Zak Spade's

The spiders never answer my questions

Local newspaper, August 2020
as Darwin Beagle ("Darwin and Spiders")

o - O - o

Where I live seems really spider-friendly during summertime.

While I find fresh webs in my garden every day, I never see them over my food bowl. This is probably because I disturb it regularly in case any extra food has accidentally fallen into it.

My owner is always complaining and saying that he has never lived in a place with so many big hairy spiders. When one appears I feel it is my duty to ask it why that should be. Unfortunately, those I speak to are never helpful. It could be that despite my owner claiming they are huge; they are actually quite small compared to me. While I am making my enquiry they sit very still and I cannot tell if they are awake or asleep.

Eventually I prod them with a paw, just in case. At that point they run away without answering – usually under the sofa. I end up rushing back and forth as my question is very important. If they do reappear it is sometimes sneakily between my paws, at which point my owner laughs.

Once I notice them I get really close and listen hard as I think they may have very small voices. If I don’t hear anything I give them another prod in case they have dropped off again. The thing with spiders is that it is very difficult to be sure whether they are asleep or awake. It is not as if you can see them blinking. Also, I hope that gentle prodding will make them speak up as they are probably hard to hear.

They are only little prods because I am a dog that is always gentle – in a boisterous way. I have no idea what the word ‘boisterous’ means, but my owner seems to use the word a lot when talking about me.

The first prods usually result in more of the ‘sofa game’ during which I feel sure we are communicating on some level. However, after repeated nudges they curl up. Perhaps they get tired. By that time the two of us will have done an awful lot of running around. So I make a few more stabs, but they never work as they tend to never move again, not even after the most determined nudging.

Big hairy spiders like to live in our house. That is a fact. The reason why remains a mystery, but one day I will uncover the explanation and when that day comes I will not only be a handsome beagle, I will be knowledgeable, too!

© 2020

27 March 2023