Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Circle of Life

“Lizards are just snakes with legs.  That ain’t right.  It’s in the Bible!”  ~Bill Engvall

“They found some 80 lb. snake just living under some guy’s house!  How do you miss that?  Wouldn’t your first clue be like, ‘Honey, have you seen the dog?  . . . Honey?’”  ~Bill Engvall

Snakes are evil incarnate.  And it’s no secret that women are not fans of these creatures.  worm-005

It’s in the Bible!  Bill Engvall is an honest man and he doesn’t like snakes either.  He would rather buy rubber sheets than get up in the middle of the night when he is imagining the floor covered in snakes. 

Snakes are one thing but what about worms?  Aren’t they just really small snakes?  worm-001worm-002worm-003

When I was a kid I was not afraid of worms.  Someone had told me that worms regenerate when you cut them.  One afternoon I sat in the gutter for what felt like hours just splitting all these worms in half.  Each time I did the worm population increased as a new worm wiggled around.  I shudder to think of it now but at the time it was no big deal. 

Then there was the huge worm.  The mother of all worms.  It was a good half inch thicker than the other worms with a fat band circling inside of one end.  Earthworm maybe?  I don’t know.  It was not like the other little peon worms I had been mutilating in the name of scientific observation.  That other worm was big enough to be cut into thirds.  It did not regenerate however and that was the end of my worm dissecting session of the day.  I was sick to my stomach and my parents were calling us in to dinner.  I was not hungry.  We were having spaghetti. 

Years later I was walking home from the park with Gwen.  I went up the driveway toward the front door.  She walked around the tree to go up the other fork in the front pathway.  Blood curdling screams shattered the otherwise silent afternoon.  I ran to her thinking maybe some dog had been hiding behind the tree, you know, standing on his hind legs with his back to the tree glancing around furtively.  I figured the phantom dog had eaten her leg off and was thrashing it around like a chew toy.  Not even two seconds later when I got to her I saw what was going on. 

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“Nake!  Nake!”  Her little finger was shaking while she pointed at the dried up dead worm.  Ever since she has been terrified of worms.  The dwarf version of snakes. 

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Halloween is an interesting time of year.  It’s the time of year we like to play tricks on each other capitalizing on common fears.  My grandpa had a fake rubber snake in his garden.  That thing was so realistic it gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it.  It didn’t just look like a fat and nasty snake, it felt like one too.  I’ve touched it.  It’s heavy and firmly squishy like you would imagine a live snake would feel.  And it makes me shudder to recall the memory of it!  He loves scaring people with that thing.  Especially for Halloween. 

My sister had a furry spider that moved when you squeezed a little plastic circle connected to a tube.  It didn’t even look real.  But that thing made me worry about incontinence.  Spiders are nasty.  If it weren’t for the fact that they eat bugs I would say spiders have no business on this earth.  I try to appreciate spiders for what they are outside in their natural environment.  But when one gets in my house . . . I usually scream and cry and stomp my feet really fast while I tell Heath to kill it for me!  And if he’s not home . . . it’s not pretty.  The kids and I have a good laugh over our irrational fear when it’s all said and done. 

I like to take the kids on walks along a bike trail near our house.  The hedges are always festive for Halloween with their thick, white cobwebs draped over every inch of hedge.  Occasionally we see fat, juicy spiders sucking the life out of flies.  It always makes me smile as I remember a camping trip where Heath had my mom nearly peeing her pants laughing at his spider impersonations.  That was a great camping trip.  And thank heavens Candi didn’t marry the poor schmuck she invited to come with.  He was not her type. 

Anyway, while the kids and I walk through “the forest” as Gavin calls it, I point out the fairies that we can almost see when we are super quiet.  Then I point out the spiders.  My reverent awe of God’s creepy creatures makes my children view them in the same way.  In nature.  In our house . . . well, we already covered that. 

The other day I opened the front door to see this:

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I don’t care who you are, that is amazingly freaky.  That is a gigantic spiderweb the full size (top to bottom, side to side) of the front window.  The big blob you see in the middle is a spider eating a baby hummingbird sized insect.  Ok, not really.  But both spider and prey are hello huge! 

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This picture is not nearly as good as the last one but holy cow right?  It’s nice to know that while I still haven’t put out my scarecrow decoration our house is decorated for Halloween.  We have real spiders, spiderwebs, and droopy cobwebs inside the house.  Ah, the circle of life. 

2 thoughts:

Dawn said...

When I was a little girl I loved snakes. Now I can take them or leave them and I prefer them to be slithering AWAY from me. Spiders do belong outside but if I find them in my house I just threaten them that if they are in the same place when I look again they are dead. Worms are good for the soil and for fishing but I hate to see them strung across the sidewalk after it rains. Now slugs…that is really something to complain about.

The Piquant Storyteller said...

I don't have any good slug or snail stories. It's interesting that snails were such a nuisance in Utah but I barely remember that now. My dad used to smash snails in the street and I think he even drowned them in beer once. Which raises a lot more questions than it answers!