Exclusive Interview with Charlotte de Gross, North Birmingham Library's Resident Tarantula

by June Lacanski, North Birmingham Regional Branch Library

North Birmingham Zoobrary reporting—October’s Pet of the Month is Charlotte de Gross. She wanted to be interviewed this month because October is a scary month, she said, and some people think she’s scary.

Interviewer: Charlotte, if someone asked you what type of living creature you are, how would you answer?
Charlotte: I would say, “Hey Dufus, do you see my eight legs? I sure ain’t an octopus!”

Interviewer: OK, so you are a spider; what type of a spider are you?
Charlotte: I am a Tarantula.
Charlotte poses as a human hairpiece

Interviewer: Well, what type of a tarantula are you?
Charlotte: I am a Library Tarantula!

Interviewer: Alrighty then. How long have you been at the North Birmingham Library?
Charlotte: I came as a little spider in the autumn of 2008. I don’t have fingers, so it is hard for me to count. From 2008 to 2017—is that like 700 years?

Interviewer: Well, no. Anyway, how did you get the name Charlotte?
Charlotte: There is a book about a spider that can spell things in her web. Her name is Charlotte. I never read the book. But I might get to see the movie one day…

Interviewer: You never know… So, what is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at the library?
Charlotte: Well, one day a frisky creature was messing with my cage. I don’t know, but I think they are called Human Beans or something like that. Anyway, there was nobody watching the Zoobrary and this creature opened my cage. Then he ran away. Heck, so did I! I played in the Kid Department all night. But when morning came, somebody discovered that I was out of my cage. They went absolutely C.R.A.Z.Y. Some goofy Scardy-Breetches picked me up in the dustpan and took me back to my shelf. A dust pan! Now that was insulting! But the silly Human Beans were running around and were even talking about closing the library until they found me. I wasn’t even lost, but whatever…

Interviewer: What is your favorite thing about living at the North Birmingham Library?
Charlotte: Oh, definitely Grubdown! All ages of Human Beans gather around while this pretty Bean picks me up and tells everyone a lot of important stuff about me. Then she lets all the other Beans touch me and some goofy Beans squeal and run around like crazy things. But, what I think is really neat is when someone touches the bottom of my feet to understand how the sticky stuff on the bottom helps me walk upside down if I want. The Beans seem to appreciate me better after Grubdown is over. Then I get a couple of yummy crickets. If I am hungry, I will grab one and go to work on it.

Interviewer: So you eat crickets? Do you just gobble down the whole thing?
Charlotte: Well, I will eat almost any kind of bug. But, first I stun it with my built-in stun gun; then I kind of put a straw into the bug and shoot in a little spit. Then I suck all the juicy stuff out. Yummers!

Interviewer: Ugh, that sounds gross. How long does that process take?
Charlotte: As long as it needs to. And you Human Beans are the ones who eat the gross stuff! I see little Beans come around with small white sticks coming out of their mouth. And when they talk their tongues are red or blue or green or brown. Now that is what’s gross!

Interviewer: One last question: How would you change the North Birmingham Library if you could?
Charlotte: Well, all the nice Library Human Beans would bring a whole bag of crickets every week and let them go. And they would let me out of my cage and all of my old friends could come. And then we could pull every book off the shelf that we wanted and read and read. And we would play every movie we wanted to watch on the TV—like that Charlotte movie. And we could all play games on the computers and write letters and look for spider date sites and stuff…

Interviewer: Oh yeah, Charlotte, I do need to ask you one more question: What is your favorite book?
Charlotte: Now, that is a dumb last question! You think I’m gonna say that book about the spider who wrote things with her web, don’t you? Nope. My favorite book is Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Interviewer: Thank you so much Charlotte. I am sure our readers appreciate your candid responses.

Please join us next month when our interviewer asks, “When did you realize that your dad ate your brother?”