BLACK WIDOW SPIDER
The summer when I was seven years old, I was at the horse watering barrel, digging for earthworms. I suddenly felt something walking on my right arm. I instantly knew what it was. It was a Black Widow! The walk feels like death walking on you. It was walking the KING WALK. (That is what Me, Roland and Jerry called the walk when a Black Widow is on the prod and ready to bite.) I didn't know what to do. If I tried to brush it off it was sure to bite me. A Black Widow bite is almost sure death for kids and old people, also it was very hot, making it worse. To tell you, one thing I was AFRAID. That the only thing I'm afraid of is spiders. I can look at them, but can't stand to have them on me. I was eye to eye with a Black Widow, not knowing what to do. Finally I decided, real slow, to put my arm against the water barrel. Seeing a way off, the Black Widow walked to the barrel and off my arm. That is the only time in my life I fainted. I was aware, but seeing all kinds of visions. When I came to my senses, I got a board and killed it.
ADDITIONAL BLACK WIDOW STORIES (Dad's experience with Julie--Dad wanted me to retell)
When I (Julie) was about 2 1/2 to 3 years old, I like to explore and find things. If it was alive I liked it. Lance and Michele were in school and I was playing by myself. I'm not sure where I found it, but I found a really pretty spider to show Dad. He always fed my love for animals and creatures, so I was really excited to show him. I got one of my hair ribbons (a white one I think) and got the spider to crawl onto the end of it. I took it into the living room where my dad was sleeping in the recliner. (At that time in Tulare he worked swing and graveyard shifts and always took naps before work) I was so excited and said "DAD, DAD, look what I found. When he opened his eyes, I was holding the spider just above his head, so close he had trouble focusing on it... When he finally got focus, he realized I had found a Black Widow! It was only an inch or two above his head and not that far away from where I was holding the ribbon. I think he very calmly grabbed my arm (not sure) but somehow got me to give him the ribbon. (He could move so smoothly) He took me and the spider outside and Smashed it! I was so upset that he killed my pet! He then explained to me how some things you can't catch because they are dangerous. To bring this point home, he took me out in the yard where he had some left over boards setting and started moving them around. He found the biggest, blackest spider I had ever seen (except for the one tarantula that Grandma Wood stepped on with her slipper in the middle of the road in Corcoran) and he told me that is what my cute little spider would grow up into and it was deadly no matter what size it was. I never touched spiders after that.
Story Of Dad and Julie Black Widow #2
When I was 19 the summer before I moved to Montana and subsequently went into the service, Dad and I went camping for the last time together. I traveled down, helped pack up the tent and went camping. (Coffee Camp up in the Sequoias) I loaded up firewood so we could have a nice fire. We got to camp, set up the tent and started a really nice fire... the dark night had already set in. Grandma Essie came up to sit with us a while around the fire. We kept hearing little popping sounds from the fire wood and dad told me to get the flashlight and look at the wood. When I got the flashlight, I found out what the popping was... The firewood was infested with Black Widows! God only knows how I didn't get bit loading the firewood and unloading it out of the truck. We were both perplexed how that happened!
Note Black Widows: I don't know if Lance remembers going and looking for Black Widow cocoons with Dad on the fence around the in-ground pool. He tried to keep the population down by killing as many nests as he could. He would always check them to make sure they weren't too far developed before obliterating them. One time, we found one that was too far developed and when he poked it, all these Black Widow babies started coming out of the sac. It scared me to death. I Think he started stomping and killing them all, but I can't remember for sure how he got rid of them all.