It is that time of year again. The large house spiders are on the move. The big males are off hunting females to mate. They bounce across your carpet, veering and halting unpredictable.
They lurk in the recesses and under everything.
They are huge, dark and hairy. Their bristles are evil.
At night they emerge to climb walls and on to beds.
They appear in bath-tubs and showers.
They also loom even larger in my imagination!
I am an entomologist. I should know better. But childhood experiences combine with evolutionary instinct to tell me that these things are dangerous, evil and a malevolent force.
Nothing will persuade me otherwise.
We have a huge one in the house. My wife saw it scurry under the bath.
I know it’s there, somewhere.
Malevolently scurrying across the floor,
Scuttling to a standstill, assessing,
Watching with its many eyes,
Weighing up the scene.
Then darting into dark crevices
Impossible to squeeze into
To lurk and plan
Its evil re-emergence.
When darkness falls
It is there
Under the cushion
Under the pillow
Brushing the sleeping face
With its bristles
Legs and gnashing mandibles.
Delighting in its success.
Or patient wait
For this one.
He is quick
And a brain
No ordinary spider.