I woke at 6.30 a.m today, not bad for a Bank Holiday Monday. I thought maybe another hour or so more shut eye wouldn’t go amiss, and then I spied, with my bleary eye, a Harvestman, ambling like a drunken sailor, towards me, a la Sean Connery, in James Bond’s Dr. No.
I’m not generally afraid of spiders. I’m afraid of a lot of things, but spiders are not one of them. I’m not keen on the big hairy arsed ones but they still won’t die in my charge. Apparently, Harvestmen aren’t even proper spiders. They’re a lot nicer. Perhaps that’s why I’m not afraid of them.
Harvestmen are Opilione arachnids with particularly long sexy legs. They are part of the Phalangiidae family and don’t have venom glands. They are sometimes called daddy longs legs but I associate daddy long legs with the Crane Fly that comes out in September. Most spiders have a distinctive waist but harvestmen have a head, thorax and abdomen, melded into one and sometimes resemble Craneflies.
Harvestmen aren’t hunters like normal spiders and they congregate together and get all cosy and hygge and unlike spiders, they have penises, makes them somehow…less insect-y and more mammal-ly.
They know very well they have these sexy legs and they shave them to accentuate their loveliness. If you like your spiders tall and gangling and resembling a string of piss, then these are the spiders for you, or rather non spiders, in fact they’re not even insects. You can’t stick a label on them and they can’t be put in a box. Well they can, physically, but they’re getting more interesting the more I read about them. I’ve only seen them once before, on the ceiling, some time ago, two of them getting jiggy with it. No doubt that’s why they’re in my bed. They’re been breeding like rabbits since that je t’aime moment. First time I’ve seen spider sex, hope it’s the last.
Still, it was a bit of a shock waking up to him/her, stumbling awkwardly but purposely along the mountainous terrain of duvet country, aiming straight for my face.
I was suddenly not so bleary eyed anymore. Don’t make a bee line for my mouth, I don’t want you for breakfast. It’s toast and tomatoes for me, burned tomatoes, that can only be identified by their dental records.
I somehow eased myself from out of the duvet, without upsetting the determined route of silky legs. Not sure how I did it and I somehow delicately and carefully moved around her, bypassed her, and didn’t crush her in the ensuing activity, trying, at the same time, to abseil over my husband, who has the outside spot in the bed…and I need to take a breath, or a comma.
Now that I am in Sean Connery/Tarantula/ Dr. No territory, I must say, he was such a chump handling that spider. It crawled off his shoulder without harming him, yet he jumped out of bed like a little girl. No, that’s an insult to little girls. I never jumped out of bed like that to kill a poisonous hairy tarantula, when I was a little girl and I never would have done, I don’t think. But what I know I wouldn’t have done was to beat it to death with a slipper after the danger has passed. How cowardly. Sean Connery is considerably more hairy than the spider. What’s there to be afraid of? I’m surprised he didn’t have more of a kinship with a fellow hirsute brother.
I don’t know what became of Mr or Mrs Attractive Harvestman/Woman but I’m glad that I don’t feel the need to beat creatures who are a thousand times smaller than me, to death, with a slipper. Oh, you’re so tough Mr. Bond.
So, I get that the tarantula in Dr. No may have been poisonous but that’s what happens when you’re a secret agent. It’s the whole occupational hazard thing.
So, just saying…I was up nice and early today. Whether you are afraid of them or not, and whether they’re classed as spiders or not, a spider alarm clock works.