Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…. well, I’m still shamin’ on you because no way am I gonna let an 8-legged creature make me feel bad. You got me once in college when I stepped on your furry back, thinking it was a sock on the ground. And you almost got me the other day too. But you didn’t. No, not this time. Hah, not this time ole buddy ole pal.
But I still reacted in a way that would’ve puzzled even the most talented of horror film actors.
It was the first of a series of beautiful mornings, so the hubs and I woke up early to eat at Einstein Bros. There’s only one in all of Arkansas and, yes, we drove 20 minutes to wine and dine there. I had a coupon, surely that offset the gas? I didn’t care, actually, because in KC we literally lived within walking distance of one and, man, do I crave those shmears.
Before leaving, we went out back to try and make nice with our four-legged friends. If there’s one animal that God surely put on this planet to provide for us, it’s the cow. All they do is eat and sleep; and we are lucky enough to enjoy it’s juicy bounty of meat & milk without danger or much effort. I love them.
But they weren’t lovin’ on us that morning, so R turned to leave.
And nearly walked into this garden spider. It is so hard to show how big it is, but I do have witnesses who saw its sister. This one was tucked neatly behind the rabbit hutches, safely out of my line of sight and my foot arches. So I bravely laughed in its face for trying to scare me, and called upon its ancestors in a ceremonial dance of triumph over it.
It just sat there. I took that stance as fear, wanting to stay as still as possible in the shadow of such an angry human. Little did I know that fear was not what I saw, but arrogance.
It knew what was about to happen. And just sat there. Staring at me. Laughing on the inside.
I was still tap-dancing my way through the Shack, sauntered out the front door, and started down the steps. Oh happy day! Tra-la-la-la-la…
And then I saw it. Backyard spider’s big sister had spun a web halfway down the steps. Across the steps. On top of the steps. In fact I think it actually created steps on its web to lure me onto them. I don’t know how I kept my front-heavy body from toppling over it, but after a quick blackout session, somehow I ended back up on the deck.
And then grabbed my breasts and stomped my feet like a 3 year-old, all the while letting out a low guttural growl.
Is that how I react when confronted with my fears? Grabbing my chest? What exactly is that going to do besides protect me from becoming an Amazonian woman. Please, I’m not looking to fight with bows and arrows anytime soon. And stomping my feet? I guess at this stage in the pregnancy, it might actually cause a big enough tremor to topple an enemy, so I’ll let that one slide. Barely. Really, a low growl? The only time that actually works is if someone is coming near my plate of food.
R must have felt the minor earthquake and came outside. I no longer could talk, but pointed and grunted at the spider’s trap. He chopped off one end of the web, allowing it to fall back away from the steps.
If I could’ve hopped over the railing to the car, I would’ve. But instead had to walk the far side of the steps, white-knuckling the wood all the way down.
Halfway into our bagels and shmears, I forgot about Big Sissy the Spider.
And then we came home to find her missing. I refused to walk any further until the spider hunt was over. It didn’t take long, because guess where she ended up? Right next to my deck chair, where I’ve shared many laughs and thoughts and fears and innocent moments this past year. Right. next. to. it.
I shook my head slowly and glared at her. How dare you. Little did you know that I’m a mama bear now and will do anything to protect my … deck chair? You got that right, Big Sissy. My deck chair. So you best back that thing up.
If, in that moment, I could’ve become an amazonian woman and cut off my right breast to shoot it with a bow and arrow, I would’ve. But then R touched my arm (which made me jump because I thought it was another sister spider) and read to me about the garden spider. One insect they eat are grasshoppers. And since our front yard has become the latest Hedonism Resort for those jumpy creatures, I reluctantly agreed that it should stay.
So here I am, having to endure this big spindly thing mere inches from my favorite sitting spot and watch it eat its prey. After it’s done, it drops the carcas to the deck. So not only am I an undertaker to these mummies, but also a counselor to those still living. I sat and watched a grasshopper stand off to the side staring at the latest casualty. Was it a family member, a friend? I don’t know, but it sure looked grief-stricken.
Now let’s all hold hands and sing ‘Circle of Life.’ I’ll karate-chop you if you lay a fake spider on me though. Just a warning.