“I thought I saw a spider, but it was just a piece of yarn. It’s dead yarn now.”
Writing on a shirt
Along Came a Spider,
Who Sat Down Beside Her

Like most girls, at the age of ten, I was afraid of spiders. I grew up during the ‘60’s
in Poestenkill, New York which was a country town with lots of spiders. Dad was
my hero because he would annihilate bugs for me. A simple killing just would not
do. I needed to know they were never coming back to life, especially the spiders.
Better safe than sorry. At the time, plastic bugs became the rage. My
parents, being party people and crazy, would put them in ice cubes which they
served in cocktails. Fortunately, I was too young to drink. Just looking at bugs
in the ice cube trays made me shudder.

One morning, I was eating breakfast at the kitchen table. I was alone in the
house. Dad had gone to work and Mom was hanging laundry on the clothes line
out back. I looked down at the floor and there by my right foot was the biggest
blackest, hairiest, most ferocious looking arachnid. It was bigger than a silver
dollar so I was sure it was fake. I had never seen such a big spider before. I
thought my mother was trying to pull a prank on me, but I wanted to be sure. I
moved my foot. Nothing happened. So, I took my paper napkin and dragged it
carefully over the body. If the spider was alive, I did not want it to run up my leg,
you see. It again, did not move. I summoned up my courage, bent over and blew
on it. Same lack of response. I wanted a second opinion, so I called Kap, my
father’s hunting dog. He sniffed the spider and walked away. I decided then it
really was plastic and not wanting to be a victim of my mother’s prank, bent over
to pick it up. It ran further under the kitchen table and screaming, I ran out the
door. Like little Miss Muffett, he or she frightened young Miss Hannay away. I
am sure this incident took ten years off my life.

Some say killing a spider is bad luck. Today, because I am a gardener, I know
spiders are good for the garden. They capture and kill bad bugs. I leave them
alone outside to do their good work. However, in the house, they are dead
spiders. I don’t care if it is bad luck.

List of ten words: Spiders, plastic bags, ice cubes, cocktails, kitchen table, laundry, silver dollar, paper napkin, dog, garden

4 thoughts on “Along Came a Spider by June Kosier

  1. June, good voice and humor. I like the buildup to the “biggest, blackest, hairiest, most ferocious arachnid.” I hope you don’t mind that I have a few suggestions. My first suggestion is to combine part of the “biggest, blackest” sentence with the “I had never seen such a big spider before.” I would also leave out the beginning “I looked down at the floor and there” I feel it’s implied that you’re looking at your foot and this way the scare is immediate. Therefore, right after “Dad had gone to work and Mom was hanging laundry out back.” By my right foot was the biggest, blackest, hairiest, most ferocious looking spider I had ever seen. (I have one more suggestion, rearrange the next sentence so there aren’t two “was.”) I’m sure it was fake because it looked as big as a silver dollar.

    I enjoyed reading your piece! I like how you learned that spiders are good for a garden and the ending. I’m curious if you live by water because my brother-in-law has the kind of spider you described in the grass by a river. My sister-in-law screamed when she first saw it, also. It looked like a black widow spider, which don’t live in New York, thankfully!

    1. Thank you for reading my piece and giving me suggestions. I wish more readers would do that. I will take a better look at them after I have my morning coffee. I did not live by any water. Perhaps as a kid the spider seemed bigger than it really was. Thanks again. Feedback is great!

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