Tuesday, 24 July 2007

My Spider Senses are Tingling

Okay, so I was ever so mildly disturbed by the big spider I had in my towel...
But that was just a warm-up.

Our toilet is a composting toilet, its in a little open-air shed about 50 metres from our back door. Of course, being in the bush, and having grown up in Australia with the endless urban myths about Redbacks under the toilet seat, I make it a habit to lift up the seat to check before use.
Funnily enough, I recognise this as a slightly foolish paranoia; the chances of there being a spider there are so slim, and the chances of getting bitten even less, and the chances of it being dangerous are tiny. So I laugh at myself and keep checking.

But last night, Littletree suddenly needed to 'go'. It was pretty late at night, but she was in a hurry. Somehow, I didn't check under the seat before she sat down. No problem. She did her thing and jumped off.

THEN I lifted the seat so we could sprinkle some ashes and sawdust in there (its a very basic composting toilet), and what was clinging to the underside of the seat?


not just any old spider, not even a biggie like the one in my towel. This one was a GIANT. Seriously, no exageration, this thing was the size of my outstretched hand!!! I'm not joking, its body was almost as big as my palm, and its legs spanned the size of my finger breadth! It looked like the same species as my towel spider, or at least similar, but heck, this one must be the great great grandmother of them all!

I've never seen a spider like that outside of South America. it was massive. With such a huge, fat, hairy body.


The thing clung to the underside of the toilet seat for a bit, and then crawled all over the seat and scurried into a crack in the wall.

I was careful to NOT point it out to Littletree, I dont want to freak her out about using the toilet, and we went inside and washed our hands...


  1. I've heard of the bird-eating spider... you have such self-control.. I was imagining myself screeching to the high heavens.. but I am realising that mothering brings out admirable qualities...

  2. The Spider and the Fly is a poem by Mary Howitt (1799-1888), published in 1829.

    "Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Spider to the Fly,
    "'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy;
    The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
    And I have many curious things to show you when you are there."
    "Oh no, no," said the Fly, "to ask me is in vain;
    For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

    "I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
    Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
    "There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin;
    And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
    "Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said
    They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"

    Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, "Dear friend, what can I do
    To prove that warm affection I've always felt for you?
    I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
    I'm sure you're very welcome - will you please take a slice?"
    "Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind sir, that cannot be,
    I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

    "Sweet creature," said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise;
    How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
    I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf;
    If you step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
    "I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you're pleased to say;
    And bidding good morning now, I'll call another day."

    The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
    For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again;
    So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly,
    And set his table ready to dine upon the Fly.
    then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
    "Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
    Your robes are green and purple, there's a crest upon your head;
    Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are as dull as lead."

    Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
    Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
    With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew, -
    Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
    Thinking only of her crested head - poor foolish thing! At last,
    Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
    He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den
    Within his little parlor - but she ne'er came out again!

    And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
    To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne'er heed;
    Unto an evil counselor close heart, and ear, and eye,
    And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.

    There is nothing quite so humbling as putting on ones clothes then realizing that there is a very large multi-legged creature inside with you...

  3. well, I'm I know now that i should look under the toilet seat, as no-onw told me that before!!!


Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)