A woman in Australia was taking a hike on Mount Majura recently when she spotted something that some people could find very alarming.
But Erin-Claire Barrow writes and illustrates fairy tales about brave female protagonists facing their fears — and so when she saw a huge, almost mythical spider on the ground, she was curious rather than terrified.
Barrow even got closer so that she could take some photos.
“My friend was saying, ‘Be careful, what if it jumps!?'” Barrow told The Dodo. “I got really close to take the picture … I thought it was kind of cute with its little face!”
Closer inspection revealed the large wolf spider was a mother — and dozens of tiny baby spiders were catching a piggyback ride on her back.
Barrow reflected that even though she was willing to get close to the mother spider, she wouldn’t trade places with her: “I wouldn’t like for those babies to be crawling on me!”
Some people who have seen Barrow’s photos didn’t think the little family was quite as cute as she did.
“I’ve seen so many awful comments on Facebook about killing spiders in response to the pic,” Barrow said. “I love the comments about her being cute and maternal — she’s not hurting anyone!”