Friday, 19 October 2007

The huntsman

Yes, this is a spider story.

About a week ago I was happily sitting here at the computer (as I do often) when I glanced up to see a huntsman spider sprawled out on a piece of paper attached to my noticeboard. This was less than one screen-width across from my display. So, of course, with a small yelp, I jumped back out of my seat and peered at it accusingly.

At this point, my mother rang. "I have a huntsman!" I said, before she could get a word out. I can't remember why she was ringing, but we talked a bit, amusement dripping from her voice as she offered the odd suggestion, while I regarded the spider warily, plotting how I was going to transfer it outside as soon as I got off the phone.

We disconnected, I replaced the phone on the cradle and came back to deal with the spider -- only to find that in that split second it had moved. I found it about 20cm higher on the board. For the next 10 minutes I watched it explore my noticeboard out of the corner of my eye, as I tried to do some work. It was hopeless. Eventually, however, it clambered across the wall and disappeared behind the bookshelf. Well, I thought, I can't get at it there, and so long as I can't see it, I can ignore it.

For a few days, I entered my study expecting to see it above the door, or on the computer keyboard . . . Nothing. It disappeared. Good.

But, a few more days later, it re-appeared in the bathroom, this time just above eye-level. Again, so long as it didn't look like it could 'get me', I was happy enough to leave it on the window sill. And when it disappeared again, I waited cautiously for it to re-establish its presence, hardly daring to believe that it might actually have gone for good this time.

And it hadn't. Next it re-appeared on the mirror. Disappeared. Now, it has re-appeared on the fan above the shower.

Clearly, this is an impossible situation! There is no way I'm going near that shower with a spider hovering directly overhead! I can only hope that overnight it will decide to reconsider this vantage and hide away again.

For how much longer will this spider taunt me? I do not want to kill it -- I can never squash things, nor can I bring myself to spray -- which means I may have to brace myself for the big transfer with glass and cardboard. I hate doing this. It completely freaks me out. But better than having a spider threatening to get me!


  1. hi ellen,

    elmo's dad has a neat trick he uses to evict huntsmen at the beach.
    he gets them to climb onto the end of a broom handle & slowly escorts them outdoors.

  2. Recently, I was working in the north of the Netherlands and 2 nights a week, I would stay in a small flat near the place I worked. It was a very damp and musty place - a haven for spiders and other creepy crawlies. I had many spiders cohabiting with me, particularly in the bathroom. It wasn't the most comfortable of living arrangements, and the spiders certainly didn't help the cause. However, there were too many to transfer outdoors and so we 'learned' to live with one another. A strange existence, but somewhat enlightening at the same time...

  3. You could always get some SuperNOVArian to shift it today!

  4. Best not come to my place at the moment then, Ellen. I have several huntsman of various sizes in residence at the moment. The kids have named the biggest one "Bugsy" and have become quite attached to it!

  5. I am fine with Huntsmen so long as they stay near the ceiling and are not in my bedroom (or hovering over a door or shower!). But this one seems particularly "friendly".

    It's now back on the bathroom window sill . . . Chenna has just found it and attacked! I think it got away . . .