The night was just settling in when I pulled into the gravel driveway of my friend’s house. She was going to be out of town a few days and I had volunteered to make sure her beloved pets, Hershey and Mr. Jiggles, were cared for until she returned home. It was a task that should have been as easy as sliding off a greasy log.
I pushed the front door open and was greeted by the two little yapping dogs as they barked and jumped in circles at my feet as if they were performing a rain dance. I took turns petting each of the dogs before filling their food bowl with dry dog food. Hershey took a few bites of the food and then headed toward the water bowl. I followed closely behind him to add fresh water to the bowl.
The water bowl had been moved to a small bathroom before my friend had left town. If the dogs knocked the bowl over in there it wouldn’t hurt anything. I made sure to add fresh water to the bowl every day so I had seen this bathroom several times.
As I reached down to pick up the stainless steel bowl to fill it with fresh water, Hershey moved around in the bathroom. I didn’t pay much attention to him since there wasn’t anything there he could damage. When I bent over to place the full bowl of water on the floor, I caught a glimpse of movement from the corner of my eye.
Now normally when a woman says she wants to be equal to a man she is just being nice but tonight I will confess to having a few fleeting seconds of wishing I was a half-drunken man feeling like I was ten feet tall and bullet proof when I thought I saw a huge flying spider heading in my general direction! It doesn’t take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep but I surely should have seen a spider that big hanging around in a bathroom the size of an ordinary outhouse!
I felt the screams coming from my throat before I heard them. Poor Hershey tried to run past me and I started to fall backwards out of the bathroom and into a small hallway. I remember closing my eyes and cupping my hands over them. I swallowed hard, my mouth and throat felt dry. I gathered my courage and peeked into the bathroom through trembling fingers so I could at least see where the spider was so I could try to fend off his attack.
As I looked into the bathroom, I felt like I was out in the middle of a tornado with an umbrella. My face had to be as red as an overdrawn bank account. What I had thought was a woman eating spider the size of Texas turned out to be a purple octopus body massager. Apparently the dog had picked it up and tossed it while I was filling up his water bowl.
I swear, sometimes I think my antenna just doesn’t pick up all the channels. From now on when I agree to do any house sitting, I’m going to check the place over for insects, pets, possible intruders, and all personal massaging devices! A girl can never be too careful you know!
© Dianna Doles-Petry