I’m certainly no Little Miss Muffet

I’m not afraid of spiders but having said that, they do occupy a space quite low on my list of barely tolerable things–somewhere down where snakes and centipedes find themselves but most certainly above earwigs and ticks (even though spiders and ticks are of the same family; distant relatives of one another).
My two youngest daughters regularly gathered snails and large earthworms, but would shriek and run for cover when a spider showed itself in our home. I must confess when I notice a spider on my ceiling when I crawl into bed at night, I do wonder–as I roll over and close my eyes–if it plans to kill me in my sleep.
Remember that card shop I visited a while ago that had me laughing and nearly falling in the aisle of cards? Well, one of them read, “I saw a spider in my bathtub so I got a tissue and very, very carefully burned the house down.”
I’m still laughing about that one.
I read that spiders could eat every human on Earth in one brief year. That’s a surprising and disturbing fact, and adds to my vigour while I vacuum them up. But I admire spiders. They surely must come with a tenacious disposition; one that tells them not to give up.
I walk “Gracie” through the forest behind me each morning on a well-traversed trail and each morning, regardless of rain or wind, fresh spider webs stretch between the trees that flank my path and I am obligated (when I remember) to walk with my arms raised as a shield to keep the sticky silky creations off my face.
That’s determination if you ask me. I suppose if they spoke in voices that I could pick up in my somewhat challenged hearing, I might hear them shout obscenities at me as I pass. Perhaps.
Spiders are arachnids, not insects, because they have eight legs and insects have six. That’s just splitting hairs, in my opinion, plus spiders do not have antennae whereas insects do.
Scorpions, mites, and ticks fall into the arachnid family. No doubt.
Scientists tell us that a human is never more than 10 feet away from a spider. That explains the common phobia thing. But we should remember that spiders eat more insects than birds and bats combined.
I’ll give them that, but may hold my applause while I’m being pursued by a herd of mosquitoes.
There are 40,000 types of spiders on this planet, though none call Antarctica home. That may be a good reason to move to Antarctica if you suffer from arachnophobia, which is the most common of all phobias.
Spiders can be traced back as far as 318 million years ago. I presume from that fact that my vacuuming them up poses no threat to their existence.
I think I’ll stop talking about spiders now. My skin is beginning to crawl and I’m glancing over my shoulder while I write this.
I’ll take myself outside and admire my beautiful crop of dandelions–sunshine growing on the ground.
wendistewart@live.ca

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