Column by J1 Reporter Grace Woodard
Spiders seem almost alien, with their eight eyes watching your every move, their hairy legs ready to strike, and fangs prepared to bite.
Just thinking about spiders or seeing them in a picture, even one as tiny as a pea, is enough to give me the heebie-jeebies.
There are quite a few stories about spiders that I have heard, as well as encounters I have had, but this one I’ll never forget.
A few years ago, I was sitting on my bed, absorbed in a good book when I saw a little thing float across the page.
My first thought was “spider!” I slammed the book closed and threw it across the room.
My sister gave me a look of confusion and asked why I had just thrown the book. I quickly explained that I had seen a spider scuttling across the page. She then went over and picked the book up.
“Watch out, it might bite!” I thought to myself.
She opened the book and was expecting to find a squashed spider but all she found was a tiny piece of lint.
All you who are afraid of spiders, you are not alone. Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, is one of the more common phobias.
Spiders seem to be a popular topic to incorporate in books and movies. In the novel, The Mark of Athena, written within the Percy Jackson series, Arachne, the Greek goddess of spiders, is mentioned as well as other references to these eight-legged creatures. Also, one of the main characters, Annabeth, is really afraid of them. Annabeth is half god and half human so if she is afraid of spiders, it is perfectly understandable for me, 100% human, to be afraid of them.
Another is a book within the Harry Potter franchise, the Chamber of Secrets, where Aragog, the giant spider, and his kin are vital to the plot. Ron Weasley, Harry Potter’s best friend, is also deathly afraid of spiders. Reading the book made me cringe a bit but it really made me squirm and shiver when I watched the movie because seeing them is worse than just reading about them.
Spiders are essential to the ecosystem because they eat insects and bugs and if they didn’t exist, insect populations would go unchecked. If there weren’t spiders, bugs would infest our crops and there would be a famine.
I understand that spiders are vital to the ecosystem, and it makes me feel almost grateful for their existence, however, that doesn’t change my fear of them.