Black Widows

Kids can be VERY helpful sometimes.  Take yesterday, for example.  The 10 year old came in very calmly from playing outside in what is supposed to be a garden (it’s really just some raised weed beds with some exotic things like onions and garlic pushing through).  “Remember I told you about that orange spider that I thought was an orb weaver?”  I nodded.  I lied… I didn’t really remember.  He has the most amazing capacity for the names and habits of all creatures under the sun, and I have the most amazing capacity for not remembering any of the names and habits of all creatures under the sun.  It’s a perfect relationship.  I’m impressed constantly.

“Well,” he continued, “I was wrong.”  I was shocked.  This never happens.  Really.  I’m not being sarcastic right now.  “It’s actually a black widow.  AND she has an egg sack.”

I hate all spiders.  A black widow is a spider so I hate it.  It’s also creepy looking and very poisonous (OMG, I guess I DO remember some things!!), so I really hate it.  I immediately followed my son to our beautiful gardens, in which ANY spider would want to stake his/her claim to a piece of its paradise.

I did not see the spider, but my boy got his head real close to where one bed raises into the next, and a mess of webs and leaves was.  He said he could see it, but I still couldn’t, and commanded that he get his head out of there, lest the little lady waiting decided to give him a good bite.  This kid is fearless (he poked at a rattler one time, but that’s a story for another day).  I decided the best thing to do was poke at the webbing, naturally, and get the spider to show its flashy red butt.  So I went inside to find something.  I could have used a skewer or pencil, or many other things, but I grabbed my youngest son’s baptismal candle and some matches and went back outside.  This was a brilliant idea… in my head.  I would BURN it!!!!  It sounded so much fun, one might mistake me for a fifth grade boy!  The 10 year old was not amused, and also did not think it was a good idea.  Fortunately, the wind decided for us, and so I was left with just the candle and my original idea to poke around until it crawled out.  I did this for a few minutes, pulling webbing out and poking around.  Finally, out she came.  And she was huge.  I’m not saying she is huge because I hate spiders and want to make them seem more evil than they are, but she really was a well-fed, Texas sized black widow.  She must have feasted on 20 husbands by now.  Oh, and by the way, this is the SECOND giant, well-fed, death deserving black widow this boy has found!!

Back to the story.  She sat there, not moving at all.  Not at all upset that I had ripped up her web mess and now exposed her.  Next step – I told the boy to watch the spider and make sure she didn’t go anywhere (not sure what I wanted him to do if she actually DID attempt a getaway).  I ran inside for the bottle of Raid.  Back to my lush gardens I came and began spraying that thing.   It was fun.  It wiggled and writhed, so I kept spraying.  Eventually the bottle was empty, and her movements had slowed.  I was beginning to feel satisfied.  We left her alone to have some pre-death moments to herself, and then came back after a bit to check on our corpse.  I then instructed my boy to collect her relics in a specimen viewing jar, carefully, and with gloves, just in case she had one last bite in her.

She is now proudly on display outside for all to see.


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