Years and years ago, my son-in-law told me a story about how a person could swallow Spiders whilst sleeping.
I didn't think I was concerned about this phenomenon one way or the other. People either believed or not; there are endless stories for and against here, in the UK Guardian newspaper.
And I like Grandmother Spider. I wrote about her in a former post entitled Weaver of Dreams. I know what she represents and what her message is. I only wish she wouldn't take such extreme measures to give it.
My sleep has been disturbed, these last few days. I am fighting a virus, I think...and so I went to bed early one night, remembering the old mantra of plenty of rest and fluids in battling the flu.
I fell into a feverish sleep. I swooped into a dream about Grandmother Spider...in my dream, she wore a huge, slightly malicious grin, as she spun her web around my head.
I awoke, feeling dreadful. It felt as if my braid had draped itself over my forehead, and I moved my hand to move it...but my hand encountered Spider instead.
Involuntarily, I swept her off. It was very dark; I felt ill...and I felt sure I had dashed Spider to the floor, where no doubt she had scurried for cover.
Settling myself once again, feeling very hot, I left my arm out from under the covers. It was not long before I felt Spider's quick crawl up my arm, back to where she had begun her web...which happened to be somewhere in the vicinity of my head.
Irritated now, I once more swept Spider off into places unknown, into the dark. And then, I turned on the light...enough was enough.
And there was Spider, quite brazen and bold, on the coverlet, once more heading, very quickly, towards where my head had lain. The light stopped her, and she hesitated. And then she stood up!
Here's a video of a Spider standing up. Although my Spider wasn't as big, she looked very similar to the Lady Spider in the clip. My Spider was hairy, too.
Spider was feeling threatened. As was I, if I'd had time to think about things. It seemed to be a stand-off for a small moment in time.
(How can Graham sleep through all the commotion around him, these last few weeks? This never ceases to awe and amaze me.)
I remembered my dream...Grandmother Spider had been grinning,without humour, in that dream...this Spider showed a lack of humour, as well.
The split second stand-off over, without really thinking, I dashed Spider to the floor with my hand. Had I taken a tissue and deposited her outside, into -8C windy weather, as I do during the normal course of events, I would not be in the predicament I'm in now.
I did not have my glasses on. Feverish, sure I would succumb to the nausea that threatened, I searched myopically for Spider.
She was gone. Nowhere to be seen. This Spider moved faster than any I had ever had contact with.
I have not found her. I have vacuumed every inch, I have changed the bedding, I have dusted throughout.
My son-in-law may have been right...One thing I am positive about is Spider could easily have moved into my mouth, probably climbing out again, given her size.
Unless I had swallowed.
There is always that to think about.