Being the daughter of a Biologist we had a revolving door of wild critters living in our house. Reptiles, mammals, birds, and insects of every shape, size, and venomocity. (yeah, it’s a real word.) (okay, it’s not, but it should be.) Of course our wild guests typically lived in large glass houses topped with plenty of heavy rocks. And they usually enjoyed only short stays in our wild animal hotel. My Mom was grateful.
There were really only two of our pets that I recall my Mom actually enjoying; in fact she even let them sorta go free range around the house. One was a tortoise, the other was a jumping spider.
The jumping spider’s name was Smedly. It enjoyed a status of greatness that Charlotte would probably understand. I don’t know if Smedly was a boy or a girl. I never saw offspring or love interests. I’m not even sure where Smedly lived exactly, but since it was often seen crawling around the kitchen, one can assume ‘home’ was somewhere nearby. No one was allowed to smash Smedly (like we did the wolf spiders). Smedly was a member of the family.
Because of my Mom I’ve started a similar tradition. We give refuge to several jumping spiders a year, all of which are (of course) named Smedly. When my kids spot one they get excited to show me, and quickly try to usher the newest Smedly into the kitchen.
Why jumping spiders make great house guests: (more…)