I Hate Spiders - except Harvey, Steve, and Alfred
For a time, I lived in a large house in Virginia with a number of other girls. It was an old house used to house park interns and the like. I was there along with a classmate as we completed biology research for the national park service. There are a few critters that stand out in my mind as being abundant. The mice I studied. The deer and groundhogs were rather amusing. The snakes I loved. The spiders I really could have done without. I am terrified of spiders. I always have been. Just thinking about them gives me the creeps. Except for three.
Harvey was the first. Under the refrigerator. Then came Steve. In that small gap between the stove and the wall. And finally Alfred. Al, for short. In the windowsill behind the sink.
Harvey was also the largest of the spiders. The size of a quarter. Or larger? I was not about to get close enough to measure. And furry. And boldest by far. Venturing out frequently from his home under the fridge. Sometimes clear into the middle of the kitchen. Once, right over the top of my bare foot! Oh, Harvey! How dare you be so bold! And smart. He knew when you were looking. One glance and he would freeze. Or quickly sneak back to his home. But he never stayed in for good. A social critter? Or perhaps just curious.
Steve was a more mellow feller. Just hanging out. A small web by the stove. But don’t confuse this with Steve being small. Oh no. He was large enough to command attention. And deserve a name. He never really ventured out. Content to observe from his post. But still I kept tabs on him. Just to make sure he was still there. One spider on my foot was plenty.
And good old Alfred. Al appeared one day in the kitchen window. I believe my classmate Heather pointed him out. A fairly substantial web. Right behind the sink. Fantastic. A perfect sight while washing dishes. And so Alfred was named. And watched. I occasionally said hello and whatnot to Al. To pass the time. And calm my nerves! Like Steve, Al never really seemed to have anywhere to go. At least not in the daytime.
And there they were. Harvey, Steve, and Alfred. My terrifying roommates. Only not so terrifying once named. Once I got to know them. And as long as they remained put and well behaved. Their webs were never disturbed on cleaning day. They were never evicted or squished. At least not while I was there.
I do not know what became of my furry eight-legged friends. My time in that house was temporary. Odd as it might seem, they will always be one of my fondest memories of my experience living in Virginia.
- My close encounters with the gecko kind!
My inspiration for this Hub. Thanks geetikaiyer!