Advertisement Hello all! I have always been facinated with tarantulas and the other day I rescued one from the high school where I teach. I was afraid that some idiot kids would squish him/her or find other horridly "amusing" thing to do to it. So I took him home to set him free in the vacant lot next to my place. It was cold and rainy though so I used that as an excuse to keep him for a day or so. WOW!!! What an amazing animal!!! Now I think I may want one. I want a tarantula that is colorful and good for a beginner. It would seem that a Mexican redknee (aka smithi, yes?) fits that description. I still have a bit of research to do, but I am curious to hear from people who have experience with this type of tarantula. I dont' mean to start anything...it would seem that the handling issue is one of those never ending debates here. I would like to be able to handle my tarantula - on occasion. I know that smithi's have a reputation for the hair flicking defense, but how easy is it to set them off? Do they tend to calm down and get used to handling? I know that if handling a tarantula there is always the risk of getting bit, but how prone are the redknees to biting? Have any of you gotten bombarded with the hair flicking defense? What was it like and how did you deal with it? Has anyone been bitten? I have heard that it is similar to a bee sting...is this correct? Am I correct in thinking that a Mexican redknee would be a decent first tarantula? What would be the pros/cons to this? What have been your experiences with Mexican redknees? Problems that you have encountered? Personal advice that may not be found in caresheets? Andy suggestions and/or advice that you all have to offer would be great! Thanks so much!