Years ago, a very dear friend told me about an incident where she saw a Black Rat Snake along the side of the road. She swerved to run over it with her car, backed over it, and ran it over again to make sure it was dead.
I was shocked that she would go to such lengths. It was dangerous for her to back up on this particular road; with plenty of curves, dips and blind spots, but it was also such an aggressive move. Besides, Rat Snakes are super cool (from a healthy distance), and aren’t looking for trouble. I’ve spotted one many times sunning itself in the Elm tree behind my house, as pictured here.
When I asked why she did it, she told me she was absolutely terrified of snakes. Hmm. As far as I knew, snakes where not known to spontaneously leap into a car speeding past them at 45mph. Fear, however, is not always rational.
I was reminded of the conversation this weekend. The woman helping Angie told me several times over the time period she was in the house, how scared she was of bugs. She is indiscriminate with her fear: spiders, flies, mosquitoes, lightning bugs, moths – you name it, she’s terrified. She doesn’t differentiate the bugs; a bug is a bug is a bug.
There were a couple times I “came to the rescue” and captured bugs of varying species. She said to me, if it were her, she’d stomp on that spider without a second thought. That is, if no one was home to do it for her. Some are easier, and quickly scooped up in my hands and released. Others (usually spiders) test my patience as I stand with my plastic container and a piece of paper to slide along the wall beneath said container, capturing them in between. They zig, and I zag. They hide between curtains or behind canisters raising my heart rate because you just never know if all of the sudden it will do an about face and lunge right into my eyeball biting at it with their suddenly giant teeth.
This has never occurred I assure you, but it might, so I am always on the look out for that rogue spider that will begin the trend. As is practice in our house I let the bugs go outside. I put them in a protected area, behind a bush or in the garden. Very careful.
However, where I fall short of my compassion and reason is with silverfish. They give me the geebies just thinking about them. With their million legs that are a foot long, and Carl Lewis speed. I get in there with whatever is available and there are no holds barred. Like I said, they are lightning fast.
Who am I to make that judgement, though? Rationally thinking – they, too, have their purpose. Sigh. I guess I should get my plastic container and piece of paper ready, and hope the next one doesn’t strategically plan revenge on me for all the silverfish before it. Shudder.