When I was nine, the boys in the neighborhood dared me to pull the legs from a daddy long leg. Being the only girl in the group I just had to, and then I had no choice but to kill him. I cried for a week, for years after I caught all the spiders I could inside to “free” them outside. I feel like I have been called as the the Lorax for spiders, always cautioning people that they want spiders in their life.
Last year a plague of fruit flies came to my house. We set out wine glasses stretched tight with saran wrap and poked an indented hole in the center, Google heralded this as the DIY solution. They worked for the most part but the plague ran deep. About three days in I was washing dishes when to my surprise a jumping spider crawled out from the window. I watched in amazement as he reached out to pluck a fruit fly from the air. From the window really but it being transparent made it seem like he snatched it from nowhere. Being a biologist I told him he could stay with the understanding that only the window would be his sanctuary, if he was caught outside he was likely to be squashed.
The flies slowly died out and left, and again washing dishes I look up to see a much larger spider emerge from the window. Fat on fruit flies, I applauded his accomplishments and brought everyone in the house to see how big he had become. I wanted them to recognize him moving forward so he could live. As the summer progressed we watched him catch full grown flies. He could leave the window safely and my tribe would warn the house if he was sighted on the sugar bowl or the knife block to make sure no one smashed him.
This year another small spider appeared. We all gathered to look at his markings, my tribe now a fan of window spiders. But this was a cocky spider, he didn’t heed my warning to stay safe in the window. Doing dishes I found him soggy under plate. I decided to pluck him out with a fork and lay him on a napkin to dry in the sun. He didn’t make it, I kept him there for almost a week not having the heart to move him.