A Slithy Tove Did Gimble Me In The Wabe

There’s nothing like a bite from a big, unidentified spider to get your imagination running wild.
Seems I was inconveniencing one of our arachnid friends in the backyard today by using the garden chair he’d chosen as his own. I felt something on the back of my leg and went to brush it off, but there was nothing there. After a bit of investigation, I found I’d been resting my calf over the opening to the web of a fairly large black spider, which was cowering at the back of his web. I saw that there was a little discoloration at the back of my leg, which I hadn’t noticed before.
Now, at this point, things started to slow down, so I could carefully, and in great care and detail, imagine a number of different absolute worst outcomes of this situation. We live in a place frequented by a number of quite poisonous spiders, the most serious of these being the redback, which we’ve dug out of various crevices already in the last few years. It was important to retrieve this bugger and ask for his ID so we could figure out what was going to happen from here.
I stopped short of emptying the entire can of bug spray into the web.
Ainslie is having an afternoon nap at this point. Do I wait and see if I’m affected? Would it be too late for me to act if I did wait any longer? Are these pains I’m getting now something I’m imagining, or are they caused by the bite? I can feel a few numb aches in my right leg, and I think I’m getting a bit dizzy. I’d better wake her up.
Waking Ainslie up with the phrase ‘I’ve been bitten by a spider and I might need your help’ is pretty effective. (Far more effective than simply “it’s morning, sweetheart”.) She jumps up and we go in search of our fanged friend, who has limped off to a corner of the outdoor area. I gather him up in a cup while Ainslie dials Poison Information.
According to the experts at the other end, It seems that if your spider doesn’t have a red stripe, you’re pretty safe, in WA at least. Ours doesn’t. It’s a big, black mean-looking one, which I later identify as a Black House Spider. Nothing too nasty, but you can get in a bit of pain if he gets a good bite. I’m not hurting too badly, but we sort out the area to make sure it’s not going to get infected.
Looks like the emergency is over, without me having to rush to hospital for redback anti-veneme. It’s only meant a little discomfort in that leg, and a few aches. Still, I was a little worried there for a while. It’s amazing to think such a tiny beast has the ability of so subtly and covertly making you so seriously ill.
EPILOGUE: It’s time to nuke the chars with some surface spray, I think. In cleaning out the other spider webs underneath the other garden chairs today, I do find a juvenile redback.
The little choices in your day, like where you choose to sit, can have a big consequence.

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