Along came a spi­der

Easy Does It

The Advance of Bucks County - - WORD ON THE STREET - Ge­orge Robin­son

The creepy crawly used my hair as a walk­ing path last night. Just a wispy tickle, mind you, but a de­ter­mined thou­sand-leg­ger spi­der made its way through my deep hu­man un­der­brush.

It’s hap­pened be­fore, but only at night and only when I exit the front door in a rush, with­out look­ing. The exit from my own house is so fa­mil­iar that I for­get a spi­der has been on the night shift con­struct­ing a web to be proud of. With­out look­ing, I dash out­side, then stop as I find my­self be­ing Saran­wrapped by the flim­si­est of all pack­ag­ing.

Be­cause noth­ing is re­ally there? My imag­i­na­tion work­ing on over­time? Wrong! I have met the en­emy and he is a spi­der.

The strange feel­ing of be­ing Christ­mas wrapped by a creepy crawler gives me, well, the creepy crawlies! Is it bet­ter not to see it or not to cross the path taken by this crea­ture of the night?

In my de­fense, out of habit, I be­gan to duck with­out re­ally know­ing I was duck­ing. A sub­con­scious low­er­ing of the head be­cause I knew some­thing was there, just out­side my front door, do­ing push-ups in my hair.

Then look­ing up in the front porch light, I meet my tor­men­tor face to face, or pin­cers to head, or what­ever, be­cause star­ing back at me wasn’t re­ally a face but lit­tle beady car­toon eyes.

The big, fat thou­sand-leg­ger spi­der was star­ing back at me from the home it had built for it­self just out­side my front door with the help of one worka­holic smaller spi­der la­borer.

My spi­der has been build­ing door­block­ing webs nearly all sum­mer. They’re gone in the morn­ing, then back again by evening around nine or ten o’clock. Un­der the cover of dark­ness this big hairy guy is skilled in con­struc­tion, a reg­u­lar man­ual la­bor­ing kind of bug, build­ing and tear­ing down by sunup, so proud to cap­ture guests who drop in for din­ner. A mag­nif­i­cent, in­tri­cate, tri­an­gu­lar, sil­very eat­ing es­tab­lish­ment.

The nightly web hangs down so low I get a snout-full of spi­der webby-goo headon, when I for­get that it’s there. That big hairy maitre de just squats there, not mov­ing nor say­ing a word, just sort of wait­ing for the fly, the prey, or me. “Live and laugh now,” I silently say to this in­truder, “be­cause I’ll get you in the morn­ing when I can see what I’m do­ing and you can’t.”

Joke’s on me. Bug face is outa-here in the morn­ing. Not that I’m a coward, but porch lights tend to dis­tort things that don’t ex­actly go bump in the night.

In the morn­ing, in bright sun­light bring­ing with it nor­malcy and warmth to the world out­side my door, the hideous spi­der web and its builder are long gone, van­ished like a bad dream, only to reap­pear by night­fall.

Where does it go in day­light? The sim­ple an­swer is any­where it wants to. This crea­ture’s home away from home is known only to na­ture.

There is some com­fort in my doogle search: “There are only a few spi­ders in the world that are truly poi­sonous to some an­i­mals but only to a few to hu­mans.”

Want to know more? Can I take it? Espe- cially when I open my front door at night? For one, spi­ders are not in­sects. Can you spell arach­nids? That might not in­ter­est any­one but a spi­der, but just so you know, it means they have fangs and de­vour their food from the inside out. Their fangs are used only to in­ject venom.

That’s com­fort­ing – I think! There will be no venom in­ject­ing around my front door!

Be­cause I feel a re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­ter­tain this un­wel­come night visi­tor when the moon is full and my porch light is out, I must re­mem­ber to duck when dash­ing out­side.

It is only mildly com­fort­ing to know that our Septem­ber neigh­bor can be­long to only two va­ri­eties of North Amer­i­can spi­ders that are known to be poi­sonous. Please stand up and take a bow, messieurs black widow and faith­ful com­pan­ion brown recluse spi­der.

oe­mind me to ask for some form of Ia when leav­ing my house af­ter dark when en­coun­ter­ing a web-build­ing, mul­ti­legged, re­ally ugly porch guest with at­ti­tude you wouldn’t be­lieve.


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