bunt sign

Tuesday, July 18, 2000

Hazel at homeThe spider that hangs out (literally) between my toilet and the bathroom cabinet is getting a bit too comfortable, I'm afraid. She's been there since I moved in, and her territory has expanded beyond the modest square footage I was willing to allow her. I'm not inclined to roust her out just yet, but it's probably a good thing for her I don't get many visitors. There's a shade too much excess webbing draped loosely around the edges of the tank lid lately.

She's allowed to maintain residence because she is a spider of long, thin legs and a tiny, non-threatening abdomen. The one I killed yesterday had thick legs and a body to match, and it was tramping all over the bathroom floor as if searching for small rodents to harass. I've never liked bullies, and I won't tolerate it in arachnids. I could be wrong about this one's intentions, but sometimes you have to make a decision on the fly, as it were. It was in a place where a bit of shoe leather would rid me of a potential nuisance, et voilà. Adiós, araña.

Alas, I am in a quandary. Not one of those deep quandaries of song and legend. A rather shallow quandary, in fact, but a quandary nonetheless. I pay the rent here (well, the Boss and I do), and as fond as I am of Hazel, for that's what I find myself calling my eight-legged roommate, I can't have her overstepping. As nice as it is to share personal space with a fellow creature, the level of companionship she provides falls short of being cute or cuddly.

Or am I being too species-centric? What natural law gives me the right to decide where (or whether) a living being should live? I have an advantage in size, and range of motion, and ... oh, there must be something else. But does that mean I have no obligation to step aside and give room to those less fortunate? Might makes right? Didn't we get past that concept, some time in the previous millennium?

Hazel's close-upMany human beings I meet every day are neither cute nor cuddly, but I don't squash them or spray them or destroy their homes with a feather duster. Live and let live, that's how we cope in a crowded world of limited resources. As long as I get my share, I'm happy to see others getting theirs. If I'll step aside for rude folks walking three abreast on a narrow sidewalk, I shouldn't mind the lesser inconvenience of Hazel webbing it up in an out-of-the-way corner.

Besides, it gives me someone to talk to. She's a good listener, as far as I can tell. At least, she's never interrupted me, even when I'm going on and on about some inane subject that probably doesn't make a lot of sense to her. For now, anyway, there's no reason to do anything I might regret later.

And I can always change my mind tomorrow and use the special attachment on my new vacuum. That is what it's designed for, sad to say.

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