News

A sore tale of the four-legged spider that took revenge

ONCE again, in addition to being a columnist, this week I will be an educator.

Sometimes the universe, or my own stupidity, plays an active role in making sure that you, the reader, have something to read that won't be a complete waste of your time (see previous columns).

As most of you know by now, I love bugs. Even the ones that make most people cringe, like the Australian huntsman.

There's something that intrigues me about bugs that are the size of Paris Hilton's dog.

Now, for about a week I had a four-legged huntsman on my back patio. Yes, I said four-legged. And the missing legs were all missing from one side of its body.

So, I kept an eye on it - partially because I was curious to see if it walked in circles - but mainly because I was wondering if it would survive.

Well, it wasn't long before I realised that, while still being physically intimidating, being armless had made him, well, harmless.

After a few days of him not moving or hunting, one morning I came out to find him on top of some linen on the patio with his remaining legs curled in.

Which could only mean two things; either he was cold or he was dead.

Now, I'm no entomologist but I went with the latter.

And since I needed to move the linen he was laying on and, I admit, was curious to take a closer look now that he'd knocked on heaven's door, I decided to pick it up. So… I … grabbed … a … leg.

 

Harry Bruce cartoon for A Yank in Oz column January 21, 2013
Harry Bruce cartoon for A Yank in Oz column January 21, 2013 Harry Bruce

Now, if you have ever seen a ninja kill someone in a movie or David Copperfield make someone disappear, neither of those things can come close to the quickness at which this spider sunk his horribly painful fangs into my thumb.

And here's a fun fact for you: huntsmans have what's known as the "cling" reflex when they bite.

Which means they don't bite and release, they cling to their prey like a bad habit - a scary, painful, hairy, four-legged, possum-playing habit.

And to answer the obvious question, no, I didn't kill it after I was finally able to shake it loose.

As it laid spent, legs once again curled in, I knew it had fought its last fight. Plus I was too busy screaming and running in the other direction.

And later when I was sure death wasn't imminent, my husband reminded me that I could now, possibly, give birth to Spiderman.

He always knows just what to say.

Topics:  bugs, column, editors picks, opinion, spider



The pacemaker cells of your gut

Restroom sign

Living Naturally: problems with the gut

Dunn eyes Millions for Group level push

TRAINING MASTERS: Matt and Keira Dunn at a Murwillumbah Racecourse race day.

Trainer eyes a cast of millions.

Pennant season out of sync?

SWING DOCTOR: Norman Carmichael, pictured with Julie Keegan, has sadly passed away.

Greg Kelly: On the mat.

Latest deals and offers

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

Rachel Weisz understands celebrity gossip fascination

Actor Rachel Weisz

Weisz says mystery is good for an actor

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m