She Don’t Come Around Here Anymore

There was a huge spider living under the eaves of our back door. I mean really huge, easily the biggest spider I’ve ever seen in the wild around here, maybe a quarter the size of a tarantula, with a big bulbous body (pregnant with eggs?), and legs that probably stretched almost an inch across. It would build a web every night from our rear door over to the clothes line, and every morning — until I figured things out — I’d go outside and walk into the web. The spider would then make a run for it, on semi-permanent strands a little higher up, back to its hidey-hole under the gutter, and from there it would stretch its arms out and make “I am scary spider!” gestures until I went back inside.

The spider had a pattern: it would hide out in its spot during the daytime, then come out and rebuild its web once darkness fell. The web building process was quite fun to watch, and the spider was a very successful hunter, which is maybe why it liked that spot.

A few days ago I noticed it had moved its daytime hiding spot to the inside of the screen door frame, then it seemed to disappear — no more spider, no more webs. Just yesterday I went looking, found its crushed body on the door, and felt bad for the rest of the day.