Authors: Susan Wingate
Give her a big fat bite.” I looked up and gave Rider my most sexy spider smile. “That’s what we spiders do. Right, Rider?”
I was on the move, as we spoke, skulking around the AquaNet jungle until I grabbed hold of something I can only think of as pig fat. I had crawled through Morlson's ratty tangle of hair and emerged at her earlobe.
owever, at th
at very moment, Morlson rolled one hefty, snowy leg over the other, making her entire weight shift in elephantine slowness like a big rolling tidal wave with her head the last thing to move. And, when she did, she landed right on top of me flattening me behind her ear and the cotton pillowcase.
The toadmeister had me pinned.
THIRTEEN - Oh! Diary, Dear Diary: My Only True Friend
My Dear Diary Entry—Date: October 5, 2010
Things have been a little wacky lately, what, with dad dying last year and all and, now, this spider thing. I’d say I have a lot on my plate. My new friend Rider is so cute but how can I tell Ricki and Ja
nemie about him. Even though they are my BFFs, I still don’t think they would ever get this one. And, then, there's Justin. What's a girl to do.
Rider told me some things last night that I’d like to share with you, oh, diary, you who holds all of my secret and most personal thoughts. He said this, “Even spiders have rules.” He made me swear on the outermost edge of his web with my right foreleg touching it and my left foreleg held up in deference to the Big Spider of all Spiders, He Who Hangs Out Catching the Reeeally Big Stuff, the one, the only—Taran-TU-la. And he made me say the oath, my Spider Oath.
#1-I promise to never, ever dare demean or curse at a spider.
#2-I promise never to get angry at a spider.
#3-I promise to promote spider ways all the days of my life and to never, ever crush a spider out of fear or anger.
Really, Rider made me swear to the first two. I made up the third one. I figured we spiders needed to stick together. Rider explained that screaming can disable a spider’s abilities for an indefinite amount of time. It’s like we freeze up. And, anger can sadden a spider to the point of not eating--ultimately, starving themselves to death.
Cursing at them, and here's where I'm unclear, will either have a dastardly effect on the curse-er or the curse-ee.
Then he got all nostalgic and said, he remembered riding on his mother’s back, only a teensy weensy baby spider at the time, while she explained all the ways of spiders—about web-building, capturing and eating insects and bugs, and then the often-forgot-about two mystical rules relating to spider life.
So, after hearing about this oath, I decided to do a little spider research. See, up to now, I’d been pretty distracted about becoming a spider and hadn’t thought to think that I might need to brush up on my knowledge of spiders. Understandable, I’d say.
I pulled down all of these photos (see inserted photos below) and was amazed at how alike we spiders are to we human beings. Don’t be scared. These photos won’t bite!
So. This one, here on the left is basic spider anatomy showing some internal organs.
ou can see some additional information in more colorful detail with this one, on the right. I just really think the bright colors of this one are beautiful. Don’t you?
This third one, here, is a close-up photo of my butt as a spider. Those little prongy deals we call spinnerets and that’s where the silk goes zinging out.
Pretty cool, huh? It’s a hairy butt, wouldn’t you agree? Of course you do.
Did I ever think in a million zillion years I would be telling somebody this. No. Not. EvER.
Now. A word about the spider’s oath. You can yell at your cat when she’s bad just never at spiders because I think it’s pretty common knowledge that spiders are never bad.
Hmm. What else. Oh, mom doesn’t like spiders so much.
I guess she got bit once when I was a itty-bitty human baby a long, long time ago in a galaxy not so far away! The deviant spider (which pains me to even think), bit her on the arm. I guess they identified the bite as one bite suspected from an aggressive brown spider.
Aggressive brown spiders are not the feared and dangerous brown recluse spiders. They’re a dastardly bunch. No?
The thing bit her on the arm and, as she described the bite, it got “yea, big” when it swelled. Mom ended up with fever and chills which she called "ague." She described the size of the welt with her hand which hovered approximately an inch above her forearm and said it got “yea thick and yea long” like it took up the entire length too, from her wrist to her elbow.
Sneakers and peekers! That’s quite a bite. HowEVER! And, now, let me come back in defense of my compadre, the spider. Did she scream at him?!
She really should know better. I didn’t get the whole morbid story because my favorite TV show in the whole wide world back then (and sometimes even now as reruns),
, came on and distracted me.
Plus, mom brought me a glass of chocolate goat's milk and some sugar cookies and, as she spoke, her words drifted into a place I can only believe that Charlotte (of Charlotte’s Web) went at the end of
story. Boo hoo.
No. My fingers are in my ears. I will not believe otherwise happened to Charlotte. Shut-UP!
So. After writing in my diary, I felt it due time that I work on my science project. And, after not too much consideration about what to do, what to do... my brain sent me an email saying, “Hey dork, why not do a project about spiders!” Like, duh.
No kidding. Truthfully.
The problem, in my not-spider-body, was that spiders still kind of freaked me out, a little. If I was to build some sort of spider village (think ant farm here), I would have to capture spiders, no? So. I told mom.
That’s a fabulous idea, Susie.” She was folding laundry on the table and I was sitting with my feet and knees up on the chair, with my arms holding them in place while I rested my chin on them, my knees that is. Not my feet. THAT would be a trick only a very adept spider could do. I mean. So. I’m sitting there stating my case like I was a prosecuting attorney or something.
See, mom. I bet no one would ever ever ever do a spider farm. Right?”
It’s a brave undertaking.”
Undertaking. I blew air through my nose in a snigger.
Nothing, mom.” Uh-oh. “Just thinking about my idea.”
I love your brainchild.”
Snigger. Snigger. She was killing me, you know?
, mom, is from your child!” I laughed out loud.
You’re so silly sometimes. It’s as if you have a bee in your bonnet today.”
God. I’d only heard that saying one once a real long time ago when mom and dad made me watch this lame-o old movie in grainy black and white that sounded like the actors were speaking through an empty cardboard toilet paper roll one that had piped-in music as background!
I definitely have a
bee in my bonnet
, mom.” More like a spider in my bonnet. Skwee.
She pulled off her barrette and tugged on her hair re-twisting it tighter and then re-clipped it.
Hmm.” She was folding a pair of my doofy cotton underwear that made me look like a dwarf-sized premature grandma.
I hate those things.”
Underwear by Hideous June
K. So, mom?”
Will you help?”
With my project.”
Oh. I don’t know, Susie. I’m not a big fan of arachnids.”
I was impressed she knew the word. Big points for mom.
Great.” I lost all muscle there, limping out on her the way--dropping my arms from around my knees and letting my thighs land hard on the seat of my chair and letting my feet fall to the floor.