Spider-Girl: Do a Good Turn Daily!

“A spider is hardly an excuse to abuse a book.”

~ Rebecca Chastain, A Fistful of Fire

There’s something on the wall. I’m sure. I’m sure it’s moving. A little brown spot.

“Read on, mummy!”, the son urges.

I try to concentrate on the book I’m reading him as a bedtime story, but I just can’t focus.

There! Again! The little brown spot. It’s moving!!

Now the son realizes his mother’s tenseness.

“What is it?”, he whispers.

“I think it’s a spider.”, I answer. Then I finally get up.

I have to mentioned that this is a very hard decision, since we have about -35°C outside and we don’t have but a small heater for the whole upstairs. It’s cold everywhere else, but in bed.

I move towards the wall. Yep, a spider. Great.

The little nipper comes and joins me next to the wall on the floor.

“I go get some paper.”, he tells me.

I look at him getting some tissues from the nightstand. He hands them to me.

“Ehm, thanks sweetie… but, err, what am I supposed to do with that?”, I ask him dazzled.

“SQUASH! SQUASH!”, he yells delighted and claps his hands with every ‘squash’.


“Daddy always makes that.”, the son explains.

“I see.”, I say slowly.

I sniff a chance to teach the little one something about compassion and the value of life, no matter how little a being.

“But I don’t. I won’t squash the spider.”, I testify bravely.

The only problem: I dread spiders!!

Though it is true. I never kill them. Because: we have a deal, the spiders and I. I am very allergic to mosquito bites. Not in a way that I suffer from respiratory distress – I just excessively swell and redden. And the pruritus reaches the level of insufferableness. So when it is summer and the mosquitos fly, the spiders and I have a deal: you (the spider) sit in this corner (far away from my bed) and don’t make excursions to where I (the human) am, and in return you can have an all-you-can-eat mosquito buffet!

But now it’s winter. There are no mosquitos, no flies, no nothing. But there on my wall, there’s a little, yet somehow fat spider.

“See, buddy, how little the spider is. It won’t harm you. There’s no need to kill it.”, I tell my son, but mainly myself.

Now, all I need is an idea. An idea how to stop the spider from moving around. My eyes take the empty glasses into account. The husband always complains about them. There is an omnium gatherum of glasses and plastic cups on the nightstand, some empty, some half-full (because we are optimistic!). The son and I always take a fresh cup of water upstairs when we go to sleep. If thirst should haunt us in the night, I don’t have to walk the whole way to the kitchen. However, instead of taking the mug downstairs the next morning, they somehow always stay upstairs until we realize some mug-shortage in the kitchen.

I stand up, get an empty glass and impose it upside down on the spider. The tissues are placed underneath the glass. Great, a little spider glass house. The spider doesn’t look pleased. Well, glass prison then. And though the glass was empty, it still was wet. Two of the spiders legs are stuck in a drop of water.

“I’m sorry. It’s just… I can’t sleep with you walking around here.”, I apologize to the spider.

I place the spider-glass-construct in a corner on the floor.

“We will free the spider tomorrow.”, I tell my son.

Then we go to bed.

The next day we are all very busy, for we are going away for the weekend.

The spider is still in the glass.

We go to the car.

The spider is still in the glass.

We are away for three days and two nights.

The spider is still in the glass.

We come home.

The son goes to visit the spider.

Surprisingly enough the spider is still alive. But it looks at us very reproachfully.

“Hey little eight-legged friend.”, I greet the spider.

“Get that thing out of here, already?!”, the husband directs. “It’s been in here for many days and nights. You promised me to get rid of it ‘first thing in the morning’. When was that? Like four days ago?”

Without thinking too much I open the window and through the little, yet fat, spider out of the window. And as I watch it fly through the air, towards the snow, it occurs to me, that I might have made a fallacy somewhere…

I’m not so sure if you can save a spider’s life by throwing it into the wild, when the wild’s current temperature is -36,4°C.

“Is the spider happy now, mum?”, the son asks.

“Err… sure, sweetie. I’m sure it’s, err, drop-dead happy, you know? Since it’s to die for outside today, right?”, I turn to my husband.

The husband just smirks amusedly and kisses my forehead.

I’m going to hell…


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