BY DARREN HANDSCHUH
We all saw its shadow before we saw it.
“It” was a humungous rock spider that was walking out of the campfire. That’s right, I said walking out of the campfire.
It was the colour of granite with a big round body, huge fangs and a bad attitude.
It literally cast a shadow from the fire and was calmly walking within inches of the hot embers.
A friend of mine took a stick and poked the multi-legged terror and it reached up with one of its front legs grabbed the stick and slammed my friend to the ground.
OK, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but you could see it actually pushing the stick down a little bit.
My buddy was stunned at the strength of this thing and I felt a shiver go up my spine that lasted for the next 17 minutes.
I had visions of this Godzilla of the spider realm hiding in my sleeping bag or attacking me from below as I used the outdoor loo.
Any such interaction with the arachnid (especially the loo part) would cause me to squeal like a small, frightened school girl moments before I passed out.
Spider - one, big strong man - zero.
As we examined the spider he, or she, or whatever it was, took up a defensive pose and would push the stick every time it came near him.
I suggested we nuke the spider so it would never frighten small children or big adults again.
“Hey, why don’t you put on those leather work gloves, pick the spider up and throw it in the fire?” I suggested to my friend with the stick.
“Why don’t you?” was his response.
“Are you out of your mind? Look at that thing. I’m not going anywhere near it. Why do you think I suggested you do it?”
Four fully grown adults stood trembling in fear over a spider that probably weighed less than my fingernails, but no one was going near it – no matter what.
OK, plan A was a bust.
Plan B involved death from above and a bombing run using a five-pound stone was decided upon as the best way to rid the world of the grey terror that was holding us at bay.
I threw the rock and it kind of hit the spider on his side. He then seemed to bounce off the rock and the last we saw he was shooting across the hot embers to the other side of the fire.
No carcass was found so we assumed he had survived the assassination attempt which sent more chills up my spine (kind of like right now actually.)
This freaked all of us out as none of us are overly fond of spiders or any other type of insect for that matter.
I had more visions. This time it was of a wounded monster spider hiding in the woods, plotting its revenge, waiting for the perfect moment to attack.
Perhaps it would limp its way up the tree behind me, climb out on a limb and then drop onto my hair-challenged head.
“Eeeek,” does not even come close to what my reaction would be.
Maybe it would die a slow death, but survive long enough to pass on a message of vengeance to its 20,000 offspring.
That would be just my luck to have a small army of ticked off arachnids hunting me and my kin down to fulfill some sort of insect vendetta.
There were only so many rocks I could throw.
Fearing retribution, I conducted a more thorough search of the area around the campfire, but no sign of my new nemesis could be found.
Sure we all hatched the murder scheme, but it would be my scent on the rock. I don’t know if spiders can smell, but I do not want to take the risk.
We tried to relax around the fire and laugh off the incident, but deep down every one of us was keeping a close eye out for any sign of the spider of terror.
We have been back to that spot since that fateful night and have yet to be carried off into the woods by avenging insects, so our fears of a sci-fi like rebellion by an arachnid army are unfounded.My fear of spiders however, remains as strong as it ever has – perhaps even more.