Isn’t this picture cute? I don’t know where he finds them, but my husband seems to be able to snag these cute pictures and send them to me a few times a week. This one in particular, he sent to me after we were talking about that time when he had to get the spider out of the living room.
Several years ago when we were living out in the country, my husband and I would get up early in the morning and drive into work together. We lived about 45 miles from town and in an effort to save gas, we would drive both cars into town on Monday and share a vehicle home all week, then drive separately home on Fridays. Every little bit helps as they say. When I say we got up early, I mean 4:30 in the morning early. It was about this time of the morning when The Great Spider Incident occurred. <cue scary music>
Living out in the country, we didn’t have any blinds on our windows. We had no neighbors and lived on a private road so unless someone was lost, they would never end up down our street. Being a city girl, this took me some time to get used to, but after roughly a year in the house, I was pretty comfortable walking around in the dark by the moonlight through the windows.
It was any random day of the week and late in spring, so it was starting to get really hot in the house overnight. We had installed an attic fan in the walk-up attic over the weekend to help regulate and move some of the heat out of the 3rd floor and still had the boxes out on the screened in back porch. I had gotten up about 4:30 to open some windows and let the air move through to cool down the house a bit. Maneuvering through the house by moonlight, I had opened windows upstairs and had moved downstairs walking through the rooms, starting with the windows on the front of the house. As I opened the window in the living room, I turned around to step and noticed something, a shadow or something on the dark green oriental rug. Even though I didn’t have my glasses on, I knew something wasn’t right.
I turned, clicked on the lamp and was paralyzed by the sheer size and hariness of the spider that was on the rug before me. It gives me shivers to think about it now 15 years later. I heard Michael moving around upstairs so, while keeping one eye on the spider, I moved toward the stairs to call for him. I got his attention and told him there was this huge spider on the carpet in the livingroom. I told him it was far too big to smush and I wouldn’t go near it. I am terrified of spiders.
Michael, thinking I am over-exaggerating as if saying a tiny mouse is the size of a New York Subway Rat, takes his time coming down the stairs. He walks around the corner to see what all the fuss is about and when he lays eye on what I was talking about stopped dead in his tracks and exclaimed “Holy Crap!” He stammered a bit, looking around to try to figure out what to do. It was far too big to put a cup over and slip a piece of paper under like one would with a small spider. So he asked me to keep an eye on it while he went to get a box. It felt like 100 years until he came back with the box that the attic fan came in. It was a bit awkward because the opening was at the top of the box, not on the wide part of the box, so you can imagine that he is at one end, with the opening away from him and trying to reach across with a stick to coax the monster into the box while I watched in horror. Once the spider was in the box, Michael put it upright, closed the top flaps and put something heavy on it so the spider couldn’t get out while he went off to put on shoes.
It was that time of day where the sun isn’t up, but the sky brightens enough that you can see fairly well where you are going and what’s before you – so long as it is large enough. Michael now had his shoes on and is ready to dispose of the monster. He has with him a flashlight, the stick he used to coax the spider and the box and heads out to the garden to set it free. Michael is big on setting things free (except for that one cotton mouth under the house that one time, but that’s a different story).
The garden was about 100 yards from the house. From the front door, you went through the circle part of the driveway, turn left to the end of the pasture fence and where the driveway turns right to go out to the road, just keep walking straight to the garden and the shed beside it. It seemed like he was out there forever. I had gotten the coffee ready and was cleaning up in the kitchen when he came flying back in the front door a bit breathless saying “I hope you didn’t want that box for anything, because I am leaving it out there and I am not going back anytime soon!”. Surprised to hear this exclamation, I ask why and this is what he described.
He got out to the shed and gently set the box down with the flaps to open it facing away. He could see pretty well, so once he was ready, he used the stick he brought out to slowly reach over and pull open the flaps. When he pulled the top flap up, he saw this hairy leg (paw is the word I think he used) reach over the flap, grab it and threw itself onto the top of the box. It faced him, reared up on its back 4 legs with its front 4 legs in the air and started to move toward him. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing, was it the light? Was this thing really thinking about coming at him? As he was rolling that through his head, it began to run at him like it was going to lunge or take flight at his face. Michael was so stunned he turned and double timed it back to the house, not looking back.
I have been known Michael for a long time. Michael is a Marine. I don’t think I have ever seen him even nervous about anything, let alone scared. And for this, I would not say he was scared, I would call it surprised. For me, even imagining what he saw scares me. I can picture every hair on the creepy little crooked leg of that spider. I imagine the 8 freakish eyes staring me down with its fangs sticking out ready to bite.
As I write this story, it is one of the first warm days of the season. We have a large retaining wall in the front yard with vines covering the ground from the wall down toward the street. I have seen large furry spiders, sometimes with babies on their backs, when doing yardwork near the wall. I always make a face and stare in horror until they go away. They creep me out, but they are nothing like the horror of that monster spider I found that hot morning in the middle of my living room rug.