Thursday, April 29, 2010

daddy long legs welcome here

With horror in her voice, a friend confided that just as she had reached for her towel to wrap around her freshly washed hair, her eyes had focused on a very large spider clinging to it. By shaking the towel like a matador, gravity eventually came to her rescue. There was still a tremor as she spoke.
The northern towns of my childhood had delicate Daddy Long Legs that gracefully wandered up our sleeves and dangled from silky strands. I do remember being a little nervous of the song, "Eensy Teensy Spider," as a child, especially the part about the drain spout. My sister and I shared the bathtub, and I always let her sit in the deep end under the spout. She thought me altruistic but I was being proactive. Better safe than sorry. Time passed. The gentle days of childhood collided with harsher realities, as they inevitably do. Spiders were included. Gone were the airy fairy fellows. In their place, the coastal killers.
My daughter once threw down her sandal in an act of self defense and the dispatched spider's legs protruded on both sides of it like whiskers.
I've never been the sort to scream or burst into tears over insects but .......I remember catching a movement out of the corner of my eye as I lounged on the sofa reading in the autumn twilight. A large, bony spider had dashed out of the shadows and had paused just as I lurched into a sitting position. Quickly snatching a magazine and rolling it in one smooth movement I reached an arm out to.......... "aaaaaaaaarrrrrggghhhhhaaaaaa," I croaked in horror. Anticipating my move, it had pivoted and lunged karate-like towards me. I found myself backing up, up, up into a standing position on the couch, treed so to speak by a killer spider. It eventually tired of its sport as bullies do and swaggered off. I gathered up the shreds of my self-respect and retired, shaken and humbled.
There is a saying, that "a healthy house is a house with spiders" and I suppose there's something to that. The smaller, frailer members of the planet have always been barometers of a sort. If there has to be a canary down the well, I hope it's one of the big, bony thugs. Daddy Long Legs are welcome in my house.

2 comments:

Cup'a Jo said...

Daddy Long Legs indeed...that thing looked like it worked out at a Gold's Gym! The legs were thick and hairy, like a good sturdy Scotsman in a Caber toss, and the body was a dark rippling mass of furry muscle. I wonder how many humans have pieces missing from legs, arms, etc from that beast. The tub shook as it wandered around until I sent it back to it's Maker. Our house is healthy indeed! ;-)

Glenda said...

Ach Aye Lassie, be grateful ye don't be usin' the outdoor plumbing then. lol