A House Guest With Too Many Legs

I keep forgetting to mention to you all that we have a tarantula in our house. This arrangement was made without my knowledge or consent. Mercy agreed to spider-sit Shelob for a friend’s sister’s friend’s husband. Yeah. So it’s in a cage in Mercy’s room.

12-17-14 Shelob

I’m not a big fan of spiders, unless they’re the flat kind that live on the walls in Africa and eat mosquitoes. My least favorite kind of spiders are the jumping kind. You can imagine how much I enjoyed an experience I had as a teenager, when I was awakened in the morning by the sound of something landing on the pillow beside me. It was a tarantula. Three inches from my face. Fastest exit from my bed ever. The good thing about tarantulas, from an arachnophobic point of view, is that (at least in my experience) they are easy to kill. One good tap with a fly swatter, and they’re goners.

This was not the case with another kind of jumping spider we had in Zambia. These hunter spiders could jump several feet in the air and would keep jumping back at you after multiple hits from a fly swatter that would have obliterated a tarantula. These critters were my nemesis. Normally, when I encountered one, I called for backup (one of my brothers). There was one occasion, though, when I was alone in the house and I discovered a hunter in the kitchen. Pathetic sissy that I am, I didn’t want to get close enough to it to hit it with a fly swatter, so I edged past it and got a can of bug spray from the pantry.

My dad walked in to find me emptying an entire can of insecticide at a spider that kept jumping toward me. He killed it in short order and then gave me a lecture about wasting bug spray on a spider. I had no regrets.

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