I've never seen the movie Arachnophobia. I've never been afraid of spiders. But some things are just plain wrong.
On the way down the porch steps this morning, I grabbed the wooden hand rail that Farmer H installed for me last winter. Because those wooden four steps down to the garage, just under the breezeway, are ice magnets. In grasping that untreated two-by-four, I felt something soft and suede-like. Which I most certainly was not expecting on a slab of wood hastily-screwed onto a support board by Farmer H. I yanked my hand back. I leaned over and peered on the other side of the poor man's banister. Nothing. I thought no more of it.
At school, I was late getting out into the hallway after 2nd hour. Which doesn't really matter, because it's my new plan time. But I usually step out, just to see what's shakin', what's the student behavior barometer for the day. A gaggle of girls and boys blew past me. Not an actual run, because they know I'm the annoying Stop-Running Crier. But they scurried.
Since I have a knack for sniffing out trouble before it appears, I turned in the direction opposite the scurriers. A boy was busy stomping at something under the lockers. He finished. He left. I went to investigate. Here came Mrs. NotACook out of her classroom with two tiny Dixie Cups, the size one might use to serve a crazy pill to Angelina Jolie as Lisa in Girl, Interrupted. Right before she grabbed a pen and threatened to jam it into her aorta, pointing to her neck, only to be informed by one Whoopi Goldberg, "Your aorta is in your chest," leading to the response, "Good to know."
Mrs. NotACook scooped that something up into a Dixie Cup, and showed it to me. It was a hairy wad of spider, which must have been quite large while alive and running for its life in the hall. But now, it was slightly smaller than a golf ball, and still. Mrs. NotACook gave it to Mr. Principal, just like a cat will reward its owner with a dead mouse or bird. I'm going to be really mad if I go in Monday and find her with a new bell around her neck.
Once home, I started up those porch steps. Something caught my eye. I leaned over. It was a balled-up furry spider, about quarter size. It was in a different position than where I grabbed the rail this morning. But it was not moving.
You know how people supposedly ingest X number of spider legs each year, and don't even know it? I think it's better that way. The not knowing.