Tag Archives: spiders

2609. Elizabeth’s bout of arachnophobia

Elizabeth lived alone with her cat. Such a statement is not an uncommon oxymoron: if one lives with ones cat, one is not living alone.

Elizabeth had a phobia: spiders. It even had a name: arachnophobia. Arachnophobia is both common and debilitating. It should not be confused with fear of spider webs, although sometimes both phobias go hand in hand.

Suddenly there was a big black spider on Elizabeth’s carpet between her armchair and the drinks cabinet. She screamed. She felt dizzy and lightheaded. She felt nauseous. She sweated and trembled. She couldn’t breathe. Her heart was pounding. She had never seen such a big spider in the house. How did it get there? The entire house had only recently been sprayed.

Elizabeth phoned for an ambulance. She phoned her daughter. “There’s a spider! There’s a huge black spider crawling on the carpet between the armchair and the drinks cabinet!”

Elizabeth’s daughter was there within five minutes. The ambulance shunted Elizabeth away. The emergency was dealt with. The offending bit of black cat fur was picked up and disposed of.

1229. Paranoia overcome

Avis was paranoid, not about spiders, oh no! Not about centipedes, oh no! Not about bugs, or birds, or even terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs, oh no!

Avis was paranoid about tadpoles. If those little slimy eyeballs with a tail could grow legs, what else could they do? Grow claws? Tentacles? Great gnashing teeth?

And the fact that they grew into land-hopping creatures, would they jump out of their pond and leap into her bedroom at night? Avis shut her bedroom window and drew the curtains.

And then the inevitable happened, for this is a story is it not? Avis overcame her paranoia when she kissed a frog and turned into a reptile herself. They married and lived happily ever after.

She and her husband produced a bunch of sprogs, and the sprogs lived happily ever after too. One of them was able to transmogrify into a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusc when it was called for, although eventually it was devoured by a hungry sibling.

1063. To aid arachnophobia

Hello. I am a spider. I’m a little overwhelmed that some people are afraid of spiders. It’s arachnophobically ridiculous. So I thought I would help out by showing you around my home. That way you might learn that we are simple, normal, run-of-the-mill creatures, and there’s nothing to fear.

This here is my web; the entrance netting. It’s a beautiful thing, especially in the morning dew. It’s like a human being’s front flower garden. People think it is there specifically to catch flying food, but that’s not exactly the case. It’s there mainly to protect the front door of my home from invasion, like your garden gateway to stop a stranger’s unwelcome visitation. When a flying enemy gets caught in the net, I numb them and kindly invite them inside. Some get quite a buzz out of that. Let us go inside now.

Welcome to my kitchen! It’s not a kitchen like other kitchens. We spiders eat our food raw. A lot of people do that with fruit and vegetables; eat them raw. It’s healthy to eat raw. But what the kitchen is used for is to boil up different syrups to make the web sticky. Note all the shiny copper-bottom pots hanging from the ceiling! It’s quite a job cooking and cleaning because, as you know, syrup can easily burn and stick to the bottom of a pot.

This next room is the exterminating room. After impressing my guests with the kitchen, we welcome them here and humanely exterminate them. They are simply injected with a lethal poison and are dead in seconds. Sometimes I might have to bite a head or two off to speed up the process. Let us move along.

The space through this door is the abattoir. First the juices are extracted on this sucking machine, and the carcass is then hacked into edible portions. We spiders eat politely. We’re not pigs. If there’s too much food, leftovers are placed in clay pots to be stored for future use. We won’t bother to enter just now, but the clay pots are stored in the pantry through that door.

Finally, here is the dining room. We don’t sit to eat; we stand. It’s a spider tradition. We must always be on the alert for the approach of yet another flying enemy. Would you perhaps care for a piece of moth leg or a slice of grasshopper abdomen? A fly eye? A mosquito proboscis? Such variety!

I hope this tour has helped conquer any irrational fears you might have about spiders. We are ordinary; in fact, almost human. I shall hopefully catch you later.

922. Pests for pets


Being the solo mother of three boys kept Robin busy. Two of the boys were at school, but young Calvin was only four. Thank goodness! the house might be old, but it was paid for. The house had a number of antiquated features, such as a meat safe which these days with refrigerators was not needed. And it had an old deep bath tub that never got used because there was a shower.

Young Calvin was an enthusiast. He loved everything, especially spiders and bugs. Only this morning he was running around in the kitchen with a jar and lid trying to catch fruit flies that seemed to swarm where there was food. He caught a few fruit flies in an hour.

“Pets!” said Calvin. “I’m getting them for pets.”

Robin wasn’t an overly fussy mother but she liked to correct English when it mattered.

“You’re not collecting them FOR pets, dear,” said Robin. “You’re collecting them AS pets.”

Little did Robin realize; the fruit flies were FOR pets. Calvin was keeping and feeding his collection of daddy-long-legs in the bath.

To listen to the story being read click HERE!