From 31st June 2013
Have you just read that title and shuddered? Me too. And I was the one that experienced it! Quickly, a preliminary foreword about my viewpoint and ability to deal with insects. Normally I am pretty good and can cope with most things – spiders, wasps, centipedes, etc. This is despite a couple of traumatic experiences, including a wasp whilst working at ZSL London Zoo that was very determined and reduced me to tears and hyperventilating. I still have a scar, and it was over four years ago.
However, one thing that is guaranteed to help you deal with shudder-inspiring insects/arachnids is working with children. You just can’t freak out about them then, because that would encourage them to do so and that isn’t a great introduction to nature. So I’ve got over most of these fears, even the wasps.
This weekend, I realised that there is something I may never get over. Jumping spiders. Spiders in normal form, yes, they are usually ok (UK house spiders excepting, because the ones in my house are huge!). In the bush, I came across a small jumping spider (species unknown currently), and I was ok. It didn’t jump much and besides, it was rather cute. About the size of my little fingernail. All fine.
Sunday however. I was at the nearest restaurant using their WiFi, and suddenly there was a spider on my laptop screen. Initially, I wasn’t freaked out, although it did concern me whenever the spider tilted its head to look at me. And then the spider jumped.
Not onto me thankfully, but onto my keyboard. I shuffled back on my seat, not daring to touch my keyboard. It kept looking up at me. My mind went into panic mode, my thoughts consisting of “Oh my word, it jumps … the spider jumps … it’s looking at me … it jumps … aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah”.
I was in luck, it scurried off my keyboard onto the table and down the table leg. I let out a sigh. But too soon, the spider was still looking at me and next thing I knew, it had jumped onto me. Oh my word, adrenaline and panic and freaking out. I struck out to get it off my leg, and with luck, it disappeared under the table. Out of sight, out of mind.
So, maybe you’re fine with arachnids and even jumping arachnids, and you’re thinking that I’m a complete wuss. Possibly. But we all have little fears, and I think this may continue to be one of mine for a while yet. Maybe I shouldn’t visit Australia, I hear that they have big jumping spiders there, on top of all the other poisonous creatures trying to kill you.