It was a quiet neighborhood in Windgate. All the university students had gone home for the year. The people who lived within a mile or so of the university loved it when the streets were empty and their was only the church bells heard around the quaint little town. After the students left all the pet owners came outside to walk their beloved pets up and down the many sidewalks surrounding the university. It was a wonderful place to get exercise for both the pets and their owners.
Mr. Doddlewart had four very small dogs and walked them all summer without bumping into track runners or physical education students. So all the pets enjoyed not having students all of the time. It was their turn to enjoy the beautiful flowers, the waterfalls and the soft lush grass surrounding the university. The smell of honeysuckle vines blooming was tantalizing to the nose and every one made an effort to work outside as much as possible.
Mr. Doddlewart lived in a small white house and his property connected with that of the university. He worked very hard to keep his lawn looking nice so as not to be a sore thumb to the prestigious school. It was Saturday and Mr. Doddlewart had decided to clean out his garage. It had been years since his children lived at home and the garage had become a storage spot for all the excess items. It was a job he had thought about many times and just simply delayed cleaning it out because he wasn’t in the mood to tackle all the rubbish. Today however was the day!
In the very back of the garage sat an old stereo player. It was dusty and cats had used it to protect their kittens. Birds had made nest on the shelves, bats hung from the rafters and possums used it to hide from the local dogs. Spider webs hung everywhere and draped over all things. Boots, fishing poles, and bicycles were just a few of the junk that had been saved just in case someone needed them. There was really nothing of value and everything was covered with many coats of dust.
Inside the old stereo player was a family of brown recluse spiders. They had lived their for years and had not been disturbed. Inside the tall rubber boots lived a female black widow spider and many of her eggs. Both spiders lived in close proximity but never bothered each other until today.
All the insects saw Mr. Doddlewart and knew they were about to be evicted. All eyes were watching Mr. Doddlewart and no one seemed to be happy their home was being trashed.
“Who do you think will start the first commotion?” Seizure the black wasp said as he buzzed all about.
“It will most likely be the brown recluse spiders. They just despise people meddling in their quiet places. Old Perswat is the oldest and the grumpiest spider I have ever seen. I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t bite someone today.” Oswalt answered with a sigh.
Load by load Mr. Doddlewart carried the ancient relics by wheelbarrow up to the road for the trash collectors to collect. His banging around had awakened Perswat and he was highly upset.
“What the sand hills is going on?” He ranted “Everything was nice and quiet until Doddlewart plunged into our homes. He needs to just go take a nap for the rest of the day.” Perswat huffed.
“Oh don’t be so fussy. He will most likely keep that old stereo but I’m sure he will toss all the shoes. This means all my eggs will never hatch and I’ll have to find yet another place to make my nest.” Maroc the black widow spider announced rubbing his face with his front legs.
“Just shut your mouth or I’ll vaccinate you with some of my potent venom.” Perswat spouted out angrily.
“Well if you feel froggie just jump in my boot. We will put on a fine show for old man Doddlewart. The winner can attack Doddlewart and put a stop to this insane idea of cleaning up.” Maroc said standing up with his front feet wiggling.
This was all it took to cause a huge fight and all the tenants hurried down to watch.
“Oh my goodness! Those two have never gotten along. Now they are going to fight to the death. I will put my bet on Perswat the brown recluse.” Polly the moth said as she flitted up and down trying to find a front row seat.
Perswat had come out of the stero and Maroc out of the boot. They were circling around and around. Someone had to make the first move. Perswat stood still watching as Maroc moved closer. Closer and closer Maroc jumped. Each time he was poised to pop Perswat with his huge stinger. He knew full well he had to be the aggressor. He also knew if Perswat got the upper hand of him he was a goner. Maroc’s venom could paralyze Perswat if he could position himself just right.
Perswat knew Maroc’s venom could be deadly but he also knew he had a lethal sack full of poison. He was quicker and stronger than Maroc. He was ready to show off his slow methodical fighting skills. All eyes watched as the two spiders tangled up rolling this way and that on the garage floor. Suddenly Perswat pierced Maroc’s stomach with a massive amount of poison.
“Ouch that hurt really badly!” Screamed Maroc as he fell wreathing in pain. He tried to talk but the pain was too great. He drew in his legs and took two long breaths. His eyes closed and he died.
“I’m the mighty Perswat and I can kill anyone or anything. Better leave me alone or you could be next!” He bellowed showing off his strong legs.
Mr. Doddlewat was unaware of the fight and stepped into the garage for another load of junk. There was suddenly a crunching sound under his right foot.
“Oh no! Can this really be true? Old man Doddlewat just stepped on Perswat and turned him into a wet spot on the garage floor.” Polly announced to everyone in the garage. “Now we don’t have to worry about Perswat any more. Old man Doddlewat came mighty close to being bitten by Perswat. The last person I saw bitten by a brown recluse nearly died and he was a human. His leg swelled all up and his skin began to rot away. It looked simply horrible.” Polly continued.
Mr. Doddlewat worked all day until the garage was neat and orderly. He never knew how close he came to being bitten by a poisonous brown recluse spider.
So if you are rambling around in a junky place watch out for the hairy brown recluse spider and the black widow spiders. They can shoot you full of their powerful venom and cause you great harm. Wear thick gloves when cleaning out dusty damp places. It could save your life!
Question: Who won the fight between the black widow and the brown recluse?
Written by Sybil Shearin
All Rights Reserved