Are you sitting down…???

Photo: Female black widow spider on a leaf

UNNERVInG isn’t it???


I discovered not one, but two black widows yesterday while checking out my water pump.   It led me to the following information which I am sharing with you because of its interest and to warn you about these hidden creatures.   Now I am obsessing over their location– I look inside my shoes (which I used to do as a child in Australia because the poisonous Red-back spider hides in Australian- smelling shoes)

This is your prompt for the next few weeks.  

Write a short story using any of the following information.  

Did you get bitten?  Is your character a black widow woman?   Is the main character the victim of the black widow woman?   Is the spider her Halloween costume but not a costume at all?  How about your character as a spelunker who runs into a nest of black widows…….etc.  

Use your writer’s magic.  Keep it focused on one story line only.  

OR write a prose poem with IMAGERY  (IMAGination)    

Scare yourself.  Then us.

Let’s read it.  


Map: Black widow spider rangeBlack Widow Spider Range

Fast Facts

Carnivore           (???)
Average life span in the wild:
1 to 3 years    TOO LONG
1.5 in (38 mm) long, 0.25 in (6.4 mm) in diameter
.035 ounce (1 gram)
Group name:
Black widow spiders are considered the most venomous spiders in North America.    YIKES
Size relative to a paper clip:
Illustration: Black widow compared with paper clip

Black widows are notorious spiders identified by the colored, hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomens. Several species answer to the name, and they are found in temperate regions around the world.

This spider’s bite is much feared because its venom is reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake’s. In humans, bites produce muscle aches, nausea, and a paralysis of the diaphragm that can make breathing difficult; however, contrary to popular belief, most people who are bitten suffer no serious damage—let alone death. But bites can be fatal—usually to small children, the elderly, or the infirm. Fortunately, fatalities are fairly rare; the spiders are non aggressive and bite only in self-defense, such as when someone accidentally sits on them.

The animals most at risk from the black widow’s bite are insects—and male black widow spiders. Females sometimes kill and eat their counterparts after mating in a macabre behavior that gave the insect its name. Black widows are solitary year-round except during this violent mating ritual.

These spiders spin large webs in which females suspend a cocoon with hundreds of eggs. Spiderlings (OOOOOHHHH that sounds creepy)  disperse soon after they leave their eggs, but the web remains. Black widow spiders also use their webs to ensnare their prey, which consists of flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars. Black widows are comb-footed spiders, which means they have bristles on their hind legs that they use to cover their prey with silk once it has been trapped.

To feed, black widows puncture their insect prey with their fangs and administer digestive enzymes to the corpses. By using these enzymes, and their gnashing fangs, the spiders liquefy their prey’s bodies and suck up the resulting fluid.

Quoted verbatim except for interspersed comments, from   The National Geographic

Kaye LindenAre you sitting down…???

One Comment on ““Are you sitting down…???”

  1. Rick

    Wonderful writing, Kaye. Sometimes I feel as though I’m actually in the Out Back when I read about Ma and the other characters you bring to life from Australia. Beautiful writing! Thank you for these stories and your imagery.

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