This is Sheriff Peanut Butter Brickle. It’s always a good day when I can talk to you. Actually, it’s always a good day when you can listen to me talk to you. But today, I have something more important to talk about perhaps then other days. I want to tell you about a spider. A banana spider. Mr. Banana Spider that should have had many more days finding bananas in the woods.
Many persons see spiders and are scared. Many persons see spiders that are big and think that every spider wants to harm them in some way. But often, I think that these persons think more of themselves than even I do of myself. And that’s a lot. I have learned, especially from camping, that the earth and its inhabitants are all just trying to not only to survive, but to enjoy life. It is when the persons think that they are more important than the little things that life is taken away or life is altered for those just trying to live.
You see, we do come across many things that can harm us if they wanted to or felt like they had to. Take for example a coral snake that crossed our hiking path the other day. Yes, yes, we know that this little snake was very poisonous. But he was just trying to be safe too, and because we did not bother him, he did not bother us. And that usually seems to be the way to do it.
It is ok, I think to look at many things but not touch. Um, yeah. I am talking about me.
But apparently, there are some who think that seeing something beautiful but scary to them in some way gives them the right…just because they are bigger than something, to harm it for no reason. And I can’t agree with that. I can’t justify that. But I can arrest that. I am the Sheriff and that is my job. But my arrest goes further. Because I never want this to happen again to another.
Mr. Banana Spider was just hanging out, literally, on a chilly day in this Florida place. Girl Person had seen many spiders here at camp. But this spider was very beautiful, very large and very spiderish. Mr. Banana Spider deserved his title because he had earned it. He had built one of the biggest nests because he was one of the biggest spiders. And he enjoyed his days of hanging out, eating and being the best Mr. Banana Spider he had been raised to be.
But little did he know that a group of small campers with big sticks, loud voices and a general disregard for anyone, would decide they had the right to knock him out of his web that he so meticulously took days and days to build. He thought he was in a safe place. The campground was often quiet. And he had a good spot to watch everything.
On a Saturday just like any other Saturday for him, he saw the group of campers walking towards him. They took notice of him. No, not because of his beauty. No, not because they wanted to give Mr. Banana Spider a banana. No, they simply wanted to feel more important. They wanted to simply feel like they mattered more than a beautiful spider who had taken so long to build his life, his comfort and his nest. Instead of simply walking by, they took one of their big sticks and knocked him to the ground and would not let him go. Mr. Banana Spider gave it all he had. But he was not to see Sunday. And we were not to have a dry eye for quite a few hours when we could not find him.
You see, Girl Person had told Boy Person about Mr. Banana Spider. And she was taking him over to look at him when her worst fears of what she had heard earlier were indeed true. And as Boy Person’s face fell, so did their emotions and our tears. But Boy Person tried to think positively for a moment. If there was any chance that Mr. Banana Spider had gotten away, he would rebuild his nest. He would come back. And they would wait. And they would watch for him.
As the hours went on, the reality was there. Mr. Banana Spider had not ran to safety. Mr. Banana Spider was not coming back. And we were mad. And sad. And all of the above and more. Sometimes, things happen that make no sense, because the people that do them have no sense, as Pappy used to say.
Were we regretful we had met Mr. Banana Spider? No, we were not. Girl Person had gazed on his beauty and I sure he felt appreciation every time we simply just walked by and did not harm him. We hoped that he knew somehow we had waited for him to come back. And although many persons may not have understood him, we did. He was our friend.
Maybe there has been someone in your life that no one understood. Maybe you had a best friend or a family member that seemed scary to others, but you knew their heart. I would say that maybe…just maybe…many don’t understand my growls. My demeanor. My heart. But you see, everyone of us is just trying to survive, and so often, our guards make others scared. But there will always be that someone who looks past that and loves us for who we are. Mr. Banana Spider?
We loved you for all that you were and you were appreciated when you were here. We hope you know that not all persons are out to harm others. But it is up to each one of us to educate others that we
One thought on “Mr. Banana Spider? You Were Sweeter Than Bananas.”
Well, Brick, take heart with this: That big spider is a girl. And she might well have left a cocoon full of banana spider eggs up on a tree limb. When the baby banana spiders burst out of the cocoon, there will be lots more banana spiders in that tree and in that forest. After Hurricane Ivan, I had a lot of banana spiders invade my pool screen (well, it was over the back yard — no pool, just a pool screen to give my cats a big yard to play in without going across the fence to bother the neighbor’s homing pigeons). The hurricane had damaged the screen and left the upper parts dangling off the frame, so the spiders decided they’d move in. Some of their trees had been blown down, so they needed new digs. While many people asked me why I didn’t knock them down and kill them, I let them live. I was fascinated by their craftsmanship, and the size of their webs, often taking up the entire doorway at the entrance to my utility room. If they took up the doorway, I didn’t kill them. I took down their webs and had the spiders crawl up onto the straws of a broom, which I used to deliver them to a place where they could rebuild without obstructing my way. I told people letting them live was my contribution to the war on West Nile Virus, as they eat a lot of mosquitoes May those kids that knocked down a beneficial arachnid suffer a thousand mosquito bites as a result of taking away a natural predator who would have helped keep the mosquito population from taking over. Oh, and “Mr. Banana spider” is really small. But without him, Mrs. Banana Spider would not be able to make new Banana Spiders to take over her mosquito control duties in the future..