You climb so high,
You make your web so high, too.
You are a nice friend.
I really like you, too.” — age 8
I grew up in a wild, green place on the banks of the St. Joseph River.
Every spring, the teachers at Washington Township Elementary School crammed our gaping minds with scientific facts about the wonders of nature. On a more romantic level, they portayed spiders as friendly little creatures that ate yucky bugs and protected the human race from deadly disease. Hence the above poem, written in third grade to cement my newfound friendship with the guardians of the human race.
But wait! I hated those creepy, crawly critters lurking in the dark corners of our musty old basement. I hated those clingy, sticky webs hanging like booby traps in the shadows of dank closets, the branches of aging bushes, and the cracks of rotting logs.
What kind of scam were these teachers trying to pull?
My parents terrified me with stories about glossy black widows hatching eggs in the stiff, hairsprayed hairdos of sleeping women. Injected with poisonous venom, these unsuspecting, perfectly-coiffed women never woke up again. What a price to pay for a trip to the beauty parlor!
And the fiddle spider, now known as the brown recluse, became a legendary predator in our household. I never fully understood its deadly attributes until I became a registered nurse and saw for myself the necrotizing wounds that robbed innocent people of their limbs and vital organs.
Friendly spiders? Give me a break. There are good spiders out there, of course, but I avoid ALL spiders at all cost. I guess I’m just funny that way.
Copyright 2012 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.