I’ve always taken some pride in the fact that bugs didn’t scare me or gross me out. In fact, I seem to have had a special place in my heart for worms and caterpillars. Mom has told me that when I was little, if I found a caterpillar or earthworm in the yard, I would put them on my arms and “take them for rides” on my tricycle. Apparently, I thought they enjoyed this. Spiders, on the other hand, I didn’t feel the desire to offer a thrill ride to the end of the driveway, however, I’ve never been afraid of them…until now.
In our house we have a backdoor that doesn’t get used very often. We really only go out there when we are taking out compost, burning garbage, or doing something in the garden. On this particular day, I was taking out the compost. As I opened the backdoor, I was looking down, noticing how much the little porch needed to be swept off. When I finally looked up I realized I was about an inch and half away from walking into a gigantic spider (NOT just the spider WEB….the ACTUAL SPIDER). He was at the perfect height to land directly on my forehead!
Now, let me tell you a little about this spider (since we were all “up close and personal” I got a pretty good look at him). His body was gray and about the size of my thumb. He had a black head with red pinchers and little black eyes that I just knew were looking at me…wondering what I tasted like. His legs were skinny and long. If you included his legs, he was about the size of my hand.
My neighbors should be thankful I’m not a screamer. Instead, I gasped and stepped back very slowly. What happened next is probably what caused the death of this horrible little creature…I just stood there! I was about a foot away from him now, unable to move, and letting my imagination run wild. I thought about what it would have been like to have actually walked into him and have him on my head right now. These thoughts sent chills up and down my body. Once I had finished playing the scene through my head I knew that, unless I disposed of this spider, my imaginary spider attack could eventually become reality. So I grabbed the tool that was closest to the door, our bush knife (basically a large machete). Without thinking, I sliced at the top of the spider web that was holding him and he fell to the porch near my feet. Then, another wave a panic swept though my body as I allowed my imagination to picture him running into the house through the open door behind me. After composing myself a little, I positioned my hands on the bush knife with my best golf grip and chipped him into the grass (Dad should be so proud…I had my pointer finger and pinky linked and everything!).
Now, if you ask Jordan (who wasn’t there at the time), he will tell you that I hunted down the spider to kill him in cold blood. I would like to defend myself by saying that, while I do believe I hunted him down, I did it for the good of the entire mission station! Anyways, I found him in the grass and poked pretty hard with the point of the bush knife. BUT he started to run away so I knew I was going to have to take drastic measures. First I chopped him in half, but would you believe that the front of that little stinker was still trying to run away. So, I proceeded to hack at him with the bush knife (a tool that was probably a little bit larger than the job required) until he was definitely dead. Again, it was for the good of the ENTIRE mission station...in fact, probably for the good of all PNG. Who knows what that spider was capable of?
Moral of the Story: Next time you have a little spider in your house, be thankful you don’t have a giant spider on your head!