Sunday, July 2, 2017


Tell novice gardeners that there are spiders in their garden and the first thing they will do is run to get the bug spray and spray every critter that even looks like a spider. There are about 3,000 species of spiders, including scorpions, harvestmen, mites, and ticks so trying to rid the world of spiders is an exercise in futility. Spiders have a bad reputation but they are really helpful in the garden. Some of them are poisonous but their poison is seldom deadly for humans. Common sense tells us how to keep from getting bitten by them. The most obvious tactic is to never put your fingers or toes where you can't see them. Hermit spiders love to hide in tool drawers and other cluttered areas and are always ready for a quick meal.

Grammy has a special fondness for granddaddy long legs spiders. It began when she was two years old and the adults in the family were teasing her one day for crying because no one would play with her.

"Poor little cry baby," the adults chanted, "can't get a friend. Go out in the garden and eat some worms."

Being an obedient child, Grammy went to the garden and searched for some worms but couldn't find any. Grammy's mother came into the garden just in time to see Grammy plunk a large granddaddy long legs into her mouth. Screaming for help, her mother frantically tried to remove the spider from Grammy's mouth but Grammy just clamped her mouth shut and kept saying through tiny clenched teeth, "Good. Good." There is no record of what the granddaddy long legs said. By the time the adults had reached the garden the spider was gone and Grammy was smiling.

When she told me this story many years later, Grammy didn't mention what her mother had said to the teasing adults but I don't think I could put it down here even if I knew. I do know that Grammy never ate any more spiders and for many years she loved to entertain the adults with her musical version of "Eensee  weensee spider...."

I do not recommend that you try to eat a spider just to have the experience. Leave the poor creature alone and go get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Posted by Diana for Margaret

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