A battle with a spider.
I am not afraid of spiders. Wary, particularly if they are larger than the norm. And I have no desire to pick them up in my hand, as some folk will. But I am happy enough to let them live in the same space that I do, as long as they don’t drop on me from the ceiling or decide to crawl on my face just as I am waking from sleep.
In Africa, spiders tend to be a good deal larger than those we are used to here. They are mostly harmless but not the ideal guests in your home. Sheer size proves to be a deterrent, no matter how accepting of arachnids one tries to be. And the scariest is definitely something called the wolf spider.
I shall not forget my first encounter with one. It was evening and I was alone, watching the television. My eye caught a movement on the other side of the room and, turning for a better look, I realised that there was a large spider on the carpet. It was with only passing interest that I rose with the intention of getting a closer look.
I need not have bothered. As soon as I moved, the spider came running across the carpet, straight at me. Now, that is not the usual behaviour one expects from a spider and I don't mind admitting it gave me a scare. I removed my feet from the floor by the simple expedient of leaping back into the chair. The spider stopped just in front of the chair and glowered up at me. I could now see that it was as large as a tarantula but more streamlined, being longer and not as hairy. And it also appeared to have not even a nodding acquaintance with fear.
For a few minutes we regarded each other. I was wondering how I could obtain a suitable implement with which to defend myself; the spider, however, was considering how best to go about making me its next meal. For that is how these wolf spiders think. Their vision picks up movement and, in their opinion, anything that moves is fair game. And they have the speed and bite to make good their assumption.
I solved the problem in the end by leaping off the side of the chair and running for the kitchen. Once there, I seized a broom as being the longest-handled weapon available and went back to do battle. It was a battle, too. Wolf spiders fight to the end and their speed and agility makes them very hard to hit, especially when you are taking care that it does not have a clear run at your legs. But I won eventually, crunching the thing into the carpet to make sure that it was dead. The resultant mess took a fair bit of cleaning up (once again with the longest-handled tools I could find) but it was worth it to be rid of that baleful stare.
Word Count: 498
For The Trio Contest
Non-Fiction Section May 31 - June 14