You knew it was coming, people. Scary animals. Really big rabid dogs with slobbery mouths racing at you full-speed (thanks, Stephen King). Great White Sharks with those cold eyes sliding through the ocean, honed in on you like a short-range missile (thanks, Steven Spielberg). Giant Squids with so many grasping tentacles, pulling you to your death. Snakes--long, venemous, coiling snakes. Spiders, the furry kind as big as your fist. Gorillas, intelligent and deadly, their arms full of force. Speeding cheetahs with giant claws and strong jaws. Crocodiles, 20 feet of reptilian sneakiness snapping at your toes from below, ready to swallow you in a single gulp. Grizzly Bears. Scorpions. (Thanks, Nature Channel.)
But mostly sharks. They're silent. They can attack you from almost any angle. You can't reason with them. You can't out-swim them. I'm a rational person, I fully realize that I'm unlikely to run into a shark. But I'm still terrified by the possibility every time I go to the ocean. Fortunately, I don't find myself in the ocean that often, so the prospects of facing my greatest animal fear in the wild are very slim.
The best way to overcome a fear is through knowledge, and Mr. B is obsessed with sharks. Together we've read dozens of books about sharks. I know which species are threatened, endangered, rare and live far below in the ocean depths. I know which sharks live in freshwater (bull) and don't have teeth (whale) and why their skin can harm you (denticles). I also know their teeth are really sharp and they can swim fast. Those shark week marathons on TV give me thrills and chills. Sharks horrify and amaze me at the same time.
Lemurs? Notsomuch. They're mostly cute. Nonthreatenting. And endangered. Did you know that there are fifty different kinds of lemurs, ten types are critically endangered, seven are endangered, and nineteen are considered vulnerable? You can learn more about lemurs if you pick up Rena Jones' book Lemur Troops and Critter Groups--or if you win it here. (I know, my segues are getting worse and worse.) And Rena has written in her blog about grizzly bears, she lives in Montana right in bear country. Talk about scary! Thankfully I don't live in bear country, either. (And I'm pretty sure bears leave a bigger mess than whatever had dinner in our back yard the other night.)
For October's FABULOUS I'm giving away a copy of Lemur Troops and Critter Groups, a charming children's book about animals! (Not scary animals, fun animals.) How can you win? Every comment in the comment box through Saturday is an entry to win. I'll pick a lucky winner on Sunday.
Spill it, reader. What animal freaks you out the most?