Spiders: Part 1

Phone book

I hate spiders. Loathe, detest and live in fear of finding a spider somewhere really inconvenient like in my shoe, or in my teacup. (It has happened…) I can’t bear to look at them on the television, I won’t read a book if the cover has a spider on it and I can’t even stand cartoon spiders. I can’t remember any particular traumatic incident from my childhood involving them – I just don’t like them.

Now, I believe that every living creature has its place in the Universe… just not spiders in my house. And my God, my house seems to harbour some Jurassic monsters of spiders, that make their presence particularly felt in September. Apparently, so I’ve been told, this is when all male spiders come out looking for a female. I do not appreciate my house being used as an arachnid singles bar. When I lived by myself, I always used to keep a nice, thick telephone directory handy to drop on them, but some of these spidery residents are big enough to pick it up and throw it back…

One specific incident made me change my spider exterminating ways. I was in my front room, minding my own business, when a spider, not too bad, about raisin sized, emerged from under the sofa. I leapt to my feet, grabbed the trusty book and loomed menacingly over the spider, book poised to crunch it out of existence when it stopped. It may have looked up at me, but I swear, it cowered as if it knew what I was going to do. Yes, I dropped the book. It was one of those horrible moments where the action is already taking place and you are just seconds too late to avert it.

I killed the spider. I felt absolutely awful. Really awful and guilty. I shed a tear because it was only doing its spidery thing and what right did I have to kill it?

Since then, I haven’t killed any more. Its obvious fear of me made me pause and rethink. I carried that guilt with me for a long time so I hope to redress the balance a little by commemorating the spider in this way…

I have hidden, terrified, in the bath as one squeezed itself under the door and cornered me while I was cleaning my teeth. I have placed large bowls over the hairy legged beasts that have cantered through my kitchen, carefully labelled: ‘SPIDER!!’ to await later removal to the bottom of the garden. But I haven’t killed any more.

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