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On the Horns of a Dilemma..Twixt Beauty and the Beast!

Updated on August 20, 2013

Some Summer Visitors to my House in England

The Giant House Spider (tegenaria duellica)
The Giant House Spider (tegenaria duellica) | Source
The Red Admiral (vannesa atalanta...lovely name!)
The Red Admiral (vannesa atalanta...lovely name!) | Source

Caught Between Beauty and the Beast.

Only occasionally - thankfully - in life we are faced with an urgent decision to take one course of action or another to avoid disaster - or, at least, discomfort.

And so it was when my turn came up just after I exited the shower, fat, white and dripping, yesterday morning.

I had snatched the towel off the doozit when my gaze was caught by an apparition above my head attached to the rather high ceiling. I blinked in surprise, the Red Admiral, as it turned out to be - a large and spectacular butterfly - belonged outside in some madcap dance with others, spending its short life chugalugging nectar and fornicating on the wing, or whatever they do. In any event, it did not belong in a windowless, dank and steamy bathroom with an old geezer and a spider….

A what!!! Yes! I had bolted into the kitchen and secured the mandatory water glass and piece of paper to capture the sprite and return it to the garden via the kitchen window; had just reached up and placed said glass over the butterfly and slid the paper underneath when I thought I felt something on my foot. I wasn’t too worried, I thought it was just another capillary giving up the battle against cholesterol, but a glance downward took in the largest house spider I had ever seen resting - no doubt damp and angry - on my foot!

Regular readers of my articles, such as my dear friend, Misty, will know I often boast about having little fear of most arachnids and this is the case. But here I was stuck between the devil and the deep red butterfly, as it were - between the beauty and beast!

I couldn’t bend down until I had secured the butterfly’s capture and I then wanted to do the same for the spider before it nipped me and hid somewhere in the bathroom. Gadzooks! It must have been hiding in my towel; no wonder it was irate , I had just dried myself with it - a trip around my armpits and crotch would have made the most benevolent web-spinner inflate their venom sacs!

I dragged my self out of the bathroom to the kitchen with the spider apparently enjoying the ride on my foot and put the Red Admiral out of the window where it soared into the morning sunshine (a rarity here) glad to have been freed from whatever unnatural hell it had wandered into.

Using the same glass, I quickly pushed the spider onto the floor and trapped it in the glass letting it scramble out and drop into the lavender bushes, no doubt giving the feeding bumble bees quite a turn.

It’s the time of year when Britain forgets its nearer the Arctic than the Equator and all sorts of creepy-crawlies emerge and check out our houses. The worst is warm nights as I know you cousins understand. Moths! If you leave the windows open and have any lights on, your home becomes a moth Las Vegas or Disneyland. We don’t have window screens here. Then the poor little creatures think your lounge light is the moon and it screws up all their navigation sense until they repeatedly dash themselves against a hot bulb with the predictable outcome.

Not usually a problem with butterflies as there are no confusing lights in the day time and they usually visit, have a flutter around and leave by the way they come in…maybe the spider chased the Red Admiral into the wet-room?

Anyhoo, all’s well that ends well…didn’t I have five toes on that foot before. though? Must be my blood sugar again!

Hi to everyone.

Bob xoxo


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    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi SW...Yes, and the malevolent predator, too. A life is all we have, every being, and I can't abide turning my back on any creature that needs a helping hand.


    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 4 years ago from Isle of Man

      I was there with you the shower watching with bated breath wondering what you would choose to do next. Well, what else would Clark Kent do but selflessly save the damsel in distress! You never disappoint. Thank you Bob.

    • profile image

      diogenes 4 years ago

      Hi 'Basics: Taras don't frighten me, only Funnel Web spiders, the Brazlian Wanderer (especially)...treat Widows and Recluses with respect, too. Bob

      Your kindness to your resident arachnid warmed the cockles of my heart...

    • profile image

      diogenes 4 years ago

      Hi 'Crafty...thanks for visit and comments Bob

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hi Bob.

      I bet you wouldn´t have been so keen to have had that spider on your foot in your other home !! For years I had friends out here in Spain telling me they regularly fished mini Tarantulas out of their pool, I told them they were being ridiculous and there weren´t any in Spain UNTIL I picked up a old brick one day that had been laying about for quite some time after building works and there sat a fearsome fat black spider glaring at me with ill intent, needless to say I replaced it´s home and there it will stay forever.

      I´m pleased this hub was shared and came to light Bob, don´t see much of you these days , unlike the wildlife in your bathroom ;)

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      This is the first thing I read this morning when I logged in and it's absolutely hysterically executed. Thank you for that!

    • profile image

      diogenes 4 years ago

      Hi Steph, thanks for cheery comment...Bob x

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      This gave me great laugh with my morning coffee, though I nearly spewed a little on my laptop once or twice! You do have a way with words! All's well that end's well...

      This deserves a few shares! :)

    • profile image

      diogenes 4 years ago

      Through cowardice, I once killed a huge wolf spider in Oz that was doing me no harm. I used insect spray and the poor thing refused to die for ages. I hated myself for days and it was cathartic, because I have never killed any creature since out of gutlessness or anything else. I even wrote a poem about that poor spider and wept not a little. They have a life just like us and have been on the planet many millions of years more than humans. They will rarely harm us and will live quite happily in our environments or submit gracefully to being kindly removed to the garden. Your daughter has discovered the truth.

