It’s midnight. It rained all day and Penelope has refused to go out. Finally, the rain has stopped, so I coaxed her out, hoping that I wouldn’t find a surprise in the morning.
This is the hour that I hear bumps in the night. Bears have been spotted in my town, foxes in my yard, and snakes by the creek down the road. In the jungle-like humidity I hear strange chirps and rasps – things I would ignore in sunlight
Penelope, who never barks, barked.
Just to the side of our door was a web and, in the middle, a huge spider.
Carefully we skirted by it into our house.
The next morning, when I opened the door, the spider was gone, as well as the every trace of the web.
Usually a spider will send me shrieking into the next county, but I wondered about this one. Are all spiders this neat?
The next night, when I took Penelope out for her last run of the day, the spider was back. Its web was in the exact place that it had been before. This time the spider was having dinner, which was rather gross.
The next morning the spider and web were gone, as well as all of the ghastly leftovers.
How did the spider know to pick up after itself, when my own family does not? And that includes Penelope.
Night after night, the spider and its web continue to be in the same place. And morning after morning, everything is gone. I’ve gotten to be okay with my nocturnal neighbor. But like all good neighbors, I hope that everyone stays in one’s space.