Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

© 2006-2018 All rights reserved

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Spider under the Dog Dish

Yesterday evening, before I dished out the dog food to the five canine critters in the kennel, I decided to clean their bowls. When I picked up the big red plastic double bowl, I noticed spider webs underneath. I started to scoop the webs out with my hand, but I noticed the spider was still there. I didn’t want to hurt the spider.

I’m a great appreciator of spiders. I consider the webs they leave works of art. I love seeing them wet with dew in the early morning. Once I kept a tiny spider as a pet in my kitchen window for months. Her fly catching ability was wonderfully efficient. There’s no telling how long I would have had her if she hadn’t ridden to the basement on an appliance my husband was going to repair.

In my yard, I’m careful to not disturb webs of the garden spiders who live here, and one summer I let a tunnel spider inhabit a sneaker that I’d left on the patio.

The spider under the dog dish was much larger than my long-ago kitchen spider. She was so beautiful that I couldn’t help but admire her incredibly shiny black body and her red beauty mark—two triangles connected at the point.

But something told me to kill her. I squashed her with a twig.

After I fed the dogs, I got online and started Googling. Yep, the one I killed was indeed a black widow. After reading about black widows (On the plus side—while the bites can have nasty side effects—no one has died in the USA of a black widow bite in the last decade.), I realized that what I thought were two tightly wrapped insects were actually egg cases. I went back to the kennel, found them beside the spider’s body which ants were busy dismantling, and squashed them.

Finding the black widow spider has made me more cautious, more suspicious. Evil can lurk in safe places. Evil can be beautiful.

But evil is still evil.


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