Another Day in the Country
Spider jumps ship
© Another Day in the Country
My daughter dubbed the little spider that rode around with us on our car door, just below the door handle, “Charlotte,” in memory of the children’s book, “Charlotte’s Web,” which she had enjoyed as a child.
“How long does it take for spider eggs to hatch?” Jana wanted to know, again.
We had looked it up on Google several times.
Of course, we were guessing as to what kind of spider we were checking on, and facts varied.
We were sure that the blessed event should be happening soon.
“I need to wash the car,” Jana complained, “and I hate to do it with her on the door.”
“She’s already withstood some pretty harsh circumstances,” I countered. “Go ahead and wash it. We can dodge around her and we’ll just go easy on the rinse.”
Soft-hearted Jana, in her current protective state of Charlotte, did not want to disrupt nature’s cycles in any way. So, the car went unwashed.
In the mean time, we were learning more and more about spiders. Every time we looked up information we’d get a different web site, it seemed.
I marveled at how attached we’d become to this tenacious little creature. In any other circumstances she would have been instantly brushed away or squashed. Not this spider! We watched over her and even talked to her, “You hang in there girl,” as the car door slammed.
Well, Charlotte bailed on us somewhere in Santa Rosa! She was there, clinging to the door, protecting her egg sac, when we dropped off my grandson for his Aikido lesson. She was still there when we drove across town to get pizza for supper, after we’d picked him up. However, when we got to the fencing club an hour later, Charlotte was gone!
We got out of the car. Instinctively Jana checked on Charlotte as she closed the door.
Meanwhile, Dagfinnr and I were gathering goodies that would amuse us while Jana had her fencing lesson.
It’s techno all the way!
Sometimes we play chess on his tablet, It’s an easy version that reminds you of all your possible moves — which I definitely need.
Sometimes he takes photographs of himself or me and manipulates them in some app called Photobooth, and we laugh and giggle at the outcome. That alone can amuse us for quite a while.
He’s saved the funniest pictures on his iPad for several years since this aikido/fencing ritual has gone on for quite a few summers. So we can laugh at ourselves for quite some time!
We’d settled ourselves on the couch and realized that Jana wasn’t with us.
“Where’s Mom?” Dagfinnr said as he looked back out the door of the club. “She’s still out by the car. What’s she doing? Mom, do you need help?”
“I’m looking for Charlotte,” she said. “She’s gone!”
Now we all were curious. We’d been riding around with Charlotte for almost a month. In some strange way she had become part of the family.
“Her babies must have hatched,” I said to my daughter.
“Are you sure, Mom?” she answered. “I’m worried that I might have knocked her off the door when I got out.”
“Well, if you did, she’ll crawl back up to her post while we’re inside.”
It was dark when we came back to the car a couple of hours later. Of course, we checked the door to see whether Charlotte was back at her post. She wasn’t.
We talked about that silly spider all the way home, marveling at her tenacity and our concern in equal measures.
In daylight we checked the egg sac. It was empty.
A couple of weeks later, Dagfinnr and his Dad got up really early in the morning to take Jana to the San Francisco airport. She was competing in the Summer Fencing Nationals in Ohio..
At the airport Dagfinnr said, “Hey, there’s a tiny little spider back here clinging to the door panel.”
It may be another day in the country, but Charlotte’s little wunderkind took up residence in San Francisco!