Do you ever wonder about people and their fears? I’m not talking about the many different phobias that attack the population–some rational; some irrational. I am referring to the creepy crawlies in the world of insects and reptiles, namely spiders and snakes. I find myself contradicting what I wrote at the beginning of this blog by reintroducing the suffix, phobia. The fear of spiders is Arachnophobia; the fear of snakes is Ophidiophobia, the fear of stinging insects (usually wasps) is Spheksophobia, and the fear of mice is Musophobia.
I’ve seen folks nearly wreck the car they were driving to get away from a stinging insect. I received this information first hand from sitting in the passenger seat of said vehicle.
I had a close friend who was deathly afraid of snakes. We went fishing along with his brother in a john boat one Saturday. After tying off to a small tree, we began to cast. Several hours passed and I happened to turn and look up to see a copperhead just a few feet above our heads. My friend was a good sized man. I was more afraid of him trying to get out the boat in a panic than I was of the snake. We managed to untie the boat and push away from the tree with him none the wiser, all intact and no one in the drink.
One thing I have done more than once is carry my sister from one room to the other or even outside, to get away from a mouse.
Just to mention the word spider, I guess, says it all, as I would tend to believe that Arachnophobia is one of the more prevalent fears within our ranks.
Fortunately, the creatures I have named don’t bother me. I have included similar, but more exotic, beasts in my science fiction novels. They boggle the mind and hopefully entertain the reader.
I used to catch non-poisonous snakes and allow my son to touch them to keep him from being afraid. The same with turtles, frogs, lizards, and salamanders. We lived in the country and I wanted him to experience the safe side of nature.
We may get a chuckle from someone flailing around trying to avoid an insect, but it’s no fun being the one that’s afraid. To bring it into context, everyone’s afraid of something. Check out the camel spider below found in Afghanistan.