Life As A Hedgepig
 
Creepy Crawlies

Spiders give me the creeps. I live in a state of uneasy truce with them; what with all the fiber arts I do or have done over the years, they are one of my totem critters. Besides, I don't like killing things unnecessarily (I used to trap mice live. Used to trap 'em dead, too, when the infestations got too bad, but always hated that.) On the other hand, I really don't like them. I assume if the Goddess wants them to survive, she will divert them if they try to come in my house. They're fair game if they get in my way! Often, I will leave them alone if they are up high in a corner somewhere--if they want to sit waaaay up there out of reach and eat bugs, fine.

I couldn't leave one sitting on a dresser long enough to set up shop. Not that there's not dust enough to attract them on some of the furniture around here! :) And the type that spin those funnel shaped webs I find especially creepy.

The other day I went out to the laundry room--when you go out the back door from my kitchen, you find yourself on a little staircase. At the foot of the staircase, you can go left and you're in the laundry room/work room; go right and you're outside. Straight ahead, if you go past the back door to the outside, is the door to the garage (which is mostly storage at the moment, as is most of the work room area). I went out and put in some laundry the other day, and on my way back in, I noticed that there was a neat little funnel web tucked into a corner on the next-to-bottom step--complete with visible spider parts just sticking out. Eeeuuuww! And me barefoot! My first impulse was to get a stick and evict it with extreme prejudice. Then I decided it was kind of in no-woman's-land tucked away in there; not quite outside, but not quite inside either. So I left it there--although I fear for my little bare toes every time I go out there without shoes. I look carefully before I step! But I hope that it is eating bugs that would otherwise find their way into the house, and if it is, it's doing me a favor.

So, I was sitting here a few minutes ago, and a movement of something small and dark catches my eye, on the wall next to me, just along the edge of my poor disintegrating Historical Map of the United States. I look up, and less than a foot away, there is a big ol' black spider. Holy Crap!! I leaped up and grabbed the first book I could lay my hands on. SPLAT and the crumpled up body of the arachnid clung there for a moment and then tumbled in slow motion to the floor, landing in a multi-legged heap in some carpet fuzz and paper scraps. I scooped up the debris, fuzz and all, and unceremoniously deposited it in the trash can.

Sometimes you can take this living in harmony with our fellow creatures shit just too far.

(From an e-mail message sent August 18, 2004)

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Portrait of the Author as a Young Hedgepig

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Un-Free Willy

Headline from the Seattle Times:

"Aquarium in Florida wants Keiko in captivity"

Gee, didn't these people see "Free Willy?" Poor Keiko is sure having a hard time of it these days. Some nutcase scientist wants to kill him (for his own good, of all things!); the Norwegian government wants people to stay away from him (although it is perfectly obvious that he loves people and loves the attention); and the misguided morons in Miami are not the first aquarium to suggest re-capturing the poor guy--although I believe that they are the first to actually apply for the appropriate paperwork to do so.

I understand the concerns for Keiko--and the people who choose to approach him--but re-capturing him is a cure worse than the disease, if it is a disease. He has been successfully re-introduced to the wild, apparently. He made his way independently from Iceland to Norway, seems able to feed himself adequately, appears in good spirits and good health. The only thing wrong with this animal is that he enjoys associating with human beings. He is not really a wild animal; he was in captivity too long. But if people really want him to be "free," doesn't he have the right to associate with whomever or whatever he chooses? He chooses to hang out with humans. I think we have to respect that, and just hope that the people he chooses to approach--or allows to approach him--show some common sense in their interactions with him.

It would be cruelty in the extreme to rip away the freedom that he--and so many of his human supporters--have worked so hard to achieve.

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