Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Shelob Don't Live Here Anymore
(Battle of the Species)
For some time now, I have suspected that we shared the kitchen space at Hawksbill Cabin with somebody else. Not just the seasonal mice during the winter – I mean a permanent resident. A glimpse of movement here – just a shadow, and then learning about how the kitchen floor was built with room underneath the appliances all served to convince me that there were likely ample hiding spaces for nature to cohabitate.
Then there was the long overdue kitchen update in 2009. We installed some new appliances, replaced the counter tops, and recycled some old cabinets that we reclaimed from one of the Alexandria neighbors. It was during the installation of the dishwasher that my suspicions were confirmed.
The fellows that were assigned to the job removed the old machine and then brought in the new one and unpacked it. Then one of them went to wait outside while the other finished hooking it up and moving it into place.
I picked a shady spot over in the azaleas to wait. After a few minutes the inside guy came out, headed for
the truck. He stopped to speak with me a moment.
“Sir,” he started, “there’s a big spider in your kitchen where the dishwasher goes.”
“If you don’t mind, you need to go in there and kill it so I can finish the job.”
“Will do,” I said, and I went into the kitchen, immediately glimpsing that familiar, shadowy movement. I had some bug spray and a flyswatter, but the spider got away and into a hiding place. I had my limits, so I sprayed enough of the bug spray to thoroughly coat the area.
I was pretty sure we had spooked it enough that it wouldn’t come out, so I told the installer that I’d taken care of it.
My next sighting of the spider wasn’t until 2011. During my furlough I was spending a few days a week at Hawksbill Cabin, and one night when I got in, I saw it resting on one of the stones on the wall over the dishwasher. “So I didn’t get you after all,” I said to it. Since I wasn’t in the mood to try and chase it down, I figured I needed to study the matter a bit.
I watched that spider for two days, and it didn’t move. I would be fairly close to it in the kitchen, reaching for the multi-vitamins or doing dishes. Maybe it was sleeping – or just watching me. Finally I got close enough to it to take a closer look. That spooked it, and off it ran to hide behind the dishwasher again.
On Saturday morning, I was the lucky one to be woken up by the dogs – our friend Kathy was over, and Hauser was with her, and I took them out. When I came back in, I started to make coffee – and was surprised to find my old friend sitting there in the sink. I figured the stainless steel sink made a tractionless trap for it, and today would finally be the day we relocated it outside – or killed it.
So I called Mary in to take care of this.
See, we have a simple agreement about nature in the house. I take care of the snakes. She takes care of the spiders.