My name is Sparkie. I am a spider and I live on the ceiling, near the east column on the porch of the Hardin’s house. Some sophisticated insects refer to that area as the “verandah,” but I will use the more common term. After all it is a porch. I looked it up on spiderweb.com where it says, somewhat incorrectly, that a porch is “a covered shelter projecting in front of the entrance of a building.” In fact, porches may be at the front, back, or sides of a house.
All that is not important—I just wanted to make it clear that I have a good view of what is going on back there. But first let me tell you a bit about myself:
According to sickipedia on the spiderweb, I have 900 cousins and I am (probably) not a gray wall jumping spider, because my front legs that are not thicker and longer than my other legs.
I have eight eyes situated in three rows. In the front row, I have four eyes with the two middle eyes being very large and needing contacts. However, I have the best day time eyesight of any spider species, so I can see and act upon movement up to eighteen inches away. I can jump from place to place, up to twenty-five times my body length. You will usually find me outdoors, but I also like to hang out around windows and doors. I learned that a number of my relatives have been killed inside the Hardin house, so I won’t go there.
I have lived in Woodway for 16 years, spider time, and have been around the web a few times. I don’t like dogs, so I stay clear of the one at Hardin’s house—he has been known to eat spiders. That isn’t so bad, but then he throws them up and eats them a second time.
It is now November, so I won’t be around much longer, and it has not been a good October. Not only did the humans have a ravaging disease—I have heard them refer to 19 kinds of a Kobid—but it has also been a sparce season for spider meals. For some reason, there are not many flies about this year and the ants won’t come up this high. You would think that I could catch a cockroach or even a tiny lizard, but I can’t and three of my legs are shriveling up (I have 16, so don’t worry)
Today, however, was my lucky day. The Hardin family and the Franklin family were sitting on the back porch for their Thanksgiving dinner. They had four computers hooked up so they could all look at each other and at the Hardin grandparents, who were in Tulsa—wherever that is.
Mrs. Hardin (Karol) kept eyeing me, so to speak, because she doesn’t like air-breathing arthropods that have even eight legs. She screams if we go near her, causing great buzzing and humming in the insect Kingdom, and alerting her husband that she desperately needs help. Today was one of those days and it wasn’t my fault.
A harmless hornet was buzzing around looking for some sugar to sip and it was causing great alarm to Mrs. Hardin. She arose hastily from her chair, yelled for her husband and retreated behind the center column. It was pathetic yet humorous to see—spiders get a real belly laugh when they see humans frightened.
Mr. Hardin (Mike) went in his house and brought out an enormous machine with a long gun-like barrel attached to it. He pushed a switch, and the barrel began to suck air, so much so that many of the humans coughed and gasped. At first, I could not be sure what the intent of the barrel was because Mr. Hardin swung it around like a fly swatter and in the process sucked up a serving of mashed potatoes and a big slice of turkey. I could tell it was a lethal weapon and that he was after that hornet. There, were (and it is the past tense), in fact three hornets but two of them departed to the bowels of the gun barrel. A slight zipping noise and they were gone. The lone hornet now seemed confused and headed again for Mrs. Hardin and again she departed like a bee leaving its hive. Mr. Hardin was rescuing Mrs. Hardin from having her own hives.
What was luck for me is that in his waving the gun barrel about he chased the hornet in my direction. I quickly jumped a meter (3 feet) to the right and grasped the evil hornet with 6 of my legs and then sprang back to my web. I then entombed the poor creature in my web by wrapping part of it around him (I presume only male hornets are dangerous) and letting him slowly suffocate.
I must tell you Mrs. Hardin: he is delicious, the ribbed cage is particularly succulent and the back and front legs are dissolving into a mushy soup, much like you make in your kitchen—so I am told. I will soon be sucking on them.
It has been a great Thanksgiving, although it started out poorly. I hope Mrs. Hardin, that you will look up at me on your ceiling with grateful praise on your lips. And as for Mr. Hardin, I hope he will put that gun barrel back in the house.
November 26, 2020