Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Just two things!
It’s a good thing I wasn’t packing heat the day an unwelcomed stranger came to call on me. There are some situations where a firearm will do more harm than good. This was such a situation, I remember it like this. I had worked all day and was rewarding myself with a few minutes of quiet relaxation. Sitting on the back porch I had taken my dusty boots off and had stretched out on a cushioned bench airing my toes, enjoying a cool beverage and reading a murder mystery. The cool evening hours of early fall had lured me outside. My book was riveting; the characters had come alive on the pages and in my mind’s eye I was skimming along the windy cliff of a coastal city with the heroine, piecing together the clues. Bouncing around in the yard was my goofy little dog. She has many names, but the one we call her the most is, “Bug.” She’s so fat she can hardly move, but to watch her you would think we never feed her because she is constantly eating some helpless little bug: hence the name. On this particular day I was ignoring her while I decompressed from a day of hard labor. Don’t laugh! Occasionally I am required to exert myself. I had been on the gun range all day and had been on my feet the entire time. Close to exhaustion, I collapsed on the back porch needing some alone time before the family arrived from their day of work and school. You know those days when not only your body is tired, but your mind is as well? That was me. I needed two things at the moment; peace and harmony. They usually go hand in hand and are more often than not found in my gardens. Being outside would have to suffice as I was too tired to stumble amongst the stonecrop or trip amidst the thyme. Nearing the end of a chapter I was totally engrossed in the story. One hand held my hard back book the other held my drink, gratefully, in a plastic cup. I paused in my reading to raise the cup to my lips when my eyes caught sight of the fat dog bouncing up and down in the yard like a rabbit. She was only a few feet away from me and just off the concrete porch. I lowered my drink to investigate what she was after when the largest tarantula I have ever seen (in captivity or otherwise) jumped onto the porch and began scurrying directly toward me with Bug in hot pursuit. Now I am going to pause right here and tell you a little something about me that I hope we can keep just between us. I am terrified of spiders, any and all spiders. The chaos that followed is one that I am not real proud of so I won’t spend a lot of time dwelling on it. I think it would be safe to say that we all learned a lesson that day. Me, I learned that screaming at the dog to stop attacking a tarantula doesn’t produce results, the hideous arachnid learned not to come out of hiding during the daylight and Bug, well she learned those hairy creatures are not very tasty. She could be seen for several minutes after her “meal” eating blades of grass. I’m assuming she did so in an attempt to get the foul taste out of her mouth. Days after the traumatic event, I researched the Oklahoma tarantula and found that they are considered beneficial and are not harmful (at least not directly harmful) to humans or pets. In fact, most spiders are beneficial. Steer clear of black widows and brown recluse though as those can be painful and possibly make you sick. In closing, let me encourage you as I have tried to convince myself that spiders serve a needed purpose in the food chain. We can co-exist peacefully if not harmoniously.