Eulogy to a spider

Eulogy to a spider.

There are two things you need to know about me.

The first is that I am SO far sighted I can see at 70 FEET what the average person can see at 20 FEET…which I will have you know, can be very useful for yacht racing as I can see the marks WAY before anyone else can, but not so good for minute tasks like …well…examining spiders.

The second thing you should know about me is that I quite like insects.

Ever since I was a small child I have found insects to be really rather interesting…in a “Gee I wonder what the world looks like from down there” kind of way and a …”Hmmm what ever will he have for lunch” sort of way…or a “Gosh how EVER do they find their way around when everything is SO small”…Now, I know an entomologist could tell me all of this in a heartbeat, but it is always fun to sorta wonder. No?

When I was little we lived in very old very wooden farmhouse with its resident collection of bugs. The absolute best of which included some very VERY large black spiders we used to call WOLF spiders. Yeah you guessed it, that’s ‘cause they’re just about as big and all out gag-you-in-the-back-of-the-throat prickles-up-your-arms spider, hairy like a wolf...*sideways glance* sorta like this guy...

One cool autumn night when I was about 8, I was all snuggled down in my bed when I felt something sort of tickley like under the sheets and blankets. I abruptly sat up and lifted the pillow to find a rather chagrined and somewhat flattened but otherwise alive and well spider looking guiltily up at me from under my pillow. He knew full well that he should NOT have been there. I hopped out of bed bellowing whatever expletive would have been appropriate for any 8 year old only to hear a peal of laughter from my brothers who had been waiting, breath baited, in their room next door. ARGHHH!!! The poor terrified spider scrambled off with a nary a backward glance to the safety of some random floorboard crack, unscathed….

I always ask my kids to respect the bugs in our life…they have the same right to life as they or I (within reason) and even as a kid I hated to see anyone killing any insects. With the exception of flies...So I guess it is a discriminate sympathy. To this day I can never go fishing as I spend more time feeling sorry for the poor writhing worm in his watery condition than I can imagine enjoying the fishing. Yes I know a worm is not and insect…but all the same…

Every summer we have rented a cottage on one of the Great Lakes with just my Mom and the kids and I tell you it is bug heaven. In every nook and cranny some life and death struggle is going on, eat or be eaten and more spiders than you can shake a stick at. The kids and I love to go for little walks on bug inspection. One year we had a bumper crop of lady bugs. So many that we found them EVERYWHERE in the cottage (I think I even found one in my undies once…) and they were washing up on the beach in a great red tide. Another year it was Cicadas and on every pine tree could be found a dozen or so honey crisp just molted translucent Cicada skins. We even found a newly emerged Cicada, fresh and light green, and had the chance to watch his wings expand and dry, utterly fascinated by the business end of BECOMING a Cicada. We collected the scratchy skins plying the pine bark and left a bowl filled with them on the kitchen table to reexamine leisurely later. Only problem was that bowl of honey colored crisp stuff looked exactly like a bowl of potato chips, (did I mention I don’t see so good?) and I caught myself more than once intending to reach for the bowl out of the corner of my eye before I remembered what was in there……PHAtoooii!!

This morning when I was in the shower…(no I won’t go into TOO much detail here) needless to say near blind without my glasses, I could vaguely see a little black spec floating in the water before it went down the drain…yes TBG needs to get at it with the Drano but that’s a whole other blog topic. In any case I sort of ignored it for a while and then I started to think…hmmm …wonder what that is. Sometimes we do get spiders trapped in the tub, and *blush* I always feel sort of sorry for them and let then crawl onto my foot file (good grip I figure) and carry them to relative safety so that they can continue to spin and impale others at their leisure. This always gives me great satisfaction.

So I continued to wonder what the little floating spec is …then I thought…hey…maybe that little black blob has come OFF me or …*pause* …*ugh*….*start*…from IN me….ACK.

Gosh what IS it?


Hmmm…. Ahhhh….I think (THINK) I see 8 little legs all curled under his poor waterlogged little body.

Finally I put on my glasses which of course immediately fog, since my curiosity has by now gotten the better of me.

Shheeeeesh. I STILL can’t see it. Ok so whatever it is I’ll just get out the old foot file and dip it out. So I sat it on the edge of the far corner of the tub and moved away.

Just a little bit.

I continued with my morning ablutions while keeping a sharp eye on the wet blob.
Still no movement…



Gosh poor little guy. I wonder if I get out the blow dryer if I can dry him off a little bit…then maybe he will survive…Hmmm….might be too hot…

I must examine this I thought …so I got a piece of TP and gingerly and cautiously picked it (him) up being very careful not to injure it (him).


Foiled . Just a little piece of foam from the kids tub toys…

Did I tell you I like bugs?


Beth said...

Oh, god - you are so sweet and funny and you write so incredibly well.
Great post.
(Wonder how you'd do in a plague of locusts?)

eva said...

I'm rolling over!!!!

oreneta said...

LOL funny, brilliant post. The first time my Mom, a newf, took my Dad, (from away) fishing, she handed him the worm and a hook and turned away to do her own disgusting work. When she turned back, he had tied a neat half hitch around the base of the hook, with the worm.

Dorky Dad said...

You and my wife should join a club. My wife refuses to kill ANY insect, spider or bug of any kind.

Hmmm ... I'm feeling a blog coming on ...

Kari Lee Townsend said...

OMG that is too funny. Great post. And I love your picture by the way. Too cute. I mean, you, not the spider ;-)

Nomad said...

Books Beth THANKS so much and re the plague of locusts ...AAAAAaaa!!

Eva...You're rolling WHAT??

Orenta...Hysterical and I can SO see it...

DD...yeah I think she and I should talk...

Kari...Glad you liked the Spider!!


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Paris, France
A Canadian expatriate living and exploring first France now Germany, then BACK to FRANCE (!!!) with her family; former fashion designer, turned unexpected UNLIKELY NOMAD, raising two children, writing, photographing, painting, playing piano (who knew!!) and blogging - and now... full time student at ART SCHOOL!! (I MUST be crazy!!)