Frankie and Egg


We have a problem – A problem that many parents of young children have:

Our kids want a pet.

This all started when we were in Okinawa and we saw some pretty big and dangerous looking spiders in the bushes (see photo above).

To make them appear less scary for the kids, my husband and I suggested that we should give them names. The kids named the first one as Frankie. A couple of days later we discovered another whopper a few metres away from Frankie. The kids assumed it was Frankie’s brother, and called him Egg. This was regardless of the fact that it didn’t look like a particularly well-fed spider, nor did it smell bad.

Having seen the size of Okinawan spiders, and having been warned that there were some habu, i.e. poisonous snakes, in Okinawa, we were a little bit worried when we decided to hang out on empty beaches


or discovered secret caves



or even when we just tried to battle our way through the snake-infested bushes to get to the beach.


The path to the beach


But I am glad to tell you that apart from Frankie and Egg, we didn’t see anything that looked dangerous during our holiday… well, apart from (a) Frankie and Egg’s little sister that we found in a restaurant toilet (see photo below) and (b) my cave woman appearance and behaviour in the mornings after downing a bottle of white wine the night before.



No-one got bitten or attached to by anything even though the kids, as most parents would expect, disobeyed our command to not go off and explore the bushes and caves.


The punch line is that our Okinawan holiday resulted in our kids wanting a pet, and to my husband’s horror I’ve gone and promised that we’ll buy a dog when we move back to England. My husband is now trying to convince the kids that a hamster might make a better pet – or that, in fact, Tamagotchi would be even better.


8 thoughts on “Frankie and Egg

  1. I think a miniature horse would be even better! 😉 Although they do eat everything from your garden (except the weeds!), poo all around the place and also occasionally might also suckle on your clean laundry while it’s drying outside… hmmm, yes, tamagotchi sounds good!

  2. Frankie and Egg! Brilliant! Oh, how I hate all the spiders that seem to share my love for autumn. In Kentucky they were huge (to my Finnish eyes) but we have some nice ones here in Amsterdam too. Me and the kids have tried to make friends with them by being interested in their work and taking photos but naming them – that’s brilliant!

    • We used to have dogs (Dalmatians) when we lived in England. At the moment it would be quite difficult to have anything other than maybe a goldfish, but if my husband can’t convince the kids to go for a hamster or tamagotchi, we’ll probably have a new Dalmatian puppy in a couple of years when we’ve settled back in the UK.

  3. Maybe I’m too tired from a long afternoon, evening and night travelling home from New York City, but what is Tamagotchi? Do the Okinawan snakes really come to sand and salt water? Having grown up in a place where there are no poisonous snakes or insects, I hate it when my water or beach activities are limited by the threat of encounters with poisonous creatures. Spiders don’t bother me at all; “Charlotte’s Web” was my mother’s favorite book.

    I hope your family is in a position to enjoy and learn from a dog (and/or cat) soon; they can bring such joy. I do admire you for waiting until you are leading a life that would be conducive to having a dog (and not having to ship him/her home in the belly of an airplane). And what a clever idea to name nearby spiders in the meantime. Before we could have a dog or cat, we took care of our childrens’ classroom chinchillas during weekends and holidays. They were wonderful pets, and we soon got our own.

    Greetings to Osaka from rainy, windy New York City and sunny and mild Portland, Leslie

    • Hi Leslie,

      Tamagotchi is a digital pet – a hand held computer game that you commonly hang from your key ring. The user needs to take care of the virtual pet (feed it, take it for a walk etc.) or otherwise it’ll die. They were very popular back in the 1990s.

      I used to have two Dalmatians. When I moved from Finland to England (back in 2000), I took my dogs with me. England had just dropped its 6 month long quarantine for animals entering England, so my dogs just needed pet passports instead of a long stay in a quarantine kennel, but because it was all so new then, there were only a couple of entry points to England at the time. My dogs and I had to fly from Helsinki to Paris from where my English friends came to pick us up in their car and a caravan (for the huge crates). We then drove to Calais, took the ferry over to Dover and drove from Dover to Brighton. It was a long journey and I was worried that the dogs would be traumatised, in particular since one of my dogs had quite a nervous personality, but they were both fine (even though, at Charles de Gaulle airport, a member of the ground staff had stacked the dogs in their crates on top of each other on a trolley, and the top crate fell on the floor while he pushed it through the terminal). They were lovely dogs, and lived until the ripe old ages of 15 and 16.

      We were a little worried on the beaches because we were literally the only people there and weren’t quite sure what else might be there. The beaches often had some big volcanic rocks with crevices in which, I assume, spiders and snakes could hide. In addition, not only does Okinawa have poisonous snakes and spiders, there are also sea urchins and poisonous octopuses there. So, I was on my toes – especially with the kids not looking where they step.

      As a child I spent all my summers at my grandparents’ summer cottage in the Finnish lake district. We saw several kyy (adders) every summer and learned how not to get bitten by them. So, I am not too squeamish about snakes (or spiders), and we did use the toilet with the ‘little sister’ on the wall 🙂

      Greeting from sunny Osaka!

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