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James Callow Folklore Archive

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My aunt heard this story from a friend whose
friend had it happen to her. She had gone to
a large nursery and bought a cactus that was
about two or three feet tall. She had just had
a baby and was home alone all day caring for it.
When she sat down to rest she thought she saw the
the cactus moving a little. When she told her
husband he just figured that she was fatigued from
taking care of the baby all day. One day it really
started to bother her so she called the store.
The manager got on the phone and told her not to
panic but to put the cactus in a dark closet and
to leave the house until he arrived. A few minutes
later, they arrived, went into the house, covered
it up and carried it to a truck. The manager was
also sending an exterminator to the house.
Apparently a whole shipment of cactuses from the
southwest had eggs laid in them by tarantulas.
When the sun warmed up the cactus, the eggs would
begin to hatch and that's what gave the cactus the
appearance of moving. If they don't eat their way
out, the cactus will literally explode from the
pressure created by all the baby tarantulas inside.

Submitter comment: I thought that this story was true, but in the
last couple years I've heard other people tell
similar stories. I think my aunt also thought it
was true.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROCHESTER HILLS

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant
BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 00001980S

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