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The Daring Capture of the Black Widow Spider
Tuesday, 14 September 2010

When I was a child of about 7 or so, I visited an uncle’s home in Florida with some family. He had a really nice ground floor condo. I especially liked the enclosed patio area, which was carpeted with an AstroTurf like material. While my uncle and other family members talked, I became really bored. So, I went off to play by myself on the patio.

There was something white in one of the corners. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that it was a spider web! But not just any spider web, mind you – this was a really tough web. It was almost like fabric, drawn extremely taut! And then I saw it…

A shiny black spider. The body alone was nearly half an inch long. It was the coolest spider I had ever seen in real life! But it looked remarkably similar to a spider I had previously studied about…

The notorious, poisonous, Black Widow Spider.

It couldn’t be. What were the chances? I had to be sure. I had to see if this spider had the signature red hourglass marking. I found a small stick nearby, and poked and prodded the spider so that I could get a good look. I actually had to break through the web to get to it.

It was there. An hourglass shaped emblem, colored a deep shade of red.

I got a little nervous at this point. I knew that the spider’s venom was highly toxic, and could be fatal to humans, especially small children – like myself at the time. But I also felt that I should protect my uncle as well. What to do?

I decided to capture the Black Widow.

I found an empty jar, and somehow made some air holes in the lid. I then retrieved the stick that I used previously.

I don’t exactly remember the details (drat), but I coaxed the spider into the jar using the stick. I do remember feeling pretty good about myself afterwards. After all, I had successfully captured a dangerous creature.

I also don’t remember my family’s reaction too well, but I don’t think they took me too seriously when I told them (and showed them) what I had done. Just the consequences of being a child, I guess. But I knew what I had done, and that was all that mattered.

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