Moving to Freedom, .Org

Itsy Bitsy Fritsy 13: Operation Fiery Fred, Part Two

by Fritzi Webber
(go to the beginning)

There was quite an uproar in the shelter after the woman said she liked spiders. I argued that she would stop him from waging all out chemical and conventional warfare on us. Boris said I was a fool, that the man would surely dump her.

He also pointed out that it was clear the man hadn’t forgotten about the “spider problem,” which caused several people to nod in agreement and scowl at me.

Someone called out, “Let’s throw Webber out of here right now!” Yikes. You don’t want to run into an angry spider mob. That’s the worst kind of mob. I also heard: “Who knows what else she’ll do? She’ll get us all killed!”

No, no, no! I was trying to save them, the ingrates. I thought of the stove, still waiting with its incendiary payload, and wondered if and when I should warn them about staying clear. Not quite yet.

But what if the woman did prevail on the man to leave us alone? What luck to find such an ally. She might tame the man and even get rid of the cat for allergenic reasons. Arrgggghh!!! If I had done nothing, everything might have gotten better with none of this danger to me and the community. Now I had to make a decision. Disarm the booby traps? Risky, to run out there right now. Maybe it could wait until later.

I had been caught up in the arguing, and missed what the man and woman were saying. I tuned back in. The cat was sitting on the far end of the kitchen table from them, watching the woman warily; distrustingly.

I’ll tell you what,” the man was saying. “If you can learn to accept Mr. Whiskers with your allergies, I can learn to… accept spiders. I mean, as long as they stay out of our way, right? I don’t want to see a bunch of cobwebs all over the place—”

The woman laughed. “No, silly. We’re not going to let spiders overrun the house. But they don’t really want to. I just don’t want you spraying a bunch of poison around. That’s not good for us or the environment in general, right?”

Oh, spitting spider! A greenie. You couldn’t do much better than that with humans. What had I done?!

The man looked relieved, mixed with some concern. But you could tell he was totally whipped already. If he was a spider, he’d be as good as dead by now.

Would you like some tea?” the man asked the woman.


Yes, thank you,” she said. “I love tea.”

I stood there, frozen, unable to decide what to do. It might be too late anyway, I thought. The others were still arguing and not paying attention to me or the conversation. The man hadn’t gotten up yet to make the tea. “Thanks for going out with me last night,” he said. “And for staying over.” Oh my goddess, what a sap. I decided to make my move. I had to disarm the traps!

I ran across the top of the wall while they made googly eyes and cooed at each other. The others cried out for me to stop. It was yet another risky maneuver, but the man and woman’s eyes were locked on each other. With any luck they’d go back to the bedroom for a while. But in my haste, I forgot about…

Yeeeow!” The cat leaped from the table to the top of a nearby set of curtains. She missed me! And then had to clutch at the fabric to keep from falling. The man and the woman turned to look, and the man immediately went to help the cat.

In a panic, I kept running.

Hello,” said the woman, and I dimly realized she was talking to me. I slowed, suddenly feeling a paralyzing urge to stop. I wanted to disappear; melt into the wall. She quickly moved a chair to the wall and hopped up on it, and as I frantically started moving again…

…she swept me right into her palm and curled her hand into a warm, dark prison cell.

From there, I could see nothing. I could hear only muffled sounds. My panic notwithstanding, it was soothing to sense her blood flowing under the skin. After several minutes, during which I heard voices and several sharp rapping sounds, her fingers uncurled and she dropped me into a glass jar which the man quickly put a lid on. The lid had holes in it. I was in maximum security lockdown.

I looked out to see the woman and man watching me; her with fascination and him with disgust. I couldn’t see the cat, but dreaded the thought of her standing over the jar, gloating.

Looks like a barn funnel weaver to me,” she said, showing off. “A fairly common spider.” (Oh, yeah, common hussy?)

But it’s huge,” the man said, making a face. “That’s common?

Isn’t she beautiful?”

The man didn’t answer, asking instead, “Now, what are you going to do with it?”

We’ll keep her here. For a while, at least.”

The man made a face. The woman said, “Look at this as a chance for some desensitization, sweetie.” I had so misjudged her. And I realized I might have to hang myself with my own web if they continued with the googly talk.

Imprisoned I remain, as I write this on my spiPhone. I’m trying to preserve the battery but couldn’t help posting these updates.

Please help me! Although, I still don’t know where this house is. When I’ve looked out the windows in the past, I’ve seen lots of trees and houses. Does that help?

What about the “Fiery Fred” trap? Ha! It’s still waiting for him. After the commotion, they forgot about the tea. The woman said she had some things to do, and the man gave her a ride home.

They left me sitting on the kitchen counter with the cat standing over the jar, staring at me, and gloating, as expected. I hoped she might knock the jar off the counter, causing it to shatter and giving me a chance to escape, but she just sat there flicking her tail, smiling, and then went to take a nap.

When the man returned, he stayed clear of the jar, looking over here with fear and loathing from time to time.

I’m working on a few escape plans, mostly involving the jar breaking when someone knocks it down from the counter. It seems like a stretch to hope the man might do it when he’s thrashing around from a small stove fire. I’ll need help from the outside. I’ll need to recruit an accomplice.

Shutting down for now to save power. I’ll post an update if anything changes. Sunday morning tea time seems like the next best chance of producing a newsworthy event.