I go in and out of Tess’ Barndominium Complex about 10 times a day – maybe more.
I have the panels unhooked and open to walk through easily, as long as the barn gate is closed.
When I have the barn gate open (so that MT can enjoy her veranda), I have the panels closed and locked.
If the panels are closed and locked, to make it easier for myself to get in and out, I simply squizzle myself through the bars of the panels.
That was how I met Charlotte.
CHARLOTTE, THE SPIDER
I don’t know under which phylum or genre of spider Charlotte would fall… but if they had a spider named “FAST AND FURIOUS”, that would be her.
When I first noticed Charlotte – and she noticed that I had noticed her – she ran over to me so fast it was as if she had teleported herself. As she stood on her hind legs and shook her hairy little arms at me, she made it ferociously clear, under no uncertain terms, that she didn’t want me to go anywhere near the 4th rail of her homesteaded panel.
I couldn’t believe it.
Getting as close as I could without worrying that she would jump onto my face or something equally as oogey, I eyed her.
She eyed me back, not flinching.
Wow. This girl is one tough cookie!
SO I FETCHED MY CAMERA…
Charlotte seemed to know this game… as if she’d been photographed for a lineup before.
“Oh no ya don’t…”
She scurried up and down, over and around that rail so fast I couldn’t keep her in my view finder.
Finally, I put down the camera and asked for a truce.
She didn’t want me anywhere near her 4th rail.
I told Charlotte that I had no intention of hitting the 4th rail – we humans are well aware of the implications, especially those who grew up around subways and BART.
She didn’t get my humor.
The tiny warrior told me that the 4th rail from ‘there to there’ (she pointed with her furry little arms) were hers.
Since she only wanted one rail – the one with the hole in it for hiding – I figured it was OK.
Charlotte’s second demand was that I didn’t wreck her web by shoving my body through that particular rung.
I told her that that rung was too high for me anyway… and that I would always use the rung below.
She was relieved.
I told her that I I would agree to her deal if she would agree to mine.
Then I went on to ungraciously tell her that I was totally grossed out by the idea of any creepy (sorry) craawly thing in my hair or under my shirt. So, I insisted that no matter how incensed she became over my comings and goings, she wasn’t allowed to hitch a ride on any part of my body – even if it was just to yell at me.
With a very rapid head bob (which was her style), she agreed
AND SO IT WAS…
And so the tiny spider and I agreed.
She had her turf and I had mine.
And as the sun set, all was at peace in our little world.