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One day I was driving home when I felt something tickling my arm.  It was a spider, making his reddish-brown way up toward my sleeve.

I like spiders.  Spiders might be responsible for my avocation but then again there’s prairie dogs so it’s probably a toss-up.   Either way, this spider was the size of nothing and as far as I could tell from the trajectory, it would soon be inside the sleeve of my tee shirt.

Circumstances permitting, I’ll pull over and drop a spider off.   But this little one was making time and soon it would be out of my sight. I wouldn’t be able to guarantee its safety.

It reminded me of the time I worked in marketing at an audio-recording studio.  I sat at my desk chatting with a co-worker and on the wall behind me a big, red spider appeared, working her spidery way toward the ceiling.   Legs and all, she measured about a quarter across.

Bonnie shrieked.  Oh, I thought, this is not such a big problem, I’ll just take the spider outside and we’ll all get back to our lives.

Five minutes later I was still at it and the spider was winning.  She’d been on the floor, on the wall, on the floor again, back on the wall.  She went up, she went down.  Steve appeared with a question, and he stayed to watch the show.  Ugh, I had an audience but I was completely ineffectual.

I was out of ideas.  Bonnie was in favor of smacking the spider with a magazine.  Steve was laughing at me.  Then I had an idea.

I slapped my hand to the wall below her and snarled, “if you want to go outside you’re just gonna have to get on my hand because I give up.”

The spider walked down and hopped on.  Immediately.  I gaped, Martha said, “Oh my God Katie you’re like St. Francis!”, the spider waited, Steve shook his head doubtfully and went back to Shipping.  I carried that spider down a flight of stairs and out into a nice dusty field and off she hopped.

Fast forward to my car, a decade later.   I told the new spider, “Look.  If this is going to end well you might want to turn around and go back down my arm, where I can see you.  Take your time and when we get home I’ll put you in the garden.”  A this point I could just make out a tiny reddish dot on the top of my left shoulder.

Given the choice between driving and wrangling a moving speck, I turned to the task at hand and got myself home.   My husband and daughter searched my shirt for the spider but all seemed lost.  I walked into the kitchen to start dinner when I felt, ‘tickle’, ‘tickle’, ‘tickle’.  I looked down and there she was, on top of my wrist.  We went out to the garden.

Roll your eyes all you want but come the revolution, it’s the insects and the rodents I will be counting on.

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