Revenge of the Spider

a writing by Elizabeth Padillo Olesen


I never thought I would be scared of a spider. I am not really sure if it was a spider. It looked like a spider that sat on my eggplant. I was so happy to see my eggplant, which I planted barely two months ago, now bearing flowers. And as I was about to water it, I saw this kind of spider jumping from one leaf to another. I thought not any insect should destroy my eggplant, nor hinder this plant from bearing fruits after the onset of flowers.

So by a motherly instinct, I snapped the spider away from the leaves and it fell down just below the ground. But it did manage to climb up again and claimed its place on top of the face of my eggplant. This time I used my right foot to let it flee. It fell down again. I did not really manage to crush it by my foot. I still thought, that maybe, even a spider, could have its useful place in nature and I did not have the right to kill it. But my foot gave a violent push to let this spider be thrown a little bit far away from my eggplant.

I had just given salt to the crawling snails that ate the leaves of some of my lilac flowers. So while holding a cup with some salt in it, I thought it would be just a good idea to sprinkle salt on this spider, so it would certainly die, like the death of the irritating snails that ate many leaves of my flowers and beans. And I actually did it, sprinkled salt over the spider, but the spider did not recoil in pain, instead it hopped away from the salt. And then I discovered that it kept on jumping to where I was standing. I thought this spider would ran away or really would seek a place to be far away from its torturer, that was me. But surprisingly enough, slowly in its own way, it kept on moving and hopping near my feet. I had to move backward not to be near to it , but still interestingly giving eye to the its movement. And the spider seemingly continued to follow me.


I moved back inch after inch, simply watching how it could reach my feet. By the time it would come closer, I would make larger steps backward and silently waited again how it knew where I stood. Believe me or not, I had gooseflesh on my skin. It followed me. I did not imagine that I would be standing in front of a delicate spider and feeling that kind of fear. I was simply scared that this spider was trying to find me in order to inflict its revenge for my unkindness. Believe me or not, I ran out from the garden and straight ahead to my door, right to the kitchen and closed the door and saw to it that the windows were closed.

I had to change my clothes, the one I put on during my visit in the garden. I just felt that maybe this spider had a great sense of smell that it would be able to find me in order to hatch its revenge. And who knows it would crawl upon my legs when I would sleep and perhaps enter into the hole of my ear. Silly thoughts but funny of all funniest, how on earth this little spider could trickle inside me this kind of fear.

Was it because I knew what I did to it was so rude, unkind and violent that a simple and fragile creature like this spider, would be able to carry out a plan to revenge in order to protect itself. Silly person that I was, this spider has taught me a lesson today. I must keep the art of relating well even to the tiniest creature, including this little spider.
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August 25, 2012

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