      Bob x

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      I enjoy your wit and sure did enjoy this story -- except for the one photo which I had to whiz by as it's bedtime and I don't want to lie awake with that image in my mind. Your comment on here, ".....don't have that shameful, guilty feeling that you have acted badly...." caused a reaction in me. I'm thinking....maybe I'm bad because I've never had that feeling. My daughter thinks like you do. She goes to great lengths to put each creature outside in its proper environment. But me, I am just thankful I've never had to kill a big spider as I wouldn't have the courage and if it's him or me who stays up that would be us. Until morning's dawn. If I had the courage to hear and feel the crush of a big boot on a spider that invaded my space, I would do it -- without a bad feeling. I think. (But I'll never know for sure.)

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      ...Much less a 270 pound Mr Doughboy like me!!

      Hi Clark: whatcha upto? I am going to Mexico in late September for a month or two...could be up the Vallarta area briefly if you're around.

      Hasta luego Bob

    • moonfroth profile image

      Clark Cook 4 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

      Your usual wit and impeccable style are a happy marriage here, Bob! Having suffered all manner of indignities at the......feelers? stingers? barbs? of our multi-legged friends, I was sweating out this story with you every creep of the way. But we must educate Willstarr--a most astute fellow in most things-- on the simple fact that human ingenuity has to date failed to come up with a barrier that will stop ALL of our determined insect friends. And some of the little bastards can inject enuff venom to kill a medium-weight man!

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Suzie: Not bad, it's just the instinctive fear reaction evolution has provided you with. You have to capture them under a glass, they always just jump off a piece of paper, etc.

      Glass over spider (wasp, etc) then slide a piece of stiff paper between glass and surface, keeping the glass close to surface. Then hand over paper and you are set to have a look at spider or butterfly, etc., before letting it go out of the window or in the garden. The creature goes free and you don't have that shameful, guilty feeling that you have acted badly.

      Thanks for visit...Bob x

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 4 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Always love your writing. Last summer while I was working at my desk, a HUGE spider appeared. I pushed it onto a piece of cardboard and tried to bring it outside. It jumped on my leg. Yikes. I shook it off and squished it. I am a bad person.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Genna: All my life I have tried to control illogical fear reactions to creatures. The result is, they don't fear me either and it's much easier to live side by side with spiders and wasps, etc. Mind you, I wouldn't allow a Brazilian Wandering Spider (most dangerous spider) to sit on my foot - or an Australian Funnel Web - I ain't stoopid!

      Nice to hear from you.

      Bob x

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      You were quite actually quite calm about the spider. I would have panicked. Just the thought of one that large hitchhiking on my foot gives me the willies. You also kept your sense of humor, Bob – much to our benefit. Beauty and the beast – definitely. Enjoyable read. :-)

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Dear me! Glad I wasn't claiming a large phallus..."In Texas, 12 inches is average!"

      Good to see you on comments althogh I couldn't understand about your work hours...have you become a street walker?

      Bob xoxo

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "You have Sewer Roaches?"

      Not anymore. That was at a long ago apartment when I was a young man.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Glad to see your sense of humor is nor worse for neglect. I can imagine the horror the poor spider endured if you used it to dry yourself . . . ;) What an exciting life you lead!

      Just happened to notice you had a new hub up this morning as I was leaving for work. About my bedtime. 4:30 AM will arrive early.

      Gather you are well since you are able to laugh at what in England is considered a huge spider. As you know, everything's bigger in Texas . . .

      Going to share this new hub of yours so people can have a giggle and perhaps you will be inspired to write more! xox

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Wil and 'Star. I rent his place and don't want the expense. You have Sewer Roaches? I have never seen a cockroach outside the House of Commons in the UK, they don't like our weather.

      These Giant House Spiders terrify many people. Mine was a male and not that huge - about 2 inches or so, but they grow to 5 inches (the females). They are hell on wheels to other spiders and insects but rarely attempt to bite Man. We have so little dangerous here.

      I am not keen on scorpions either, they are such mindless critturs but so successful for hundreds of millions of years.

      Night night


    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      "Why don't you have screens on the windows?"

      My question too.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      I've been stung twice by scorpions crawling around in my bed at night. Disgusting arachnids and murder is the only solution. I don't normally kill living creatures. I would put them out like you. But if they crawl into my bed and attack me, they are doomed as I am ever so much bigger than they are. As long as the scorpions stay outside, they may live, but if them come near my house now, they are squashed flatter than pancakes on a diet.

      They are the single best argument against 'intelligent design' in the universe. Who or what would design a creepier bug? I shudder just to think.

      Spiders too, need to learn to stay out of my house!

      Why don't you have screens on the windows?

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I'm painting a mental picture of all this, Bob, and while it's not lovely, it is funny!

      I still remember the night I went to the bathroom, flipped on the light, and the largest sewer roach I had ever seen jumped out of the sink drain and onto my PJ's. I'm not easily startled but that did it!

      Good reading!


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