A Few tales from the web!
I had been meaning to start this series soon’ish, but have had so much going on writing wise that l wasn’t sure where, when and how to start, however a lovely snippet post made by Britchy of Bitchin’ In The Kitchen recently entitled What a Dilemna spurred me on!
So thank you Britchy. For the duration of this small part of the series, l shall be mentioning you, hope that’s ok.
Along Came the Spider’s ……
I don’t have a problem with spiders not really, l mean if they keep their distance l am pretty good about it all, and the feeling is possibly mutual. l don’t go out of my way to offend them, upset them or even disturb, but I have this fascination with them. They send a kind of creepy crawlie pleasurable shudder through me when l see them up close. It’s hard to explain, but kind of like a ‘nice to feel scared, but not scared at all’, sensation?
Does that make sense? l know what l mean anyway.
My first excusions with this species actually began when l was around five years of age, and l was living in Australia – so back in the 60’s in the outback somewhere in the Dandenong Ranges, in Victoria. Sadly however, there are no ‘actual’ photographs of mine to display here to add the realism – and as is always the case with most people – there is never a camera at hand when needed, unlike now when every one with a mobile phone has one at their convenience!
But then admittedly l was five and as such l was into most things that l didn’t particularly wish to have my parents photograph me doing!
Ice lolly Redbacks!
Where l used to live – our post box was not attached to our door, but as is l should imagine still the same for many rural households in Oz, was on a post down the drive in a rockery – quite ingenious if you think on it, a post and a box equals ‘postbox’. The rockeries were a big thing in gardens back in the 60’s, probably once again still the same, and they were filled with all sorts of creepy crawlies, and my thing back then was creepy crawlies, oh l loved the pretty colours and how they moved and scuttled away as l moved the rocks to the left, to the right, tipped them up.
There were a few spiders that dwelled under those rocks, funnel webs, redbacks, occasionally mouse spiders, trapdoors, white tails and one of my all time favourites the huntsman. Of course l wasn’t aware when l was five of the names, just that they looked ‘pretty’. Equally l was unaware of any of the dangers that lurked within them either – who would – l was five!
But the Redbacks, were a very pretty spider. Now l did know because my parents constantly told me that l was NOT to pick up any by hand, because as Mum used to say ‘They had a nasty bite and l might get poorly‘, note the term poorly and not the term dead. So because there was no dead attachment, the spiders must be ok to collect l figured!
So l collected them for my parents to see when they woke up – l forgot to mention that l guess, but intrepid explorers don’t stick to convention you know. oh no, so apparently l used to rise at around 5am and get dressed in and shorts and thongs and go outside armed with lollypop sticks and a glass jar!
Poking around the rockery, and should any hapless and harmless little 8 legged creature dare to venture out, stick its tongue out at me, and boof, on the stick, in the jar! It was all quite exciting, they used to climb up the stick and nearly got to my finger tips, but never made it and were promptly dropped into their new glass cave!
When l had a relatively large collection of my chosen spider for the day, happy as a lark l would strut my stuff back to the house and put them into the fridge so they were cool from the sun! More importantly, they were there when my parents woke up …
Aah the memories are sweet. I was like a cat with a mouse showing my pack leaders my catch for the day. One memory quite significantly l recall with fondness!
My Father, the gallant and mighty policeman, was making me breakfast one morning, and asked if l wanted Fruitloops, and as they were my favourite, l said yes please. He opened the fridge , and suddenly sort of froze, before this strange gargling sound escaped his lips, it was most bizarre.
“Rory, have you been outside this morning?”
“Yes Daddy! I collected presents for you and Mummy!”
“So this jar is yours?”
“No, it’s yours, and Mummy’s.”
“It’s full of spders Rory, littlle black ones with red spots … red spots, that’s the , red spotted spider is the …….. it’s the REDBACK!!!”
“Pretty spiders, lots of pretty spiders for you and Mummy!”
He then acted really strange and called my Mother into the Kicthen! “Look what your Son has collected from outside for us both this morning!?”
Then Mummy shrieked and ran around the house. Daddy took my jar of cold spiders out of the house and tipped them away, which upset me quite a bit as l had gone to so much trouble to collect them!
Some people – even parents are never grateful l feel!
However, l had to go through the dangers of picking up the Redback spider (Latrodectus hasselti) as it could kill me dead – like there are so many variations of being dead l guess. Although, l have read since then, that whilst l might not be dead, l probably would not have been very well, and quite possibly just poorly had of course l managed to get to a hospital that just also happened to have the antivenom, but who knows , l was never bitten.