Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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Spider house rules

Our big concerns get very small at Chicken Corner sometimes. As small as our eight-legged friends and feared ones. We have a no-kill policy at our house with the unpleasant exception for black widows. The no-kill rule is for my daughter's sake. She loves bugs and in the last few years I have started to love some of them, too. We had a yellow and black garden spider in our yard this summer that was named Hearts. We had an orb weaver on the porch that we called Our Lady Spider. Some of the rolly-pollys have names too.

Inside, we have long-long-legged tan colored spiders with tiny abdomens; they walk slowly and awkwardly when forced to move. Many of these we leave alone, clearing away their webs, and then they make new ones. Sometimes, when I'm not in a mood for a big, slow spider in the bathroom, we catch it and put it out.

Yesterday, we saw a large one of these harmless spiders in the living room under a window sill. My daughter shined a flashlight on the lady spider, and we saw that she had an egg sack -- a little white ball with white bumps that soon would turn into hundreds of spiderlings.

"Sorry, lady spider. You're going outside with those."

I got a stiff piece of paper to carry her out with -- at which point she turned into a hero. She grabbed the egg sack and ran for it. But she ran slowly, and I kept catching up with her, trying to get her to walk onto the paper so I could carry it out. She ran and ran. I gave up on the paper and went to get a plastic cup. My daughter kept an eye on her in the meantime. I assume the spider was exhausted. She stayed where she was. When I got back we got her into the cup and then took her outside. She still had the egg sack, which she had carried all over the living room. It was cold out, and she probably found a way back inside -- future generation in tow -- anyway.

It's a bug's world. We're just visiting.

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