Posted by: canthold | August 6, 2007

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Shortly after I mentioned the copious amounts of spiders that live in and around our house, I stopped seeing them as often. I killed six or seven in my office on one day, then didn’t see another one until tonight. And let me tell you, I look for them.

I’ve been having odd experiences with them, and tonight was no exception. I had one of the oddest encounters, though it’s hard to compare oddities in an apples to oranges to mangoes sort of way, but this one sticks out.

The other morning I poured myself a cup of coffee and – as is the story of my life – I was distracted. When I returned to my cup to make it drinkable with my creamer, I discovered that the steam had revealed a spider web over the mouth of my coffee cup. I stared at it because it was beautiful. I couldn’t imagine what possessed the spider to think that he’d gain food there. (I should note here that I store my cups upright and not upside-down as most people do. I don’t like to dry them upside-down on a towel because it makes them smell funny to me. They dry just fine this way and I’ve been doing it for years without any creepy crawlies making a home in them before.)

I didn’t drink the coffee. I just couldn’t do it. It was like the times I’ve found little spiders in both my coffee pot, dead, after I made the coffee already and in a water glass by my bed. I don’t imagine that they’re contaminated, and by gosh I wanted the coffee pretty badly, too, but I couldn’t do it.

A couple of nights ago, I went to bed pretty late and didn’t sleep very well. I woke up and saw a glimpse of something in the light shining into our bedroom and I sat straight up and told my husband to kill the spider! I thought I saw a giant cellar spider dangling in front of me. In my stupor, I swung a pillow at it and fell back asleep. It was probably a figment of my imagination, but I can’t be sure at this point.

I’m very tolerant when I’m sleeping or in that in-between state. I’ve felt something crawl on my hand before and calmly flicked it off and rolled over. It’s completely out of character for me to do something like that, which should give you an indication of how important my sleep is to me.

It reminds me of the time when I was in the Army and we were doing a field training exercise, FTX, on our base in Japan. I sat on an ant hill after marching around for hours. Those critters were crawling all over me and I didn’t care one single bit. I wish I were like that all the time. Calm.

That same FTX had us “camping” in the woods. The woman I shared my tent with had guard duty at about four in the morning. When she woke up, since our tents were the size of a queen-size sheet folded in half over a rope, I woke up with her. I discovered that a spider had set up a little home in the crease of our tent. She left me alone with that thing and I swear that I stared at it for 45 minutes before I finally figured out what to do that didn’t include waiting for her guard duty shift to end after two-hours. I put on my chemical weapon gloves – the ones that go to the suits we donned in the event of a chemical attack, complete with gas masks – and clapped the darned thing. Of course, I didn’t get it and had to track it down by my pillow area before finally getting to go back to sleep.

The next morning, I crawled out of my tent to discover that the trees in which we pitched were covered in little webs. It was out of a horror movie. There were gazillions of the things and I truly regret that I didn’t have a camera to convey the image to anyone outside our little squad.

So tonight, I was cooking dinner and I needed to use three burners on the stove. The back burner, I noticed, had an itsy bitsy spider hanging out. I needed to use that burner, so I turned it on. And the little guy just started crawling away! The fire didn’t phase him! I turned it off. I contemplated what to do. I decided that I was going to kill it anyway, the fire might as well be the way. So I turned on the flame again and he just crawled away again. Then I started thinking about how I didn’t have any intention of torturing him. If I couldn’t make it quick and painless, I wasn’t going to do it at all.

I found a paintbrush and put the plastic end toward the little guy to try to take him outside. He got on-board and we started walking to the deck through the French doors when he started to repel! He let down some web, attached to the paintbrush, and started dropping down. The apparent wind from my movement made him float towards me. HELLO! This is no way to repay me for saving your damn life!

I don’t actually know what happened to him once we were outside. I’m glad I didn’t burn him up, but I’m more glad that he didn’t land on me with his tricks. I just wonder what crazy spider encounter I’m going to have next. And you just know there will be more.



  1. I know this sounds flaky, but it sounds like the spider is your spirit guide, at least for now. Spiders denote a quest for unity and a need to move gently forward with your life. Spiders are creative, so perhaps this is a time for you to look at your options regarding your writing talent (which is very good by the way).

    Lately, I have been haunted by a fox that climbs into my cherry tree and peers in the living room window. He has done this 3 times, so I know I need to use my brain and be careful because there is a big scary challenge ahead for me.

  2. Thanks Char!

    I think that you said just the right thing to me, just when I needed to hear it. I really appreciate that you took the time to write this comment and I wish you the very best with your big scary challenge. Perhaps you’re getting checked out by this fox because you’re “foxy.” 🙂


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