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Spiders and Crabs!

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Usually I am the Weirdest Thing of The Day when I visit a school — but that was not the case this week at Boonsboro Elementary on the west side of Lynchburg, VA!!!

When I swept in to the office of Boonsboro for a presentation of my “Author’s Silly Purpose” talk, there was a mom steering a Mexican red-kneed tarantula around the shoulders of her son’s first grade teacher!!! Of course I wanted my turn with this lovely female named “Cruella . . . ”

I actually had to make my silly faces for the photos in complete silence because the beautiful Cruella would jump at any sudden motion or sound. I laughed once while she climbed on me, and she didn’t like that boisterousness! She was really lovely — calm and quiet and slow-moving (despite the office folks’ jokes about her going for my jugular vein).

Cruella’s knees weren’t red, as her name implies; they were a peachy kind of orange. Her kind are among the most popular tarantulas available in the pet trade, due to their impressive size, coloring, and peacefulness. Wikipedia tells me they are a slower growing species; it is not uncommon to have females live 25 years or more. (The mom had one plastic container for Cruella and another one full of crickets for her to eat.)

After my fun with the tarantula, it was back to work. I spoke to a cafeteria full of third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at Boonsboro. They liked the crab hat.

One fellow liked the crab hat so much that after the assembly ended he ran to his classroom, grabbed this crab hat and came back to show me!!! I’m glad he was brave and silly enough to share a photo and a fist bump with me — that’s the kind of inspiration I hope to leave at each school I visit.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 11th, 2010 at 12:50 pm and is filed under Author's Purpose. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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Chester crab comics