An Ethical Question

There is a small spider hanging from the ceiling of our hallway, just outside the kitchen.  It’s very light colored, practically invisible.  I almost walked into it which, for me, is a jump-up-and-down-screaming-and-hitting-myself-take-5-showers-curl-up-in-a-fetal-position-and-whimper scenario.  I just don’t like the little bastards.  Still, I wish the spider no harm. That little thing never did one bad thing to me besides exist.

I can’t stop thinking about the spider now because BigB is about to get up, come downstairs, retrieve the newspaper from the front step, and walk through that doorway.  It raises sort of an interesting ethical dilemma.  Do I:

a.  Overcome my fear enough to relocate the spider to a less trafficked area knowing that if BigB sees it he will squash it or walk right through it unknowingly becoming a spider-mobile?

b.  Warn BigB before he walks into the spider knowing he will then gleefully murder an innocent spider who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and then chase me around the house with the remains in a crinkled swath of toilet paper?

c.   Leave BigB and the spider to their fates and just stay out of it?

I chose C.

A involves me overcoming my fear.  I’m not ready for that.  B involves possibly being chased by spider guts or hugged by a spider-mobile transfer system.  No thank you.

I think with C we can all win.  BigB won’t even notice the spider hitching a ride in the curve of his ear.  The spider will be transported to a new more appropriate home, possibly inside of BigB’s ear, but hopefully not, and I can stop avoiding that hallway.  Although I’ll be avoiding BigB for the time being.

Chicken out

hairless cat

This hairless cat is creepy, but not as creepy as a spider. For one thing, this hairless cat will never crawl into your ear and lay eggs.

  15 comments for “An Ethical Question

  1. thesmittenimage
    December 16, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Frank is the opposite of BigB. He nurtures house-ridden spiders and won’t tell me about it lest I transport it outside. The worst was when he watched one who had laid eggs on his window sill. This was before we lived under the same roof.. and a different roof than that, thankfully. I’ll transport.. with a glass, piece of cardboard and a whole lot of shuddering.


    • December 16, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      Two softies in the same house? Practically unheard of! You’re my hero, Hilary. Too bad you live so far away.


  2. ganymeder
    December 16, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    I guess you could just get a jar and transport it outside. I leave the jar outside and retrieve it loooooong after the spider is gone.

    Why is this an issue for you? Do you eat meat? It’s not a random question, just wondering, because of the way you mentioned not wanting to kill an animal that has done you no harm.

    If it’s any consolation, I view insects in my home as an intrusion. I transport them outside if I can, but otherwise I have a right to defend myself, including my food and my loved ones. 🙂

    Happy holidays!


    • December 16, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      GANYMEDER YOU MINX!! I see what you did there. Took my ethical question and raised me one. Good on you. I concede to your point. Happy holidays to you also:-)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. December 16, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    C. Definitely C. 🙂


    • December 16, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      Thank you, Jayne. I appreciate your support especially knowing you ain’t afeard a’ no spider


  4. jenny_o
    December 17, 2014 at 3:51 am

    I think C. takes into account all the stuff that is important to Chicken. You get a big A+, Chickie!

    Personally, I treat various bugs differently. That’s right, I discriminate. Earwigs make me feel homicidal. Ants make me feel homicidal, too, although not as rabidly. Regular spiders such as we have here make me feel protective. I try to re-home them and if my cats disable them I am forced to perform a mercy killing because I can’t stand to see them suffer. Let me just state for the record, though, that poisonous spiders make me feel homicidal also. But we don’t have those suckers here.


    • December 18, 2014 at 1:33 am

      Hi Jenny-thanks. Earwigs. Yuk. I don’t like those at all. I guess if there’s one advantage to living in the Northeast, it is the relative absence of giant snakes, bugs and spiders. Except for in NJ where there is apparently a giant anaconda living in a lake.


  5. Doug in Oakland
    December 17, 2014 at 6:56 am

    It seems like there’s something about spiders that causes ethics to run away screaming and obsessively checking their hair over and over. A long time ago my friend Rob killed a big, ugly spider, put it in his fist, which he then opened close enough to my friend Briana’s face to make her scream and jump backwards, which she did. After he repeated this trick one more time, he had her trained. He would approach her, hold his hand up, and open it, she would dutifully squeak and flinch, but after the first two times it was never a spider in his hand; it was some random object like half a french fry or some dryer lint. I told him that he was going to wake up on fire some night, but as yet it hasn’t happened.


    • December 18, 2014 at 1:37 am

      Doug-you nailed it. My good intentions and hippy love have a tendency to crumble when it comes to spiders. I hope your friend Rob and your friend Briana are not married. That’s like domestic abuse or something. If I were Briana I would get a restraining order immediately. I’m guessing Rob has other qualities that make up from his agressive spider scare tactics.


      • Doug in Oakland
        December 18, 2014 at 4:20 am

        No, they are not married, a suggestion they would both find hilarious and horrifying at the same time. Rob is not easily restrainable, and Briana would explore many (all) other options before involving the police in her personal life. Although the events I describe happened way back in the late ’80s, they remain fairly close friends, and she was visiting him last night when I made the above comment, which is perhaps why I remembered that story.


  6. geo.
    December 21, 2014 at 4:22 am

    Spiders, I have never had a problem with –except black widows and brown recluses. I capture and relocate good spiders, even big hairy wolf spiders. I also pick up millipedes, which obligingly curl into beautiful spirals, and carry them outdoors. I wish them luck as I release them, even though they don’t know much English. Tree frogs get in too and now just hop onto my open palm and ask me to set them near water and bugs. I wish relatives were so easy to please.


    • December 21, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      So tree frogs make good house guests? Do they eat just bugs or the occasional spider, as well? I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a millipede in the wild. Just in dreams.


  7. Pat
    January 14, 2015 at 5:44 am

    I think you made a wise choice. The poisonous spiders generally make their webs close to the ground. You got me thinking about why I hate spiders and despise spider webs.

    As a young man, I had an early morning newspaper route. I delivered them with my bicycle. Every morning, bundles of newspapers were delivered to my house, well before dawn. I folded, banded and loaded them into bags that hung off the handlebars of my bike. Still before dawn, I started delivering them. As I was the first person in the area every morning, I was also the de facto spider web clearer. This was a part of the job that I hated! My route was in an old neighborhood with many trees and bushes both in the parking strip and front yards. That means many webs strung across the sidewalk. I usually cleared the webs by running into them with my face! I have chicken skin right now, just thinking about it. After my route, I’d go back home and change clothes for school. I have no idea how spiders I found on me while doing that, but it was a lot! More therapy is needed…

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 14, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      Oh my. That job should have come with combat pay! My husband had the same boyhood job here in RI minus the spiders. His traumatic recall involves unrestrained dogs, one psycho German Shepard in particular. If I had your job, which never would have happened because I was, if possible, even more thinly chicken skinned back then, I would have invented some kind of spider clearing apparatus to wear on my head that would have extended from by head to the space two feet in front of me. Fly paper would probably have been involved. I may be chicken but I’m pretty creative.


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