This morning there was a spider on my clothes as I was getting dressed.
The following conversation transpired in my head:
Me: Oh hello, little spider, you don’t look like any of the many deadly our harmful spiders I know of. And you don’t even look big and menacing like a huntsman. You must be harmless. Get off my bra.
Spider: No. This is my home now. (Actually, this may have been “Non, j’habite ici maintenant.” as it was a French spider.)
Me: No, really, I don’t want you getting squished. Get off. *Waves and blows at spider while picking up the bra.*
Spider: No. I like it here.
Me: Spider, I don’t have time for this. Get off. *Shakes the bra enthusiastically.* Go live in the plant.
Spider: Oh, alright then. *Abseils down*
Me: *Cuts the web with a branch of the plant, detaching the spider and depositing it safely on a leaf* Thanks, mate, see you later!
It only occurred to me later on that many people would probably react quite differently. I imagine hyperventilation and crazy clothes avoidance. I remember thinking ‘Oh, I’ve been here weeks, haven’t seen a spider till now…. this one is so little!’ I almost thought it was cute.
I suspect this comes from more frequent exposure to bugs and other creatures (many of which are very dangerous, comparatively speaking) having grown up in Sydney with a large, bush-facing back yard.
Bugs happened. We swept them away. Once my brother had an enormous family of huntsmen hatch on his ceiling. That was a long night of bug spray and vacuuming the ceiling, I have to say.
Lizards happened, even large ones about a metre long. I remember goannas in the school yard at lunchtime. They’re ugly beasties.
I’d visit friends and avoid the snakes while stargazing, because, well, they were there. And they were venomous.
Local birds stole away my pet mouse (RIP Twitchy) when I left him alone briefly while cleaning his cage.
I found a live scorpion in the shower once. And this was all in SUBURBIA!
It was just a part of life. Apparently you get used to it.
I have to say that growing up in Australia gave me an interesting perspective on wildlife, and I strongly recommend trying out living somewhere where almost everything is trying to kill you, at least briefly. It’ll make most things elsewhere seem pretty tame. 🙂