Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Pumphouse Spider

I sometimes like to run in the woods behind our house.  There's a nice dirt road back there that the paving company next door made so they could have room to store spare dirt and gravel.  I'm not trespassing, though. My great-uncle owns the company, and he lets his family roam all over his land.  I've gotten lost in those woods more times than I care to remember, with all sorts of people. 

But lately I haven't been getting myself lost.  I've stuck to the well-defined paths instead, in an attempt to reclaim some fitness into my life.  And for a few weeks I had myself a friend and cheerleader who never discouraged me and who was always waiting for me to return home.

I noticed a garden spider hanging out on the pumphouse one day as I was setting out.  I loathe spiders.  They terrify me.  There is nothing on earth more frightening than a spider, at least to me.  No matter how big or small they are, I am sure they have evil intentions and are out to murder me brutally in my sleep. Apparently, I am not the only one who feels this way. 

But for whatever reason, I took pity on the spider that day.  Maybe because it's pathetic little web was only a foot off the ground, or because the cold wind was tossing it back and forth.  Or maybe because it was so freaking huge that I was too afraid of it to try to kill it.  I don't know.  

What I do know is that it became my silent, mostly unmoving running partner. 

I found myself looking for my spider companion every day, just to see if it was still there.  This may be because I was nervous about letting it live, and wanted to be sure it hadn't left it's spot, for fear that it would come after me inside the house. 

But each time I set out for a run, and each time I came back, I always checked for the spider. 

After a few days we started playing games together.  I would drop a small leaf on it's web and it would chase it.  I called it "Spider Fetch," but I'm not sure the spider liked being tricked like that.  I'm sure it expected a big juicy bug.  But you know what?  If spiders became vegetarians, I might like them more.  I'm sure they could learn to enjoy a nice green leafy diet if they really tried. 

I haven't seen the spider since the great pumphouse wreck of '11.  Believe me, I've looked.  I'm certain it holds a grudge about the incident.  The only question is where it has relocated to...and if it will visit us indoors before it gets too cold for it to live.   


  1. Spiders. I don't person have anything against them (except for the ultra large cane spider that appeared in a bathroom sink when we lived in Hawaii). However, as the father of three girls, I am all too familiar with the ultra high pitched "spider!" scream. Oi.

    I'm sure he didn't take too kindly to having his web decimated by the car.

  2. I am amazing at that high pitched scream. It's my go-to defense for spiders. I find that if you scream, usually someone comes along and kills the spider for you.

    And no, I'm sure he didn't. I actually feel a bit sorry for him, because it is possible that he was knocked out of his web and then drowned by the aftereffects of the floating pumphouse.