itsy bitsy spider vs the waterspout

We can all agree showers are uplifting, right? But do you know why? Because they’re teeming with negative ions, oxygen atoms charged with an extra electron. When we inhale those little miracles our bloodstream fills up with natural mood chemicals, such as serotonin, which helps to relieve stress, boost mental energy, and alleviate depression. 

The shower is a natural ionizer due to the splattering downpour from the showerhead, which could explain why we have a powerful urge to sing when we’re in there. It’s a happy place. It’s also a hotbed for ideas. I’ve found a few lurking in there over the years. And let me tell you, they don’t show up looking their best. They’re wet and puny and homely, but once you towel them off, comb their hair, and get ’em dressed they’re perfectly presentable.

Every time I step in the shower I hope it’s a day when ideas are a-poppin.’ This morning I found a spider, instead. A tiny little bugger, only a bit bigger than the period ending this sentence, scrambling up the side of the tub, desperate to escape the pelting, sloshing water. He lost his footing and fell into the churning waves, and bobbed away. I tried to save him, I did, but I was afraid I’d crush him. 

When the tub drained, there he was. Still and lifeless at the bottom, another victim of bathroom accidents. Curiously, he hadn’t been swept down the drain. I found that intriguing. I got a square of toilet tissue and let it absorb the water surrounding him. And I waited. Nothing. I waited some more. More nothing, not even a twitch. I considered putting a mirror under his nose, to check for signs of breathing, but wasn’t sure where a spider’s nose is located. Or if they even have a nose. (They don’t.*

CPR was clearly out, so I hung my head and wished him well on his next journey. I slid a tissue under him and let him lay in state on the edge of the tub. Frankly, I wasn’t sure how to dispose of the body. Flushing him seemed a cruel irony. Crumpling him in a ball of tissue felt disrespectful and gruesome. Burying him in a potted plant was an option or, perhaps, a shallow grave outside would be more fitting. 

What a quandary. 

I got dressed, made coffee, took the dog for a walk, and decided: a shallow grave would be his final resting place. All I needed was the spider, because he’d vamoosed. Split. Legged it. The tissue was empty and I rejoiced on my way to the internet to research spider drownings.  

Turns out, spiders are tough to drown. It takes hours, because they have a very low oxygen intake due to their low metabolic rate, therefore drowning may take 1 — 3 hours. Plus, they don’t have lungs in the human sense, they have something called book lungs, sometimes a pair and other times several pairs. They’re so named because they resemble the pages of a book and that’s the extent of what I could understand. Lots of explanations about membranes and trachea and abdomens and spiders surviving weeks without water and never peeing. 

What matters here is, I saved a life. Does it matter if it was an insect? Nope. 

copyright © 2022 the whirly girl

* Although spiders do have a sense of smell, which is made possible by an intricate network of hollow hair-like structures on their legs. It helps them distinguish the scent as prey or predator. 

7 thoughts on “itsy bitsy spider vs the waterspout

  1. Well, I never thought this day would come. The day we part our ways, you take the high road and I take the low road. I have never met a spider that I haven’t, smashed, squashed, stepped on, walloped or used some other violent means to end their life. I am not afraid of them. I am afraid that if they find me before I find them, they will take me out with one small nibble in my sleep. The last time I was bitten (I must be yummy because they can’t resist) I was an IV drip for a week and a half. I hope you can find it in your heart to look past my murderous tendencies and chalk it up to self preservation on my part.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nooooooooo! Our ways haven’t parted! Never! I’m not allergic to spiders, but I do have a morbid fear of bikes and icy pavement and stairs and other assorted threats to my well-being. Trust me, I harbor my own murderous tendencies — I don’t wallop, I kick. Or did. Until I tangled with a dumpster and lost. So, see? I’m in this fight with you, just against more and different threats.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s my problem leg, as well. Some days it’s fine, other days I’m convinced I can hear the hardware squeaking and chirping. Plus, that knee has decided to follow its own rules, now. Walking the dog is a clanking, limping Benny Hill episode :o\ So I feel for you.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. What a heart-warming story! You are the hero of the day. Well, my day, anyway. There’s just one thing … spiders are not insects, not even spiders with two missing legs. But you knew that, right?

    Liked by 2 people

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