Mom, can I get a tarantula? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 11, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 11, 2018

Mom, can I get a tarantula?

Exotic pets are usually luxuries for wealthy people in many countries. From pet lizards to 12-feet alligators, exotic pets come in all shapes and sizes. The average Bangladeshi teenager has to go through a lot of difficulties and negotiations with their family to even keep a dog or a cat. Imagine how it would be if Bangladeshi parents came face to face with an exotic animal in the living room.


Pythons are fairly common in the exotic pet category. They are large, they have smooth, colourful skin, and owning one makes you kind of a badass. Sadly, our mothers are terrified of snakes and think they are creatures that rose from the dark depths of hell. So if you ever tried keeping one, your parents would probably lose their minds, label you as possessed by Satan, and book you a trip to the mental hospital.


You might be able to convince your family to keep a monkey, provided they already let you keep cats or dogs and you have good persuasion skills. However, common ones — such as the squirrel monkeys — are very territorial. They fight for alpha status and are mischievous, loud creatures. They'll scratch and bite your family members, steal your food and trash the whole house. As a result, you and your monkey will probably end up being tossed out the balcony window. 


Lizards such as chameleons or bearded dragons are common choices for exotic pets. They're also gentle and harmless creatures. They just… sit there and do nothing. So your parents will probably let you keep them, but they'll constantly remind you how weird you are for keeping one. You'll also hear the sentence “Amar chokher shamner theke ei jinish ta shora,” too many times.


Wallabies are basically small Kangaroos. They are kind of high maintenance and have a tendency to kick a lot. So it'll rampage around the house and your parents will react similarly to keeping a monkey. Besides that, they'll accuse you of turning the house into a zoo 3 to 5 times every hour.


Oh boy, I'll not be giving a direct description. Let's just say if your parents found out you stole money from your dad's pocket, snuck out the house, met up with your secret lover who lives on the streets, and got married, on top of not being able to get into a socially-acceptable Engineering or Medical school, they'd probably have a similar reaction to keeping a tarantula.

So sadly, it seems the dream of owning exotic animals and having them around as pets is very far-fetched for most of us. I'll just have to set aside my ambition of getting myself a 300-kilogram Siberian tiger and first convince my mom to let me keep a regular house cat.


Mushfiqur Rahman Shanto is an undercover wizard who spends his days quietly observing muggles. Send him new magic spells at

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