Thursday, June 11, 2009

A truly horrible story:

This really happened. This morning. My skin is still crawling.

I have a large-ish back yard, which can be seen nearly every morning this time of year to be gleaming with perfect, golden Colorado sunshine. Sparrows, cowbirds and starlings chatter endlessly on the back fence and gigglebirds play between the rooftops. It’s a divine scene that stands on a very short list of things that make it worth getting out of bed.

Today I decided to harvest some fresh roses for the jar at my desk at work here. I schlepped the screen door open to the back yard, pruners in hand, and stepped out into the glorious golden beauty of it all. All the rain we’ve been having lately made the perfectly manicured grass all dew-y. The still blooming Iris pushed up proudly toward the sky. I snipped my two little roses for the day, and stole a few minutes to sneak around the rest of the yard and just take it all in.

That’s when it happened. I reached the big tigress rose bush under my picture window – you remember, the pink and white one striped like it was painted in a too-hurried fashion? I noticed some of the blooms were brown before the buds opened… I reached down to a single, healthy looking bud to examine it and then…


A big, nasty, hairy, firebreathing dragon of a spider leapt out from the earth and tore my hand off. And then I died.

Actually, that’s just the adrenaline talking. What really happened was that a lovely white flower spider (crab spider?) with a butt the size of my thumbnail came shooting off the top of the cluster of rosebuds I was investigating and landed on the back of my hand squealing “BLAXJZAAAH!” and looking both adorably decorative and gut-churningly deadly at the same time. And THEN I died.

For the sake of perfect honesty, it very likely was me that did the squealing, but I’d be hard pressed to prove it either way.

Part of what was so startling about this was the size of the damn thing. I had about .0007 seconds to really look at it before my blood froze and my inner “prey” instincts took over - causing my arm to shake gracelessly and violently until the wretchedly beautiful thing flew back into the rosebush again. In that time, I saw almost exclusively that the butt was huge. I recognized the creature, having seen her brethren on almost all of my other flowers before… but it was about ten zillion times bigger than any I’d ever seen in my back yard. Really. Never have I seen any little white flower spider get bigger than a kernel of corn. This one was blueberry sized at least. It was big enough and heavy enough to produce an inescapable “plop” sensation on my skin as it landed and a “gripping” sensation as it tried to hold on through the rodeo of instinctive arm-shaking I was doing.

As a rule, these are by far my favorite spiders. They’re gorgeous. They’re graceful. They eat the bugs that would eat my flowers. I hear they change color too, and in the autumn most of them have these darling little red racing stripes down their sides. They can be found on leaftips and flowerpetals just chillin’ with their big arms outstretched… like horrible, muppety grandmothers waiting for a hug.

This little bastard though – gragh. Clearly, I must have innocently/clumsily knocked her off the rosebud onto my hand – but in the fraction of a second it took for us both to get our bearings, my whole autonomic system lurched into Defcon 1 drills and prepared us all for a ghastly demise:

Me - henh? SPIDER! ACK!
The spider – breakfast! No wait… wtf?

After the encounter, we both shook it off pretty easily and tipped our hats and went our separate ways. I promised heartily to leave the rosebuds alone forever after and the spider promised to not try to eat me and greedily slurp out my liquefied brains.

I can still imagine that spider there, in the golden morning sunlight as the day slowly warms. She’s sitting on her rosebud with long arms outstretched, feeling violated and smelling of Vaseline Intensive Dry Skin Therapy, waiting for something really nasty to creep along for breakfast.

okay okay, here's a picture of what a NORMAL-sized flower spider looks like. Gorgeous, right? Decorative? Darling in a "please don't bite me" kind of way? yeah.
Heebie-jeebies? You're welcome.

1 comment:

Mountain Mama said...

I'd laugh, but if it were a snake I would be a bit more dead and a bit less coherent after the fact.