were bivouacking in tall weeds and brush. Tarantulas were everywhere. I had pounded the hole shut. Spread my poncho on the ground, since our tents didn’t have floors. Rolled out my sleeping bag and went to sleep.

    We were in Puerto Rico training on a National Guard base. This base no longer exists, but at that time it was tarantula paradise. Tarantulas holes were everywhere. These holes were easy to distinguish by the web that lined the holes. You could wiggle a piece of grass or stick and the entrance and they…

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