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.