I am excited to inform you that this now has a sequel. The link is below. Happy reading!
Greg, a Tennessee Jumping Spider, lived in a little house out in the country, but close to civilization. However, he couldn't really appreciate that since he was, after all, a spider. There was certainly one thing that Greg was painfully aware of and that was paying the rent. Some of his buddies had laughed at his “nonsense”, but they all seemed to have disappeared one by one. His luck may have been fueled by his humans' fondness for jumping spiders in particular.
Whatever the case, Greg liked to say that he hadn't ever been kicked out of the house, or flushed down the toilet, or squashed and thrown away, due to his incredible rent-paying skills. In reality, it was probably his extraordinary ability to fit into small spaces and the fact that he seldom ventured into the humans' space. This habit was almost always broken once a week when it came time to pay the rent, which he always did. Greg would find abandoned pennies and always slipped them into, what he thought, was the humans' money holder. He found it quite comical that the humans sat on their money holder, a couch as they called it.
It was a whole endeavor for Greg to get the pennies he found to the couch, as they were, at the very least, four times his size. Greg would get especially giddy upon the finding of a dime.
“Ten weeks!” he would always exclaim, “Ten weeks of not having to drag the pennies to the couch!”
Sometimes he would mumble to himself about how lucky he was that he wouldn't have to worry about late payments due to his upcoming molting. On this particular week, Greg was becoming especially stressed, he hadn't found a single piece of change all week. Greg decided to take a risk and search the humans' living quarters late at night. Upon finding no misplaced objects he proceeded to check the vents. Much to his surprise, excitement, and loathing, Greg found a dime in the vent.
Greg was surprised because he had never found much change in the vent, it typically slid down the slick sharp incline. He was excited that he could finally stop worrying about paying the rent and for ten weeks! Greg however, was Loathing the long journey the coin would have to take to make it to the couch. He had to get it out of the vent and then all the way across to the opposite side of the house. If Greg was lucky, he could get the coin most of the way there before the humans even began to stir.
Greg began by wrapping the coin neatly in webbing, but not so much that he couldn't take it off upon delivery. Satisfied that the coin was secure, he began by attaching a line of webbing to one side of the coin. Then Greg proceeded to do the same for the other side, but higher. In this way, he spent an hour or two shimmying the coin up the vent without using much energy at all.
The truly hard part came when carrying the coin up to the ceiling, a tremendous effort for the small spider. Once there, Greg would attach a second piece of webbing to the coin making a funny-looking hammock of sorts. He repeated this process across the entire room. when Greg reached the doorway he realized that the door was now closed and that he would have to navigate the jungle humans called carpet. He was annoyed that he would have to undo his tidy wrapping but knew from experience that the webbing was nigh impossible to salvage after being dragged through the carpet.
The coin, released from its silky bondage, fell to the floor with a soft thump. Greg grumbled to himself and hoped that Terry the House Spider, who was slightly venomous, would be eradicated by the humans soon. The humans feared venomous things, which was one of the main causes for the humans' anxiety over spiders, not to mention how they never knew where Greg's kind would show up. Greg normally would not wish any kind of death from a human upon any spider, but that Terry got on his nerves. Terry stole Greg's food straight from his web even while he was sitting on it. Considering how big Terry was in comparison to the poor little jumping spider, it seemed there was nothing Greg could do about it.
Greg's biggest fear at the moment was that Terry would come out and steal his coin out of spite and keep it away from him. It was not an irrational fear, since Terry's size meant she could easily navigate the groups of carpet fibers while Greg struggled to keep himself from sinking to the bottom of the carpet. Thinking these thoughts, Greg pushed the dime under the door and continued on his way. However, to his great dismay, he realized that the humans were starting to stir. Greg tried to figure out why a human would be up at the moon's peak and figured it was going to get up and relieve itself, as only humans and their creatures do. Thankfully he still had a bit of time left before that happened.
While Greg had been in deep thought Terry had begun stalking him. Terry loved the feeling of lording over Greg and laughed to herself at how the little spider would cower. Being a female spider made Terry even bigger than she could have been and more of a threat to the humans. She was well aware of this and kept cover whenever possible, but her size was a disadvantage in this area. This made Terry envy and hate Greg all the more. She couldn't help but laugh a sinister laugh at how he was sitting on his precious little coin. This would be very enjoyable indeed.
When Greg finally noticed her, he jumped out of his skin. Terry was behind him and most certainly was going to take away his coin, if not his life. He quickly came up with a plan, as only Greg could, and scurried under the humans' bedroom door. Greg would come back for his coin later, in the meantime, it was best if Terry thought he didn't care much about it at all. Stage one of his plan was working as Terry had started chasing after Greg and lost all interest in his coin. Instead of running like Terry, Greg had decided his best hope of survival was jumping from fiber top to fiber top and even that left Terry dangerously close.
Greg heard one of the humans start to get up and jumped under the bathroom door as fast as his legs would carry him. On the other hand, Terry was oblivious, too occupied with her prey to notice anything else. Well, she was, until the bathroom door opened and the light was turned on. Terry froze as the human screamed, calling to the other who was still in bed. Greg saw his opportunity and scurried under the bathroom sink and watched through a crack next to the hinge.
What happened next was not shocking to Greg, this wasn't his first rodeo. The second human sort of flopped out of bed while the first human pointed to the floor mouthing to its companion in a language incomprehensible to Greg. He suddenly realized that the first human had placed something over Terry when he wasn't looking. The second human nodded, walked out of the room, and came back with a shoe. Greg was happy and sad at the same time. Happy that he would not have his food and coins constantly taken from him, and sad the someone of his species would have to die in that horrific way.
With a few stomps and a flush, Greg's nightmare was over and the first human relieved itself, turned off the lights, and closed the door. Greg waited a little while before coming out of hiding and scurrying back to his precious coin. To his great pleasure, Greg found it exactly the way he had left it, though he didn't understand what he had expected to happen to it while he was away. Greg shimmied the coin back up to the ceiling and made his way to the couch. The coin dropped unceremoniously onto it and Greg carefully tucked it under a cushion for safekeeping. Then he made his way back to the attic and found his dinner waiting for him for the first time in weeks.
Link to Sequel : Greg and The Wasps
Small Image of a Tennessee Jumping Spider:
Slightly Larger Image of a Tennessee House Spider: