Just because, as last-night's dream suggests, I am not looking for a new
wife, doesn't mean that I am incapable of making new friends. A few weeks
ago I noticed that a daddy longlegs spider had established a web between my
workbench and the door from the garage that goes into the backyard. When I
was small, my parents taught me to never kill daddy longlegs because they
were good spiders that killed black widows and other bad insects. Susan was
a great hater of all spiders and called upon me to kill any that she found.
I never killed a daddy longlegs, but I would remove the webs Susan might
I noticed that there didn't seem to be many insects falling for my daddy
longlegs rather bedraggled web and being afraid he might starve I swatted a
fly in the house, took it out to the garage and dropped it into his web.
Suddenly he vibrated the web for several seconds. I thought he might be
having a seizure, but after a few seconds he stopped vibrating and
approached the fly. Not willing to see what he did with it, I went back
upstairs and looked him up on the internet. There are two theories about
the vibrating they do. One is that they do it out of fear, but doubting
that he was afraid of a dead fly I preferred the theory that the vibration
of the web entangles the prey more securely. Maybe the fly I swatted wasn't
quite dead yet, or maybe my spider just wasn't taking any chances.
The next day I couldn't find a fly to swat but found one on the carpet who
seemed to have died of natural causes. My daddy longlegs wasn't impressed.
He neither vibrated his web nor approached the fly. That evening I removed
it from his web and put it in the trash.
Today I swatted another fly which I dropped into his web. He didn't come
out to vibrate his web but later I saw that the fly was gone. This evening,
on the way to take the dogs out back for the last potty-break of the night I
noticed the daddy longlegs was back in his usual spot. Not only was he
back, but four inches away from him was a baby daddy longlegs; so probably
my spider is a momma longlegs who just got back from a visit to a real daddy
longlegs some place further under my work bench. Now I wonder if momma is
counting on my providing a daily fly as child support.