We have an intruder!
He (she? it?) is large, brown, with eight legs and is scuttling about our living room as if he (she
/ it) owns the place. Freedom of movement is clearly a fact of life here, whatever world you come from and there would appear to be no hard border between our back garden and living room. Despite the patio doors.
I haven’t drawn Mr B’s attention to our uninvited guest because I know he will insist on nothing less than a summary execution. I, on the other hand, cannot kill a spider on account of the fact that I believe every
eight legged friend to be a direct descendant of Charlotte. As in, the star of Charlotte’s Web, my all-time favourite children’s book. When I was little, you had to be seven years old to join the library (how times have changed!) so I had to rely
on my older brother to borrow books for me. I cried so much over the fate of poor Charlotte that my brother earned the wrath of our mother for causing me such distress. I think he should have been praised rather than scolded - for did not Charlotte’s
Web introduce me to love, loyalty, death and the creation of dynasties?
Since Mr B’s health began to fail, some six or seven years ago, I have gradually
taken over a number of tasks which were once his domain - financial affairs, house and car maintenance, minor repairs and - very importantly - the Deportation Of Spiders. My friend Margaret was kind enough to buy me a spider catcher, a fiendishly clever gadget
which I only ever used once, so afraid I was of accidentally amputating a leg or two in the process of capturing the Eight Legged One. I now resort to the age-old Spider Catching Method of beer glass and cardboard.
The Delightful Donna, who looks after Mr B in the mornings, managed to trap a spider (possibly a cousin or second cousin of the one scuttling about our living room this evening) under a mug yesterday but decided to leave the
actual Removal of Intruding Arachnid to me. Because he was trapped under a mug, rather than a beer glass, I couldn’t see how large he was, which was probably a Good Thing as it meant I approached the task with sunny optimism. If I am honest (and the
Daily Blog always strives for complete honesty) I was showing off a bit to Donna who is so much more capable than I am at almost everything. Nonchalantly, I slid an out of date copy of the menu from the King Kebab Takeaway under the mug and, with a certain
quite uncalled for swagger, carried the mug outside into the back garden - where I released a spider of such enormous size and girth that I shuddered. “I told you it was a large one!” Donna commented. Unnecessarily.
Still at least he was saved to live a little longer. Now all I have to do is to keep my eyes open for his cousin / uncle / father / mother who is roaming about our living room. I haven’t seen
any signs of web-building so it is possible that our guest is not particularly talented in that direction - or, alternatively, isn’t a female as I understand house-building in the spider world is the preserve of the hard-working female, while the male
of the species just wander around looking for romance.
I know all this because I checked it out with my best friend, Google, who informs me that it is now peak
spider mating month up until the first week in October. I suppose that means that there must be at least two of them scuttling around our living room. Unless, that is, I have unwittingly broken up a beautiful romance by removing one half of a pair the other
morning. Peak time for Spider Spotting is apparently 7.35 p.m. which, you must agree, is extremely precise - but helpful with it. Mr B will be watching England play Kosovo at 7.35 p.m. tonight so will hopefully be so transfixed by the action on the footie
pitch that he won’t notice me checking out the floor for the Scuttling One.
I will be sure to report back in the interests of research though I have a long
way to go before I can compete with an entomologist named Professor Adam Hart who, I’m told, collected more than 10,000 records from 250 locations to find out when spiders are most likely to be seen. No, as far as I know nobody asked him why it mattered
so much to him.
What’s the betting that Charlotte’s Web was his favourite childhood book too?