Essay: Spider Rescue

Mar 12, 2018

It’s early winter and spiders are making nests in the corners of my ceilings.  They hide themselves so well, they’re hard to spot—but when I do, I’m not happy.

Now I know that all life is sacred, including spider life.  And while I respect their right to be, I prefer them to be outdoors.  So I fetch the step-stool and reach up to capture them in a kleenex,  and gently release them onto the back porch.  My husband scoffs at this ritual.

“They’ll die anyway,” he says.

“But I’m giving them a chance,” I say.

I know life is sacred but I know a lot less about the after-life.  Nobody knows for sure, of course, and it’s possible that all the creatures I’ve killed during my lifetime will be waiting for me when I die.  Mosquitoes, house-flies, ants, worms, spiders.  And they won’t be happy.

“Why don’t you put the spiders in the root cellar,” my husband finally says.  The root cellar is the creepy dank underground chamber at the back of our basement which I never enter but where my husband stores things like screens and garden hoses.

Releasing spiders to the root cellar requires that I open that ancient door but I’m willing to do it.    Out of kindness, yes, but also as insurance.