augury doggerel

Monday, June 17, 2002


The woman smiled and warned me of houseguests: two spiders had moved in under the toilet.

When I clicked on the light in the smallest room, one of our inch-long guests, as if resting on the wrong side of a hammock, was hanging upside down on a very low-slung web between the wall and the base of the toilet. In a second, it stepped forward, just two or three quick spider strides, clenched on something suspended and small, and stepped quickly out of sight under the toilet. I don�t know whether the unexpected light had given it up to its quarry and forced it to pounce just then, or whether it was just snatching up its lunch and running inside from an interrupted picnic.

The spider's hammock was (and is) about where an orangutan�s right hand would hang if a very relaxed orangutan were to drop in to use the toilet. But the hammock was empty now. And where was our other guest? Ah.

I didn�t really have to go.


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