Laura on Life

A spider's view

By Laura Snyder

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[January 27, 2010]  Spiders tend to be more active at night. We're not dumb. We know that a size 13 boot is likely to ruin our entire day if we scurry about during daylight hours, especially if your hosts are particularly squeamish.

This boy, though, he sleeps like he's comatose. I could crawl on his face and he wouldn't budge. I won't, though, because I stand a chance of getting sucked into that malodorous abyss while he's snoring.

Spiders eat bugs. You'd think humans would like us for that. Unfortunately, they consider us bugs, too. Helloooo? Eight legs? Not a bug! What an insult! That's like calling a human a cheeseburger.

On my nightly forays for food, I usually start in the smallest boy's room because he hoards candy wrappers under his bed.

If a spider needed sugar to live, I would be as old as Methuselah under this bed. Sugar doesn't do a thing for me, however. All I can hope for is that the bugs were smart enough to find his stash.

Sure enough, there were two ants noshing on this candy wrapper buffet… and they were delicious... the ants, that is.

I had hoped for more, but it's 20 degrees outside. No bugs in their right mind would be stirring. Perhaps even the ant community would consider it a public service for me to rid them of two crazy ants.

Let's see what's in the other bedrooms…

Wow! This one is straight out of a nightmare. There are tiny, plastic people all over the place! They look so real! They have their own little house with tiny furniture! Well, maybe they have tiny food being attacked by tiny ants. Hmm, the food is plastic too. Bugs don't eat plastic food.

There's a broom in the corner. A broom is used for cleaning and swatting spiders. Someone must've tried to clean this room -- perish the thought! -- because there's a strange assortment of objects attached to its bristles.

A wild array of yellow feathers is attached as if a baby chick exploded somewhere. A pink squirrel is hopelessly entangled in the bristles as well. If it were edible, it would be toast.

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Purple Easter grass is entwined throughout the broom.

Tiny pieces of yarn are attached to the bottom of the bristles. It looks like a broom used by the guy who cleans up the confetti after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Looking right at me, I swear, are two orange pompoms with glued-on googly eyes. The broom looks like a gigantic monster with a long tail, but like I said, I'm not dumb. It's just a broom, right?

I shudder to think what mad world lies under that bed. I find I don't have the courage to find out.

Instead, I will find another room.

The only light in this room is on a desk, in an aquarium full of sea monkeys. If I could swim, they might be kind of tasty. I never did get the hang of swimming, though. I'm all legs. Seafood was never my favorite anyway.

Next to the aquarium, however, is a known source of spider food. A microscope! Almost every boy puts a bug under a microscope at some point in his life. This one would be no different, I was sure. In fact, if I was lucky, it would be pre-killed and waiting for me on a silver platter. Well, OK, a glass slide.

Good thing I've got some kind of magic in my limbs that allows me to climb on vertical surfaces. Sure enough, when I reach the top, I see a slide in the microscope. A squashed figure lies there. I scurry forward to get a better look at my dinner.

Oh no! It's dad! Those ignorant humans! We're NOT bugs!


Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author and speaker. You can reach her at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com or visit www.lauraonlife.com for more info.

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