The small wood framed house sat underneath large willow oak trees that made shade all summer long. It had been the home of two children and five grandchildren. Now however, all the children were married and living elsewhere. The grandchildren visited often to see and care for the ones who had made their young years so enjoyable. Toys still sat in the garage as well as bicycles with flattened tires.
Squirrels scampered up and down the huge oak trees collecting various nuts for winter. Spider webs were plentiful everywhere outside the seven room house as were insects of all sorts and sizes. Fall was in the air and the chilly breeze of October had arrived.
“Man these leaves are falling like snowflakes. I’m so hungry I could eat a lizard all by myself.” Archie mumbled as he rubbed his tummy with his long leg.
“Well get busy and look for something. You always want things to land in your lap. It is not always that easy. Sometimes you have to move yourself around. Actually I prefer looking around because I always find the neatest hiding places not to mention FOOD.” Motsey replied with an arrogant tone to his voice.
“I only have two eyes Motsey. I don’t have eight or ten like some spiders. I’m just a typical Granddaddy Long Leg Spider. You would think with my long legs I would see higher, jump further, travel faster and see over things most spiders miss. I do wish I had more than just two eyes though.” Archie answered loudly noticing Motsey’s tone of voice as being a little rude.
“I finally made my way into the house the other day. Did I tell you about that?” Motsey asked trying to ignore Archie’s attitude.
“No you didn’t tell me.” Archie called from a tree limb.
“Well I had walked forever it seemed and finally crept into the back door. I was sniffing out the back hallway and had finally arrived in the kitchen when she walked in. I really thought I was a goner. She screamed like someone had stabbed her in the chest. Some tall man came over picked me up by my leg and tossed me back outside. I lost one of my legs in the ordeal. Now I will have to grow another one and that will take a while. So for now I’m missing one leg. I thought I’d mention it just in case you had NOT noticed.” Motsey called out loudly. He wanted to be sure Archie was aware of his missing leg. Perhaps he MIGHT be a little more sympathetic and share some food with him.
“Well I’ve been missing legs a few times myself but it never stopped me from eating. In order to eat you have to catch it. So don’t give me that sob story Mr. Motsey Cooper. “I even watched my leg twitch for almost thirty minutes after it was disconnected from my body. That’s a cool way to keep the attention of the predator while you get your butt out of there. It worked for me!” Archie recounted his eyes looking down at his leg that had grown out about half the way.
“Well I guess I’ll be looking for small insects, animal dung, tree fungi and perhaps I’ll run across a dead bug somewhere. They are just as good to me as the fresh ones. Just so I have something in there to stop the hunger pains, I’ll be just fine.” Motsey smirked as he scampered up the small tree nearby.
“By golly there is a grasshopper and I do believe he is deceased. I have found my meal for the day. I’m one lucky joker!” Motsey sang out joyfully.
“You just enjoy that old dead carcass but I’m going to be looking for something juicy and nutritious. I’m tired of the dead stuff. I need something very much alive.” Archie grunted making a distorted looking facial expression at the thought of eating more dead stuff.
“Did you know we have had humans fooled for many years thinking we were poisonous? I think the news may be out now though. As long as they thought we were lethal they left us alone. Now they just come right up to you and grab hold of a leg leaving you dangling in mid-air. It’s a good thing we can grow more legs, don’t you know?” Motsey replied straddling the dead carcass of the grasshopper. “Looks like this poor fellow will be missing a few parts himself.” He grinned.
“Yeah I know about them. I just either let go of a leg or simply vibrate my body which is called bobbing to confuse all of them. When they see me shaking all over they don’t know what to do. Then I play dead and when their eyes are off me for a second, I make my get away. If that doesn’t work I can always squirt some of my obnoxious serum in their direction. That is usually all it takes.” Archie reported showing a great deal of pride.
“This ole fellow has now mated and I’ll have to be guarding the eggs for a good while. While I’m doing that I’ll exercise and build up my muscle tone. Females just love my big strong muscles.” Archie grinned sheepishly.
“Well you just go ahead and mate. I’m not watching no eggs, no time. I’ve got too many adventures yet to go on. I’ll see you later old man. I’m going to see if I can rest for awhile and digest this food. Then I am going to try and sneak back into the house. It’s just so comfortable in there.” Motsey grunted.
“Just be aware that they have INSECTICIDES in there!” Archie shouted. “That stuff will get you every time. If I don’t see you around for awhile I’ll know they sprayed your hinny with the stuff. Better watch out and keep both eyes open!” Archie warned as he went on his way to search for juicy bugs. “Catch you later ole buddy!” Archie said as he crawled under some leaves.
“Watch out for that awful rhinoceros beetle. The grip he has with those legs can be mighty painful! I saw one over that way just a little while ago.” Archie recounted.
It came to pass that Motsey did in fact find his way inside the house. In his excitement he forgot the warning Archie had given to him and the next thing he knew his face was covered in a foamy liquid.
Motsey died and was cast out of the house forever. His remains were eaten by other insects and now his legacy continues among other long-legged spiders in the neighborhood.
It is a wise thing to heed the warnings of others. It might just save your hide!
Question: Are Granddaddy Long Legs poisonous to humans?
Written by Sybil Shearin
All Rights Reserved