Sunday, August 07, 2005


I hate to walk the sidewalks at night. Where I live, in Southern California, you would think not much could go wrong, what with the good weather and all. Oh, maybe earthquakes could break open the sidewalks so that a person could fall down inside them, but that is seldom a problem. Anyway you get lots of warning about such things.

What really bothers me is the spiders. They hang new webs every evening about dusk from tree to tree or tree to shrub, or wherever they can hang a net. Then, when I go blundering down the sidewalk, I run into the things. It is unnerving.

Most of the time I can get free of the webs with some struggling, but the time is coming when I will not be so strong. And then I don't know what will happen.

Recently, my wife and I were taking an evening stroll in our neighborhood. I was craftily staying a foot or so behind her so she would walk into the webs and clear the way for me. But suddenly I felt the strand of a big web slide across my ear. It felt like a rope. I drew back and looked up. There in the shadows, was its manufacturer, climbing up, away from me. Apparently, it was as afraid of me as I was afraid of it.

I was extra glad the spider was fleeing, because it was clearly a man-eater.

After that experience, I did the only thing a sensible man could do. I switched sides with my wife so she would walk on the right hand part of the sidewalk and startle the next giant spider. I have had enough!

No comments: