Once upon a time, there was a little village and in that little village, there was a little street. The little street was right next to the woods, and lots of farmers fields, and during the summer the villagers would open their windows to smell the sweet country air.
This caused a little problem for the villagers though. It would mean that every day, they would find spiders in their homes. Not many people were fond of them, and the lucky ones would be turfed outside. The unlucky ones would be sucked up vacuums, hit with newspapers, and stomped with big boots.
One afternoon, Barry, a particularly big spider was trapped under a glass, and released into the garden of a very hysterical woman, who stood on the furniture and screeched at the top of her lungs!
Barry scurried off into the bushes, and found a group of spiders hiding under some leaves.
“Hello Barry, kicked out again?” One asked.
“Rather be kicked out than squished!” He replied. “How about you lot?”
“We didn’t come from the same place, but yes, we’ve all been thrown out too.”
“I just don’t get it.” Said Barry. “We don’t do any harm, we keep to ourselves, and we try to keep the flies away!”
“Yes well, now we need somewhere new to live. Shall we?”
The group of spiders left the bush and went into the next garden. This one was quite unattended, with tall grasses and big bushes growing everywhere.
“This one looks untouched. I think I may take up residence in that there bush. I can construct a big web, and I can run around in the grass – no one will ever notice me!” And so one of the spiders left the group, and happily settled into her new garden.
The rest of the group continued over the fence and into the next garden. This one was kept quite neat and tidy, and had lots of pretty flower beds.
“I don’t fancy living in a bush.” Said one small spider. “I’m scared of birds, and I like to be indoors, but I don’t dare venture inside another house. I like the look of that shed though!”
“Aren’t you worried that a human will see you, and still kick you out? Or worse?” Asked Barry. Together the group of spiders climbed up the side of the shed to the window and looked in.
It was very tidy inside, filled with gardening tools.
“Look up there!” Said the small spider, excited! “There’s a beam. If I can get up there, they probably won’t see me! After all, I am quite small, I don’t need a big web. Look, there’s a crack in the door over there!” And off he scurried, to settle into his new shed.
The spiders continued on, under the garden gate and across the street. They stood on a big drive way, wondering where to go next. To the left was a little lane that lead to a big farmers field with a huge house at the end of it. To the right was another row of houses.
The three spiders stood and wondered.
“I don’t think we should go to the farm.” Said one spider.
“Why not?” Asked Barry.
“We’ve heard there are lots of spider families up there already. It might be a bit crowded for us.” Replied the other spider.
“Well I suppose we better keep looking along here.” Said Barry, and they walked further along the street.
Suddenly Barry stopped.
“Hey, look!” He said with excitement. The other two stopped and looked up at a big open window.
“What is it Barry?” Asked one of the spiders.
“That window up there, it’s wide open!”
“Yes it is, but I thought we were looking for safer places to live?” Asked the other spider.
“I know that’s what we’ve said, but I really like living inside the houses. They’re warm, and they smell nice, and you can go on such wonderful adventures!” Barry said in a dreamy voice.
“I’m not sure it’s such a good idea. You might get chased by a dog… or sucked up a vacuum… or smushed up in in a piece of loo roll!” Said the other spiders, fearful of what might happen to him.
“You know what? I’m going to risk it one more time. Anyone who leaves their window open that wide should expect spiders and other insects to waltz on in! And if I get squashed or eaten or anything else, then at least I tried! Besides, maybe I can hide from them.” With that, Barry ran up to the house, climbed the wall, and stood on the window sill.
“What can you see Barry?” Shouted one of the spiders.
“It looks lovely! Lots of hiding places and corners! I can’t see anyone though.”
“Maybe no ones home. You should go in now, and find a good place!” Shouted one spider.
“Bye Barry, take care!” Shouted the other spider.
Barry climbed onto the other side of the window, and surveyed the room. It was a big room, with a TV in a nice little nook, two sofas, a dining table and lots of shelves, plus a lovely big log fire. So many places to choose! He didn’t know how long he had, so he climbed down into the room and started looking.
First he went behind the TV. There was lots of space but it was hot and smelled a bit musty. He climbed up onto the mantle piece, but he was too exposed. Just then, he noticed the perfect spot. He realized that the couch stood up a little on wooden feet. He could easily get underneath there, and from there he could explore elsewhere easily by going behind the side board. He might even be able to make a web behind the couch.
He jumped down, ran underneath one couch to the next. The space behind the wall and the couch was perfect for his web. He set to spinning it. It was just a small one, but it would do for now. He was feeling sleepy and dosed off.
He woke up startled when he heard a loud banging noise, followed by several soft thumps.
Footsteps? He wondered. He climbed down off his web, and ran to the other side of the couch, trying to keep out of sight. A tall woman was walking around the living room. She pottered around, and disappeared into another room. Barry walked out of his a spot a little further, but froze when she reappeared and started to walk towards him.
Here it comes. He thought. At least she doesn’t have a weapon, although she has quite big feet! He braced himself. She reached him, leaned over and closed the window, then turned and walked into the hallway. He sat watching her for a moment, then followed her. He gazed up the stairs as she ran up them.
Now what do I do? Maybe she didn’t see me? Do I follow her? Maybe I shouldn’t risk it? He turned around and ran back to his web.
The next day, when he ventured out from behind the couch, he noticed that the kitchen door was open. He ran across the room quickly, and onto the tiled floor of the large kitchen. He saw more threats in here than he had in the previous room. A broom, glasses, an old news paper, the horrors went on! He quickly turned, and ran, when he heard something.
More soft thumps. She was coming. He ran round the corner and waited. He needed to make it to shelter. As he looked around the room for his next move, a shadow fell over him. Suddenly, the human crouched next to him, and spoke.
“Well hello there! You’re quite big aren’t you? I thought saw you yesterday. You can stay here as long as you want. Just make sure you stay out of the shower, and try not to get stuck outside! Do we have a deal?”
“Yes we do! Thank you!” Replied Barry. Of course the human didn’t hear this, Barry was too small for his voice to carry.
Barry lived in the humans house happily for the next few weeks. He was never disturbed, and she even talked to him from time to time. She often left the windows open, so there were plenty of flies coming and going for him to eat.
One day when the human had left the window wide open, Barry noticed a patch of sun of the patio. He decided to climb out of the window and relax for a bit in the garden. He would have to listen out for his human friend though so he didn’t get trapped outside. He was really enjoying living in this house.
Once outside he got himself settled in the patch of sun. He was just dozing off when a voice startled him.
“Hey look! It’s Barry!” Barry looked up and saw a small spider on the fence. He scurried down and was followed by a small group.
“Hello everyone!” Said Barry.
“Hi Barry. We were worried about you!” Said one spider.
“Yes, none of us have seen you for weeks!” Said another.
“How is everyone? Did you all manage to stay in your new homes?” Barry asked them.
“Some of us have. You know how it is, we’re always having to find new places to live!” Said one spider sadly.
“Where have you been living?” Said another spider.
“Well, actually I’ve been living in this house. The human there doesn’t seem to mind me at all.” Said Barry. “She let’s me come and go as I please.”
“Oh that’s wonderful news Barry.” Said one particularly small spider.
“Hey, maybe she would let you all come in too!” Said Barry, hopefully.
“Oh thanks Barry, but I think we’re going to try up at the farm.” Replied one spider.
“But what about the over crowded families?” Asked Barry.
“We thought that if the barns are over crowded, we might be able to live in the fields. Do you want to join us?” Barry looked up at the open window, and thought about the nice life he had had since he had moved in. His human friend was very lovely, but wasn’t he feeling a bit lonely? She talked to him from time to time, but she could never hear what he was saying.
“You know what? I think I will come with you! After all, we are spiders, we aren’t meant to live indoors. It was nice whilst it lasted though.”
Barry looked at the house for another moment, then turned away feeling sad that he couldn’t say goodbye, but happy to have had the chance to live there. The group of spiders of scurried off up the lane and into the farm yard.
Some of them went into the barn, some of them went into the corner of the pig pen and Barry and a couple of others went into a near by field and spun their webs on the fence.
The spiders all lived there happily ever after, and were never bothered by anyone.
I wrote this story because the other day a huge spider ran across my living room floor. I trapped it under a glass, and it had to stay there until my husband came home and could take it outside.
I was really freaked out. My friend came over and she named him Barry. Baz for short. I always get freaked out when I see spiders in the house and I don’t know why. I know so many people who do but I don’t think any of them have actual arachnophobia. I suppose I feel bad for spiders everywhere that are always getting smushed. We never kill them, we always put them outside but even that made me feel a bit bad. But I suppose really they belong out there.
So I thought I would try and spread a little spider joy. I loved the idea that there was a spider who ended up in a house where the owner actually liked having it there. I don’t think I’ll become that woman anytime soon, but maybe I won’t trap them under a glass from now on. Fingers crossed!