Want to keep reading?

You've reached the end of your complimentary access. Subscribe for as little as $4/month.

Aready a Subscriber ? Sign In

A daddy longlegs braces himself for his fate after two girls find him in the shower

Bam! Crash! An earsplitting noise awakens me from my peaceful nap in the damp tub. My most feared enemy, deathly water, gushes down violently, leaving my eight nimble legs completely soaked. Oh, how cold and uncomfortable water is!

Miserably, I clamber up onto the side of some kind of bottle (I’ve been in this family’s house long enough to understand the physics and names of objects) and wrap my delicate legs around it. Hopefully those awful humans with those horrible, daddy longleg-killing arms don’t notice me.

And so it goes on for five gloomy minutes, water splashing everywhere as those happy humans jump around, too carefree that they don’t even see me clinging to the bottle, even when one giant, dangerous hand clamps upon the top. I am frozen with terror, frantically attempting to camouflage, like my leaf bug friend Joe. The two humans scream with delight and disappear from the tub. Frothy water still drains below, and I don’t dare crawl down. Finally. Calm once more.

Or . . . not.

There is a piercing shout, and I perk up, alarmed. Have the humans discovered me?

The door swings open, and loud footsteps follow. I cower frantically in the corner of the drained tub, hoping to conceal myself. A childish voice yells, “Ahhh! Spider!”

I’m very insulted by this incorrect statement. I’m not a spider—I’m an arachnid in the order name of Opilione. Spiders have eight eyes, and we daddy longlegs have two eyes. That’s the irritating thing about humans—their misjudging myths. Then suddenly another voice, deep and unfriendly, shouts, “Let’s kill it! Quick!

Get a paper towel!”

After water on my enemy list, paper towels are next. Those horror white sheets can squash someone as small as me in a millisecond! Nooooo . . . I think, whimpering. Well, I had a good life. At least I won’t have to withstand another one of Grandma Georgia’s lectures about being late home again.

And then I see it. The paper towel. Menacing and terrifying as it hovers above me, ready to strike. I poise my legs, digging the ends in and bracing for the worst.

But the worst never comes.

Because . . .

There is a protesting, high-pitched shout, and I spot the adult and taller girl with dark hair argue. The younger girl peers into the tub looking frightened and withdraws from the room. I feel hurt. Why are humans such scared-y insects? Soon, the paper towel retracts from the tub. What is going on? Why haven’t those unpleasant humans thrown me in the trash yet?

The tall girl leaves and returns with a slender magazine. Drat. She’s just decided to kill me in a different way. Don’t humans have any sympathy for us poor harvestmen?

But then I listen closely and the firm, girlish voice returns—“I think I can scoop him up if I’m careful.” My insides tingle with a tiny sensation of hope. The word careful means to be controlled and slow. That is a good sign.

The magazine slips under me and I crawl forward uncertainly. Should I risk it?

But I am already off the ground. The world blurs as I am brought along like an amusement park ride. I grip the edge of the magazine tightly. A breeze gusts behind me, making me feel slightly woozy. After several more bumps, there is a creak, and the magazine settles gently on the ground, waiting. The humans watch in excitement.

I gaze out beyond the wide front door at the open world before me waiting to be discovered. Lime green bushes and the endless sky stretch before me. The leaves rustle from the trees as if greeting me. Bright sunlight—much more dazzling than the dimly lit house—radiates warmth. Although my mom tolerated me venturing past our nook in the garage corner, I was never allowed to wander off somewhere entirely unfamiliar. So, this was my chance. My chance to run wild and to adventure.

Glancing one more time at the house, I crawl away silently, feeling a new thrill. Perhaps humans—ones with kind hearts—weren’t so bad after all. Because of them, I am now free.