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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Winter Spider

Each year as fall turns to winter, there is an influx of sensitive insects and whatnot fleeing the chill into my warm house, seizing their opportunity through the cat door. Most of them I wrap in a tissue and let loose into the garage. I know it is not enough to keep them alive through the winter but maybe it gives them a few extra weeks of life.

This year a fuzzy winter spider took possession of my master bathroom, which I took exception to when it made a determined eight-legged walk toward my bare toes as I sat answering nature's requirements. I gave a firm rap on the floor a few inches in front of its eye clusters so I am sure that it both heard and saw me but it stood its ground. I was busy with other things so I blew hard on it and it ran from my breath into a corner. I went about my business. That evening when I lay down to read, I saw that the spider was fixed to the wall high above the foot of my bed. I did not want to be bothered with a spider when I was relaxing at the end of the day, so I bellowed at it once and pounded on the nearest wall. It froze in place, but a few seconds later when I looked up again it had hidden itself. Good, I thought, if it leaves me alone it can live out the rest of its short life in whatever nock it is hiding in. A few nights later, when I had again lain down to read, I suddenly felt a strong, fuzzy bit of life crawling up my au naturel side, and my fingers flew without bidding to fling it away from me. I never found its little body so perhaps it survived, but it never showed itself to me again. What did it want with me, that it so persistently approached?

The winter stink bug onslaught was quicker and easier to resolve. On another evening I again lay reading, with my head in the center of my pillow and my cat's head curled on her paws on the right side of my pillow, when a resolute stink bug noisily buzzed up the hallway, turned into my bedroom, and landed with a tiny thud next to my ear on the right side of my pillow. The cat looked at me to see what I would do. I promptly but with deep regret mashed the stink bug into a cellophane, and deposited it and its odiferous potential into a closed wastebasket. My compassion had frozen over, when sadly all the plant-eating stink bug had sought was warmth.

Caption: Winter Spider

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2018

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