While living in The House, I have taken note of almost every creature that lives within its walls. In the summer, we have received an influx of mosquito hawks. Though I suspect they serve some purpose, their long wings and slender, lithe limbs make them an excellent form of protein which I cannot deny. There have been various flies that have come in and out on occasion, sneaking through the borders of our front or back doors. They too are usually met with a quick and playful death. We have even gotten a cockroach or two, and while I know that they could survive an atomic bomb, that doesn't mean they will (or should) survive my sister or I.
Needless to say, I'd like to think I run a tight ship, and yet, I was shocked to discover that there was an undocumented spider living in the right-hand corner of our living room. At first, I thought it was just a speck on the ceiling, but as the webs began to appear, I knew there was more to this speck than met the eye. It seemed the spider had been setting up residence in The House - right under my nose!
Horrified and appalled at this atrocity, I observed the spider daily. Each and every day, the spider appeared at some corner of the living room: its hundred eyes scanning the area. I began to wonder why it only went to corners, and I further speculated on what it was looking for. Was there some food source here? After all, I kept the house in tip-top shape. That was impossible. Was the spider trying to find some work as an interior decorator? Did this web nonsense get cleared with me? Absolutely not. What was the purpose for this illegal entry into my domain?
I decided to have a talk with the spider. Perhaps the spider hadn't known it was illegally on my land. Maybe this was just a misunderstanding - one that could be solved with a quick bite and a swift swallow.
I padded softly to the spider's corner of the day and while looking up asked, "Excuse me, but do you know you are in my House?"
With grace, the spider slid along a thin, transparent cord of its own silk until it nearly hung on top of my nose. "This is your house?"
"Yes, it's my House. I said it was my House," I replied with a snort.
"Hmm, I hadn't known cats could own houses. This is quite a surprise. Forgive my ignorance. My name is Arana." The spider seemed to bow with all eight of its legs bending.
"Hello, Arana. My name is Zeus, and now that you know this is my House, you will understand my asking you to kindly leave." I looked Arana square in his eyes. He needed to know I meant business.
"But Zeus, I cannot do that. My family needs me to be here." The spider returned my intense stare with a look of slight confusion. "You see, I came to this House so that I could support my family on the Outside. I bring them food and help out with my wife's necessities. It's extremely expensive to take care of 300,000 children."
My jaw nearly hit the floor: "I'm sorry, but did you just say 300,000 children?"
Arana nodded solemnly. "I love each and every one of them. There's Pablo, Lolita, Nikki, Rocarlo,..."
"Ok, ok. But why should I let you stay here? After all, you came in quite illegally. You never cleared your stay with me, and I have no idea where you came from."
Arana thought for a moment, and then responded, "I do the jobs you will not do, Zeus."
I raised one eyebrow suspiciously at the spider. "Oh really? Are you calling me lazy, Arana?"
"I would never do such a thing. However, I have noticed that you do not enjoy eating the random bees or wasps that may enter the house, and I do have a certain knack for handling those pesky invaders. I understand the human that lives here hates those insects with a passion. Surely, she would love my services."
I sat back on my haunches and considered what Arana had said. It was true. I didn't enjoy swatting at bees or wasps. In fact, I believe I only had done so one time, and it was not a very pleasant experience. I had to admit that the spider struck a good point.
"You are correct in what you say, Arana. I do hate the bees and wasps. I suppose you can stay, and I won't deport you to the front lawn. I do have to ask though: If you're going to stay here permanently and move your children in, can we talk about it first? That's a lot of children to accomodate."
"Consider it done, Zeus," said Arana.
I added, "And if you decide to travel between the House and Outside, could you just let me know when you're coming and going?"
"I think that's only fair," the spider responded.
So in the end, I managed to gain a friendly companion in my daily work around this House. I handle all of the flies, mosquito hawks, and cockroaches while Arana takes care of the bees and wasps. So far, it has been a pleasant relationship - even if Arana spins a web or two on my nose while I sleep as a practical joke. I'm certainly grateful I spoke to Arana first rather than putting the bite on him.