Last night, Ramona was playing outside when something abruptly drove her indoors. Something along the lines of, "Mo-o-o-m! You have to see this spider! It's the biggest spider I've e-e-e-ever seen!" I went out to see this big, huge spider, thinking, "Uh-huh, yeah, sure ... it's probably as big as my thumbnail," and then I got outside. Sure enough, there was a spider on the back porch the size of my cat, and it had captured a small child:
Okay, no. Not really. It wasn't quite that hefty, and it did not have anything, not even an Ariel Barbie, pinned under any of its eight hairy legs. What it did have was the aforementioned gigantitude:
|I wish I had a better camera, but a clearer picture might just disgust you.|
I have seen this kind of spider before. The last time I saw one it was at least twenty feet away from the house and I saw no need to relay to my daughters the fact that prehistoric, horror-movie-creatures that might inspire one to sputter, "Them! THEM!" lived in our yard.
Anyway, homeschooling mom that I am, I swooped in to transform this Moment of Yuck into something I could record in a journal and call "school." We Googled. We discovered we had been
Now, if you're squeamish about spiders, you may not even want to be reading this post, but definitely do not click on this link, as it is about the way in which wolf spiders carry their babies on their backs. And it has pictures. With cameras better than my camera. Yup. The lumpiness was a whole bunch of babies.
"Well," I announced, "I guess we had our biology lesson for the day, eh?"
"Umm, yeah, well, I already had a biology lesson at school," said Anne-with-an-e, "and it was about photosynthesis. I'll take my lesson any day, thank you."
And now that I have so generously shared with you the horror that is the wolf spider, I feel all itchy and icky and I don't think I can do any more bits and pieces. I have to get up and go shake off the imaginary arachnids that are invading my psyche and my arms inside this sweater and the top of my head.
So I shall leave you with a bit and a piece endlessly more pleasant than spiders -- books. Here are two that I read in the last few days, at the request of my daughters:
Meet the Austins, by Madeleine L'Engle (one of Betsy's favorites)
Mitch and Amy, by Beverly Cleary (at the request of Ramona)
L'Engle and Cleary are two of my favorite writers, women who know children, love children, understand children. Delightful reads. Almost enough to make forget about wolf spiders.