Monday, June 25, 2007


Our house is filled with spiders of every sort. In the corners you'll find those who prefer webs. In the cracks and crevices you'll find those who don't. It's an ongoing battle with these eight-legged critters. It seems that whenever I get rid of one, another is along to takes its place.

I don't kill them, for the most part. I usually wad up some toilet paper and grab each spider, releasing it outside. Every once in a while I squeeze too hard. For that, I feel guilty.

Once, I found a spider on my leg. I noticed him as he was facing me, his primary legs aimed at me in the defensive position. Here was this spider, one-millionth my size, sitting ON me, yet in battle position. I admired his/her bravery and gently flicked it on to the floor before releasing it outside.

The other day, I was in the bathroom and I noticed something next to the toilet that looked like a piece of lint. Upon closer inspection, I discovered it was a spider with but two legs. Perplexed as I was, I picked up the injured arachnid and held it in my hands for closer inspection. It just flailed and flopped, unable to do much with but a fourth of it's normal leg-load. It reminded me of someone having convulsions. It was completely helpless. After a few moments, it stopped flailing about and just stared at me.

What happened to it? I wondered. It seems to me that if it had became entangled with a predator, it would have been eaten. Ants would have picked it apart, not left it there with two legs. Why just two legs left?

It continued to stare at me with sadness and helplessness in its many eyes. More eyes than legs.

I suddenly felt enormous sympathy for this creature, knowing it was destined to either die a slow miserable death on my bathroom floor or be eaten by a bigger bug. I was at a loss as to what to do. Should I end its life quickly? I couldn't release it outside, which would spell instant death. I'm not good at the whole ending-it-quickly thing.

In the end, I took the coward's way out, though I am still reeling over my decision.

I simply dumped the little fellow into the toilet and flushed.


Sniderman said...

Nearly had a heart attack in the yard Sunday while moving rocks around a bird feeder...

the mutha of all Black Widows was crawling up my leg.

With kids in the yard, venomous spiders don't get sympathy from me.

Like you, Mark, I take pity on most creatures in the house. But my reactionary kick, which launched the Widow into orbit I think (as I never found it for further punishment), could have put the pigskin through the uprights from 100 yds back.

The cellar spiders have the youngling's attention right now... and he alerts us to new webs on a minute-by-minute basis some days...

As long as the spiders are working... I don't mind if they seek shelter inside. But no freeloaders, please.

Mary Helen said...

If you flush a maimed spider down the toilet, is that assisted suicide?

Good to see you are back, Mark.

Angie said...

You are the most tender hearted person I have ever known. Just one of the many reasons I love you.

Mary Helen said...

Hey, I left you a note on my blog. Check out 8 things...

Mark said...

How cool is that! Thanks for doing that! It's an honor to have someone like you putting something so nice about me.