Its thick, furry body moves swiftly as it comes closer. Its beady eyes stare as it works its way toward those who gather. The arachnid’s fangs — let alone its eight hairy legs — have been enough to send grown men and women running and screaming.

My friend grabs a cup and I expect her to squish it as her daughter jumps back in fear. Suddenly she woos the creepy crawler inside the cup and then covers the top. Her daughter looks at her with a horrified face as my friend opens the door and lets the spider free.

They disagree on what should have happened to the creature. As they state their cases back and forth, I think what if spiders do have feelings?

“Back in familiar territory,” thought the spider, as he rushes through the dirt piles passing the ant family that was constructing their home. “That was a close one,” he sighed to himself. “When I saw the large object come toward me, I thought it would all go dark.”

He darts carelessly through the long blades of grass until he sees the old fence where he is hoping that the web has caught lunch. He realizes how hungry he is as he sees a large fly trapped in the fine silk strands.

Greeting him as he nears home are his two buddies, Arachno and Phobia, who can’t wait to hear about his adventures on the other side of the fence.

An article published the other day outlines that there were traffic issues in Minneapolis caused by a spider. A driver who suffered from the fear of spiders, arachnophobia, pulled over because she was unable to drive with the spider in the vehicle.

It is a real fear that may seem irrational to some. However, it causes symptoms, such as dizziness, trembling and increased heart rate.

We have seen the toughest people crumble when around spiders.

I have admittedly been one of those who ran so quickly out of an outhouse after spotting the eight-legged monster lurking in the corner. It was sure to pounce on me at the most vulnerable moment.

Irrational, maybe since they are known to avoid people. Due to their poor eyesight, they rely on senses including the tiny hairs on their legs to sense vibrations for helping smell and taste. Although knowing this didn’t matter when its shadow looked even larger with the flashlight shining on it.

After hearing my friend try to pacify her daughter, I wanted to believe in this Pixar movie type existence for the spiders and the life they lived in her yard raising spider families and being close relatives to Spiderman. Even though I knew it was an attempt to ease the fear of her daughter, who grew up believing in superheroes, it was better than them being creepy crawlers of the night.

My friend wanted her daughter to be a “catch a spider in a cup person” and let the spiders be as free as their counterparts waiting at the fence and the fly before it found itself stuck in the web.

As I tried to embrace my new found outlook, which I like to call “spidey sensibility” I still could not imagine I would ever get close enough to a spider to either use a shoe on it or a cup to save it. Instead, I would likely call in my own superhero to save me from the next spider. I like to call him my Superman, aka my husband.

*Melissa can be reached at


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