Living in the Bushveldt is not for scaredy cats. You never know who will come knocking on your door. This lady came knocking on my door this morning and as we had never formally been introduced I decided not to invite her in.
She is a Rain Spider and quite common in my part of the world. She is harmless to humans and pets (or so they tell me) and is usually found inthe garden but just sometimes she will come indoors to hunt insects. She is not yet fully grown (huh!) but to give you an idea here is a photo of her compared to Hubby's cellphone. (For those who have noticed and are interested, one pair of forelegs are smaller than the othr pair, which means that she must have lost them and they are newly grown back.)
Her visit reminded me of an incident many years ago just after we moved to Naboomspruit and when Liz and Joe were only 12 and 10 years old respectively.
One night while they were bathing, some really anxious cries summoned me to the bathroom, only to find one of these fellows sitting on the wall watching them bath. I must mention that at the time I knew nothing about Rain Spiders and I was also
petrified quite weary of this viscious monster strange visitor sitting there eyeing my two naked daughters in the bath. However, their mother is not a scaredy cat and I decided that this is the perfect time to teach them that girls can take care of themselves without Dad having to be involved and also to teach them that spiders should be respected but not feared. Calmly I told them to relax and just get out of the bath and get dressed without disturbing the monster visitor.
I fetched a little plastic bucket and a piece of cardboard. Placing the bucket over Ms Spider, I slid the cardboard in under the bucket and spider. Turning it around I, very bravely because I knew there was no way she could get out and at me, encouraged them to take a good look at her and also gave them a little sermon about her being part of God's creation and that as such, we must appreciate her for her beauty as a spider (Yea, right!).
We then took her, still in the bucket, outside onto the lawn to set her free. We put the bucket down and we stood around it. One of my brave girls then overturned the bucket so Ms Spider could go free... and then it hit like a tsunami:
WE ARE BAREFOOT
IT IS DARK
SPIDER IS FREE
WE DO NOT KNOW WHERE SHE IS GOING NEXT!
Needless to say that with olympic standard high jumps and speed we found outselves with Dad in the house. We collapsed with laughter afterwards of course, but the initial shock was quite something else. Well so much for this brave mother and her brave daughters who could handle a simple little thing like a spider without Dad's involvement. As they say: When the going gets tough, the tough runs to... DAD!