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Rated: E · Short Story · Experience · #1786476
Because some things are not meant to be.
Our own fault, we definitely asked for this one. We read Charlotte’s Web to Wesley as a bedtime story. He was used to playing with chickens and ducks all day long and now we were all jammed in a cramped, less than hygienic apartment. When a daddy long legs spider took up residence in a corner of the bathroom close to the ceiling we humoured him by not killing it.

Wesley named our new pet Sony after the old beat up radio we let him play with. This adoption did not take place without opposition from most of the rest of the family, but Wesley made his appeal more forcefully than they did. Sony had seven legs. Probably lost one in an attempt on her life before she came under Wesley’s protection. She actually behaved very well. Never left her post by the bathtub to wander the apartment and bother any one. She ate the occasional fly that blundered into her web and generally minded her own business.

Problems did develop though. How do you tell a six year old to keep the door closed so the flies don’t come in, when he thinks his spider is hungry? Worse Sony had babies. Lots of them and Wesley went through a great deal of distress because we put our collective feet down and refused to let them all stay. Fortunately the life span of a spider isn’t very long and Sony passed on replaced by one of her offspring.

We didn’t live in that apartment for very long. The place served us only until we found some place bigger and better. We spent a week shuttling most of our belongings to the new place with the family minivan. The beds, people and pets all moved on the same day. I don’t know how Wesley managed to convince us to let him try to take Sony II with him. Nobody made any effort to help him, but our resourceful little guy showed his determination and came up with a plan.

He procured a plastic single serving applesauce cup from the garbage, cleaned it up and found a piece of paper to use as a cover. He captured his beloved Sony II and sat with him on his lap in the van between his sister and one of his brothers. He held the paper loosely over the top of the container not wanting to suffocate his friend. Once in awhile during the trek to our new place I would hear him giving some encouragement.

Just before our arrival disaster struck, I heard him say, “How you doing in there?” then a pause before a loud anguished wail, “It’s gone!” I looked over my shoulder to see my youngest boy in total despair. His sister looked ready to open the sliding door and bail out. Her panicked eyes said it all. That spider is loose. I don’t see it and I can’t feel it but I know it’s on me. The brother on the other side looked uncomfortable too but at least he didn’t look like he would make a break for it. We managed to console Wesley only a little bit with the promise that we would look for Sony as soon as we arrived. Everyone was still in the van when we finally pulled into our new driveway.

Turns out we never found the spider. Our new apartment doesn’t allow pets so that is our excuse for not allowing this to happen again. Wesley has moved on but he still remembers his spiders.
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