My Truce with the Neighbourhood Spiders


Country living has so many perks: you drink your water from a well; the air smells wonderful; there are tons of places to go swimming; traffic jams are unheard of; people only beep their car horns if they are saying hello; everyone stops for you if your car breaks down on the highway; neighbours give you cookies, cakes and other delectable goodies for Christmas; you go to a potluck supper somewhere at least once a month; friends bring you soup when you are sick; everyone says hello to you – everywhere you go – even teenagers (!); women at the country store call you ‘dear’ or ‘sweetheart’; you can watch wild deer from your living-room window; every summer, you get to see the resident eagle as she teaches a new brood of baby eaglets to fly and everyone stops for pedestrians, crosswalk or no crosswalk.

On the down side, everyone knows everybody’s business: there are no such things as secrets. If you plan to tell just one or two people a certain confidential tidbit about yourself, you might as well just put it on Facebook. The entire community will find out anyway. Oh, and all those delectable goodies our neighbours have been delivering (made with real cream, lots of sugar and TONS of butter, of course) do catch up with you – something you never seem to notice until the first hot day of late spring when you are finally forced to dig out your summer clothes, only to discover that not even God Himself is going to help you attach your pants or button your top.

And then there are spiders – lots and lots of spiders. When I was living in the city, I was hard-pressed to see so much as a mosquito. I have come to believe that I rarely saw insects in the city because they all lived here – in the little country village I now call home. On the bright side, while some of our spiders are impressive in size, I have yet to see a wolf spider that is ‘bigger than a golf ball’. I am assured that such monsters are permanent fixtures in our neighbours’ barn, however, should I feel the desire to come and take a peek (thus far, I have declined). I could barely sit outside the first summer we arrived. No matter how much I swept away the cobwebs on our front porch, they had all been built up again by the next morning. It wasn’t until I discovered that the spiders were actually feasting on all the other insects that make the country their home that I finally declared a truce. I have never seen so many flies, beetles and other creepy crawly thingies for which I have no names.

I knew that I graduated to the complete acceptance of our arachnid neighbours this past winter. I dubbed a little spider that had taken up permanent residence in our bathroom, ‘Fred’. And I named the spider that called our bedroom his home ‘George’. Both Fred and George were kind enough to mostly stay in one place (so I usually knew where they were) and I figured that if they were alive – in my home – in the dead of winter, they were feasting on something (and probably a great many somethings) that I really didn’t want in my home either.

In other words, I have picked my battles. Yesterday, I spotted a tiny little spider by our bathroom window (I immediately named him Joey). ‘Fred’, it seems, was really ‘Frederica’ all along. And I know it is highly unlikely that little Joey was an only child. In a few weeks, I’ll open the windows in the hopes that Joey and his tiny little siblings will make their way outside where they can keep our balcony relatively bug-free this summer.

I’ll leave Frederica and George where they are. They’ve done a fine job all winter. I figure they’ve earned their place in the family hierarchy…

Patti Moore Wilson/©

Source of photo


Author: Patti Moore Wilson, wednesdayschild2

I write what I feel. And I rarely know exactly what I feel until I write. I have lived long enough to have known many joys and many sorrows. I have made many mistakes; I have forgiven myself for a few… I have learned that there are lessons in every step of this journey, if we only take the time to pay attention… I hope you will feel free to pick and choose the stories that resonate for you…

7 thoughts on “My Truce with the Neighbourhood Spiders”

  1. If you want to scare yourself silly, google spiders that live near lakes. I live on a lake, and the first summer we were here, I saw one as big as a freaking bird! A small bird, but still. Turns out, they can actually catch fish. I would tell you what they were called, but I would never google it in a million years to find out. I am most definitely a spider-phobe. Small ones are OK.

    Liked by 1 person

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