Arthur’s next moment came when he was hiding down beside the couch. I don’t know what his game was that day; whether it was a change of view or whether he had taken up spying on me as he seemed to be peeking over the armrest. It could have also been a mere token of intimidation because, when I looked closely, I could see he was sitting there with one back leg sticking out like a tail, giving him the appearance of a rather large scorpion. Statistically, he wants to thank his lucky stars that I was wearing my glasses at the time otherwise he could have copped a slipper to the back of his head. It was an extremely cunning disguise and there was no doubting that he could have been bashed, with me lamenting the decision later as there would have been no questions asked when the swipe was swung.
It was at this moment I began to wonder about how dangerously Arthur liked to live. If he’d been human, he would have been classed as a right daredevil.
This was not to be the case I found out a week later.
It had been a couple of months since Arthur had graced me with his presence. We were getting along just fine, and we had a daily routine that gave life an interesting start to each morning, with me doing the come out, come out, wherever you are thing with him when I hit the lounge room.
On this particular morning, I found him on the wall near one of my bookcases. It was the first time that he had ventured to this position and I applauded him on his literary stance. He sat there as he usually did - hardly moving, (he’d stopped waving good morning weeks back) even when my brother Terence and my sister-in-law, Tonya dropped by for a quick cuppa on their way back to Riverbend.
We were enjoyed our visit together, chatting away about this and that when Terence’s mobile phone rang loudly, playing an upbeat song that sent Arthur rushing off to hide behind the nearest bookcase. We all laughed at his obvious lack of appreciation for modern technology and continued with our conversation.
It was only later, when I noticed Arthur’s continuing absence that I wondered at where he had gone. I was to keep on wondering for several days as he refused to show his furry face.
When he finally made a reappearance, it was in the spare bedroom nearest the lounge, on the wall under the window. He’d clearly decided that he no longer wanted my company. Was it the phone, I often speculated? Or was he just fed up with me? So be it, I thought eventually, hoping that he’d miss me and change his mind.
But it was not to be as some months later, when doing a bit of a spring cleaning, I found Arthur again. His little dried up carcase was lying on the floor, still and inanimate. Sadly, I realised, he had come to the end of his short life. I was not to have the pleasure of his company ever again. If anyone in the past had said to me, I would miss spiders if they didn’t exist, I would have laughed heartily, but the last laugh would have been on me, because I did miss my little friend. I missed him more than I could ever have imagined. So here’s to Arthur, spider companion, and entertainer.
Cheers, and thanks for the memories.