Thursday, December 31, 2009

Arachnoids and Insects

When I was in fifth grade I remember that I had a friend who absolutely hated spiders. For one reason or another I thought this was pretty funny so one day while we were waiting for our parents to come and pick us up I went and scooped up a Daddy-Long-Legs and dumped it on his shoulder. I don't remember his reaction very vividly, I just remember that I felt really badly afterward and didn't ever want to do it again.

Sophomore year of college we had just moved into our new apartment and were unpacking things when I noticed a spider on the floor. Thinking it was particularly large and interesting looking, I quickly ran to get two of my roommates, who were in the next room, so that they could look at it. One of them (my roommate) proceeded to go into a near panic attack (or so it seemed), being on the verge of tears. I quickly ran back and scooped the spider into a cup and took it outside, but the damage was done. Every single night for the rest of the school year she checked under her covers for spiders. I may have made fun of her for doing this (just a bit), but I felt like she was legitimate in her need to check since she was so afraid of spiders.

Since then I've developed a philosophy concerning spiders and other bugs. Unless they are really hurting me or the likelihood of them biting me is particularly high, I usually go out of my way to put them someplace away from where I'm at but avoid killing them. So, as far as spiders are concerned, I don't love to have them crawling on me unless I know that the likelihood of them biting me is small, but I'll go out of my way to catch them and release them outside if the opportunity presents itself. That really goes for most bugs, even the creepy looking house centipedes (as photographed below).

I guess the reason for all of this is that I never understood the automatic need to crush the little critters just because they were small (or not so small) and creepy looking. It's not like chose what they wanted to look like.

There are, of course, obvious exceptions to this rule. Mosquitoes do not have a place in my heart. They love me, for what it is worth, but I do not love them. I realize that I should probably appreciate them for their place in the whole scheme of insects and animals and what things eat what, but I don't really. If I were never to come in contact with another mosquito, I doubt I would be very sad.

Anyway, as I was painting yesterday I think I may have accidentally killed one tiny little house spider and I felt bad so I felt like that little spider deserved a little extra thought today. :) I did go out of my way after that though, to avoid killing the next two little spiders I saw, so I don't really feel too bad.

So, just because they look gross and creepy doesn't mean that you need to kill them!

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