“Dad!” Charlie yelled from his room one morning. “There’s a spider in my room. Get rid of it, please.” Isaac heard a rumble of footsteps in the hall and then Charlie dashed into the kitchen and looked around. Isaac was pulling toast out of the toaster. “There you are,” Charlie said. “Did you hear me? It’s a giant spider!”
“I don’t think it’s very interested in eating you, Charlie,” Isaac said. “You’re much too big.”
“What if it’s poisonous?” Charlie asked. “You need to get rid of it. It’s really, really scary.”
Isaac finished buttering the toast and added it to the plate. “All right. Are you all ready for school?”
“I can’t put my shoes and socks on because of the spider. It’s over by the closet. If it’s not there, maybe it’s inside my shoes waiting to bite me,” Charlie said. “Oh, hey, is that toast?” Charlie leaned over the plate. “I’ll eat that while I wait for you. It’s best warm after all.”
“Okay, but then you need to toast more slices for Mom. She’ll be out soon,” Isaac said.
“Fine, fine. Can I add some cinnamon sugar? It’s better that way,” Charlie said. It looked like he’d already forgotten all about the spider.
Isaac smiled. “Sure, that sounds good. Add some to Mom’s too.” Then he went to Charlie’s room to find the spider.
There wasn’t a spider in front of the closet. Isaac checked each of the shoes. He tapped the heels on the floor, bracing himself for when a giant spider came tumbling out. But, there was no spider in the shoes.
He took a deep breath and checked under the bed. It was dark under the bed and a little dusty. He pulled out the socks and book and pencils that he found and put them away.
No spider on the bed or desk. He decided to check the bookshelf and give up. He was rather relieved that the spider had disappeared to wherever spiders go when they aren’t going around scaring people.
Unfortunately, there was a giant spider on the bookshelf. It looked as big as a golf ball. Well, if you included the legs. Isaac looked at it. The body wasn’t so big, really. It wasn’t doing any harm either.
It was just standing on a book, looking at him. It was much more peaceful than the neighbor’s little tiny noisy dog. Nobody was scared of the neighbor’s dog. He almost left it alone, but then he remembered Charlie’s question. What if it’s poisonous?
Hmmmm. How can you tell? He could probably look it up later, but he was in a hurry now. Isaac looked at the peaceful spider. He couldn’t smash something tiny and peaceful and possibly harmless. Even if it was a little scary.
Isaac went back to the kitchen for a glass. “Did you get rid of it?” Charlie asked. He was buttering toast for Marianne.
“Not yet,” Isaac said. “I think I’m going to take it outside and let it go.”
“As long as it’s far away from my shoes,” Charlie said.
“Of course,” Isaac said. He went to his desk and picked up an index card. He would trap the spider under the glass and slide the card under. Once it had stepped on the card, he’d carry it outside to freedom. It seemed like a flawless plan.
Isaac returned to the room. The spider was still on the bookshelf, sitting peacefully on a book. Isaac hesitated. He had an irrational fear that the spider would jump at him if his hand came too close. Without thinking about it, he quickly slammed the glass down over the spider.
Now to slide the card under the glass. He brought the card closer just as the spider skittered over to the inside edge of the glass. Isaac looked at it warily. He pressed the card down onto the book and prepared to slide it along the cover and under the glass.
The spider tapped at the glass with a leg. The glass shattered. Isaac fell forward a little bit, because he’d been leaning a little on the cup to hold it down. The spider darted up the wall behind the bookshelf, and Isaac threw himself backwards.
The spider slowed down and climbed up into the windowsill. Isaac stood up and wiped nonexistent dust from his pants. The spider paused in front of the window. Did it want out? Was it going to break the window?
Isaac went to the window, making sure to give the spider plenty of space. He slowly reached for the window latch, ready to pull his arm away at once if the spider moved. It didn’t move. He pulled the window open and took several steps away. The spider climbed out the window.
Isaac waited twenty seconds before he shoved the window closed and latched it. There. The spider was gone. He picked up the pieces of glass and went back to the kitchen.
Marianne was at the stove, cooking scrambled eggs and munching on cinnamon toast. Isaac tossed the pieces of glass in the trash. “Oh no, what happened?” she asked.
“Dad was getting rid of a spider for me,” Charlie said. “Dad, I made you some toast too. Is the spider gone?” He handed Isaac two pieces of cinnamon toast.
Isaac bit into the sweet, buttery toast. He smiled. “The spider’s gone.”
“Did you put it outside?” Charlie asked.
“I helped it go outside,” Isaac said. “But it broke the glass.”
Marianne went to the table to put eggs on the plates. “You need to be more careful Isaac, you could have been cut. Did you get all the pieces?”
“Yes, it broke in rather large pieces when the spider hit it with its leg,” Isaac said.
Charlie laughed. “Spiders aren’t really that strong, Dad,” he said. “Not even giant spiders.”
“This one was,” Isaac said.