Monday, September 22, 2014

Keep Your Friends Close

We have a spider.

This spider first made its entrance to our lives a couple of weeks ago, when our son remarked on the scope and breadth of a web within the shrubs planted close to our deck.  It made a living feasting on the most foolhardy flitting bugs that aimed their trajectory a leetle too close.

The spider left most of them alone to die naturally.  The smallest gnats and flying insects lay in the web to decorate it once their teeny wings gave out.  The rest, the big guys, made it just in time for dinner.  Our family, amazed at nature taking place close by but at a comfortable distance, witnessed one or two of its catch-and-eat projects.  We took pictures and posted them online for everyone to enjoy.

Nature!

Last week the spider lost its original web due to a particularly strong rainstorm, and built another even closer to our home, just inches off the deck.  

The rest of the family lost interest except me.  I visited our guest daily, sometimes two or three times, to make sure it was still there and not lurking over my shoulder.  You see, I like to keep my eye on wild animals that want to kill me.

Oh, it wants to kill me, friends.  It wants to kill all of us.  This is a fact of every wild animal that lives outside in the wild.  Even those that I could squish in the palm of my hand let’s not think about holding a 4-inch spider with any part of our bodies because it would climb into my hair and probably right into my ear or down the back of my shirt and bite me and I would die.

The other reason I know it wants to kill me is because when it made its home even closer to mine, when I would peer over the deck railing, it started bouncing back and forth on its web in a sinister dance that I have entitled Back Off Or I Will Jump You And Bite You In The Eyeball.

I have a healthy respect for spiders and their villainous intentions.

One night my husband and I were sidling up quietly to the new web, tiptoeing so as not to alert the owner.  “Kill it! It'll have babies and we’ll have spiders everywhere!” cried our teenager from behind us when he saw that spidey had moved closer to our home.  His aversion to creatures with many legs is alarmingly hostile.  “No,” my non-violent yet gravely football-addicted husband replied. “Let it be.  It is good for our homestead’s garden, good for devouring the vermin that destroy the fruits of our labors, those that threaten to plunge us into the deepest recesses of sorrow and despondency.”

My husband is stunningly eloquent when he speaks to our children in my mind.  He also has a slight accent, like Cary Grant, or even Katharine Hepburn.




“Besides,” I added, just as elegantly, “Haven’t you ever seen Charlotte’s Web?  Charlotte makes that  egg sac thingy and dies at the fair.  We don’t have a pig around here to keep ’em warm in the winter, so most are gonna freeze anyway.  DUH.”

Our son rolled his eyes at me and went back in the house to continue his ongoing quest on how to make it big on YouTube.

Recently it has been chilly overnight, and because I’m merely a scientist in the world of social affairs, I have only a cursory knowledge about the lifespan of a summer spider.  Charlotte is really my only experience with spiders, if you want to know the truth.  And I'm not really a scientist. My interest lies in having firm proof that this thing will die from exposure.  I want to see it curled up in a spider ball somewhere outside.  It can have babies - that’s fine.  But I need to know that said babies are outside.

Imagine my surprise when this morning I peered through the window only to see an empty web.  An audible gasp escaped from my lungs as I realized it was on the loose, probably creeping around my bare toes as I fumbled to make the coffee.

But no!  There it is!

On the inside of the deck railing.

It’s coming closer.  We have been identified as the enemy, I am sure of it.

In the dead of night, when I am at my most vulnerable, I can almost hear the thumping bass line of Sir Mix-A-Lot's anthem Baby Got Back.  Deep within the recesses of my decking lies a coterie of arachnids, chanting menacingly, “I like big butts and I cannot lie.”

*******

Postscript: While I was finishing up this post, barely two hours after this photo was snapped, the spider laid her eggs and disappeared, presumably gone forever in her spidey-hole.  I almost miss her. Then I look at this picture, and I don't.

22 comments:

  1. This is hilarious. Thank you. I hope the spider doesn't crawl into your eyeball.

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    1. It has not, and thank you for the encouragement. ;)

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  2. Only you can make a story about a spider and her web so interesting....Hilarious!

    I am glad my profound lesson about nature made it in the story....actually I probably said....."Spider web Good...killing spider Bad"

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    1. I think you said it just like I wrote it here. In fact, your accent has been especially pronounced lately.

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  3. The laugh that you just gave me will make the feeling of spiders crawling in my hair totally worth it.

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    1. It is NOT a good feeling. ::does full body check::

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  4. I want to say this is hilarious - and it is. Especially the part about your husband's voice when he speaks to the children. :D but those spiders! Aack! I am terribly and irrationally terrified of them and I have chills all over my body just reading the words, never mind racing past the pictures without letting my brain process what I've just seen. Anything with more legs than a dog needs to die, as far as I'm concerned. I also respect the villainous intent of spiders...or anything else. This summer was horrible - an assassin bug made its way into our home via the CSA box. Not. Funny.
    In totally unrelated news, I brought my Soup of the Week posts back as of this morning. I remember you telling me you liked those.

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    1. Eeeee! Soup of the week! Just in time for fall. :)

      Your fear of spiders rivals mine of frogs. I can't even think about them.

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  5. HOLY SHIT.
    That is gonna kill us all, US ALL, I SAY.
    You make me laugh so much.
    I love your blog as much as I love peanut M and M's.
    THAT IS A LOT.

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    1. You said Peanut M&Ms and I forgot that I was almost spider supper this summer.

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  6. Oh if only that spider had learned to spell. (I know it would have constructed 'amazing' for you)

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    1. It was so huge that we could have had a real conversation.

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    1. I know, right? You can see the hairs on its legs.

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  8. I understand why you want to keep it alive: it eats bugs that you never have to see. I also understand why you think that it is up to no good. I freak out whenever I walk into webs in the garden. 1, webs feel creepy, and 2, we have black widows living in our garden. I always think that there is a poisonous spider either on me or trailing behind me planning its attack. I scream every time.

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    1. Ha ha! I feel that way too, like I'm dragging a spider behind me, hanging onto the web I destroyed, and ready to crawl up the threads and give me teeth marks.

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  9. Those photos are freaking me the freak out. I hope you took these with a super-mega-power zoom.

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    1. I sort of sneaked up on it and stood about 4 feet away and zoomed waayyyy in. I think it was sort of posing for the camera.

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  10. The wild things that live outside in the wild are only here to bide their time until they can maul, sting, bite, kill us all. I don't trust that spider or its eggs. (Separately, I have a beauuuuuuuuuuuutiful hornet's nest outside my bathroom window. It looks like it's made of burlap! Those bees put in work. I am preparing to move).

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    1. I am glad that you and I see eye-to-eye on this. My wariness of nature elicits many surprised reactions. I think we are the smart ones here.

      Bees do put in work. No wonder they sting us. All that work, and we steal their goods. We don't even offer to pay or anything.

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  11. This is making my skin crawl! Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.
    On the other hand, I'd rather look at photos of spiders than bees and mosquitos. Triple yuck!

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    1. Insects are fascinating. From afar. Or on my computer screen.

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