Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chit-chat Wednesday - What's in the box?

Life has been chaotic the last week. We are now in the last stage of our renovation, houseminding at Ma and Pa's whilst they are in England.

At 6.30am my daughter woke me, holding a beautiful little trinket box that we had made together for Ma last Mother's Day. We had laboured for a couple of weeks on this box and I had enjoyed myself speculating what Ma would keep inside it. A lock of Pa's hair? Precious jewellery? Her children's drawings?

"I want to show you something, Mummy," Daisy said as her little hands struggled to undo the container. How sweet, I thought. The mystery was about to be revealed.

Then all hell broke out as my daughter shook a large huntsman spider onto me.

I don't think I’ve ever screamed so much and moved so quickly at that hour of the morning. I ran from the room in a panic, my daughter following me yelling, "It's alright, Mummy! It's dead!"

She then told me that Ma kept the spider for her and that she played with it when she came to visit. "Uncle put it in my hands," she blithely told me.

I don't know what was worse. The fear that shot through my arachnophobic body when the huntsman fell onto the bed or the knowledge that Ma (who up to this point had seemed so sane) kept a huntsman in her Mother's Day special box. Is it any wonder that I have so many grey hairs?

I'll write more about the renovation when I post on Friday.
image source of Miss Muffet


  1. Yes ... bless them. Our children love things like this, favourites include grass snakes which they made a 'home' for in the play house. Several times they came up to me during the summer (working, half paying attention) and shoved a writhing snake in my face. Sigh.

  2. OH NO! Josephine!! I have goose flesh! The visual is amazingly vivid! I am laughing with a tear in my eye! You poor thing! LOL XO

  3. I'm taking it that Huntsman spiders are very poisonous? Yikes- I think I would have been the same too - what a frightful joke! What a strange thing to keep! Still, I guess there is the fascination of handling something deadly knowing it is now dead itself and can no longer harm you...I mean, I wouldn't do it but...I can see the appeal!

  4. Yikes! That gave me the willies!! Your mother must be a brave soul.

    (I love the word "whilst"...we never use it here)

  5. This is hilarious! I hate spiders, too!

  6. Lol! I recoiled just reading this story! I can't imagine what it was like for you when it actually happened!

    And it is amazing that your daughter doesn't fear the dead spider. Dead or alive I cannot be near them.

    Last night I found a rather large black spider on the blinds in or bathroom. My husband has become rather lazy of late with disposing spiders (it's his only job chez nous). So I got the vacuum cleaner attachment and sucked the little sucker up! Very effective indeed.

  7. In our area we have the Brown Recluse spider - very dangerous. When I'm out by the wood pile I get nervous because I know they may be hiding there. Poor you - I would have screamed too. Can see you'll be talking to Ma when she returns!!!!

  8. hahaha oh my gosh! I would have screamed bloody murder as well! Me and spiders? uh uh. Nada. No sirreeee! :P

  9. oh, there's a story there ... the spider in the jewelbox - maybe it was guarding the family jewels! seriously, it must have been distressing and rather surreal for you

  10. Kate, I can imagine a snake in your face is mildly offputting when you are writing. Thanks for dropping in Michelle and I'm glad I gave you a laugh. Curious Cat, Huntsman spiders aren't poisonous but they can bite. A lot of people are frightened of them because they are quite large and move in a very creepy way. Willow, not my Mother but my defacto Ma. I no longer think she is sane. I am safe to say things like that because she will never read this Blog, hee hee. If you do Ma, I'm only joking and I love you! Interesting about 'whilst' Annechovie, always glad to hear from a fellow spider hater. Jennifer, you do realise they crawl out of vacuum cleaners? You must kill them not suck them! I actually am more humane (ahem) I force the Scribe into capturing it alive and taking it across the road to the park and setting it free. Although to be honest if every spider in the world vanished, I could live with that. Mary, I would never go near a wood pile. Wood pile is where spiders hang out. Sophia, you and I think alike. Couldn't have phrased it better. Pinry, exactly! It was the surreal element that did it. Thimbles and Gingham, thanks for visiting and I'll come to check you out. Sounds like an interesting Blog! xx

  11. Lol! A lot!
    I`m just as bad... but with wasps!
    I will scream like a mad woman, if a wasp comes near me...


  12. Haha, okay I'm with Daisy on this one! Spiders ARE cool! I've never been afraid of them, but if you are dear Josephine then maybe you can try naming them? I found a HUGE garden spider once and he kind of freaked me out, so I named him Arnold and instantly calmed down. Now I make friends with spiders all the time! Thanks for commenting on my blog and I LOVE the name "Tale Peddler." Yes, we do peddle our tales to anyone who will listen, right? Penny for your stories, dearie ...

  13. that is one scary spider story!!!!!
    lizzie x

  14. Debbie wasps don't bother me but my mother is allergic to bees. Thanks for popping in, Lizzie. It's always a treat to visit you. Meg, that is a wonderful idea. I do have a huntsman spider (Harriet) in my latest book and so perhaps I should try that in real life. Because I'm so arachnophobic, the Scribe is threatening to send me to Taronga Zoo where they have a programme handling the big spiders to cure you. Not sure if that would work in my case...

  15. I know this couldn't have been pleasant, and I would have reacted in EXACTLY the same way, but oh, I had a good larf at this. I could just picture the scene. Especially when the trinket box had precious *sweet* memories attached and out pops a huge hairy mary. Dead or alive - I, too, don't want them near me. Yikes.
    Back in S Africa, my brothers caught a couple of scorpions and put them in a matchbox (dead). When a friend of mine came to stay, I bravely took the matchbox, slid it open and promptly threw it up in the air in horror. I expected to see scorpion corpses. Instead were a collection of teeth. My brother had to have several teeth pulled and an avid collector decided to put them in a matchbox. To this day, I wonder where the scorpions got to...


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