I AM THE SPIDER • by Stefan Bachmann

I am the spider. The one there in the corner. No, the other corner; the shadowy one above the lamp.

This is my room, you know. I can’t imagine what you think you are doing here. And marching in without knocking, too. It’s my room. See? See how I’ve wrapped it all up in my silk? All safe. Everything.

I know. Lovely, isn’t it? But why do you wrinkle your nose so? Oh. Surely you’re wondering at the complete lack of moths and beetles and nasty woodworms. This sort of room is usually crawling with them. But not mine. No, indeed. They don’t last long here. I eat them all. Last spring I even caught a mouse. And I ate it, too. Oh, yes. Do not look so disgusted: there is half a year’s worth of meals in a mouse. Keeping it still, that was the problem. You wouldn’t believe how it wriggled about. Snapping, clawing, squeaking all over the place. Horrid thing very nearly bit off one of my legs. And such pretty legs I have, too. See how long and slender they are. Unlike yours, I’m sorry to say.

Now, now, don’t get all insulted and turn your back on me! I am simply saying you are plump. There’s nothing wrong with that. And there’s nothing wrong with you otherwise, though I can’t say I approve of your cap. All frilly and lacy. A cheap imitation, I say. An inferior copy of good spider-weave. I could…

No! Don’t touch that. What are you doing, you silly goose? Put down that feather duster! Put… Stop it! You wicked girl, you are ruining everyth…

No. No, you didn’t. You simply could not have just rent in two that lovely curtain I made last Christmas. Have you any notion how much work a web of such size takes? Huge enormous masses of it! Girl, do not… Ack! Stay away! Clumsy twat! You almost smashed me.

Oh, dear. My pretty, safe room. Please go away. And… Oh, what now? Why on earth are you screeching? Goodness sake’s alive, girl, shut…

Ow! What in the name of… Ow! Watch where you swing that thing. Are your trying to kill me?

I’m warning you, girl. If you keep screaming and chasing me with that duster, I will bite you. I will! (Though you would take such an awful lot of spider silk do in. And I am rather afraid you would go bad before I could finish you. After all, you are so very large…


Stefan Bachmann writes out of Zurich, Switzerland.

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