When I was growing up, our house was filled with females most of the time. It was understandable that any bravery needed was undertaken by our dad. “Dad! There’s a big moth!” or “Dad! There’s a spider!” Dad would dutifully collect the offending creature and set it free outside.
One day, when I was about ten or eleven years old, dad had collected a spider in a brown paper bag, ready to be set free. The only thing different this time was that he decided he didn’t want to trek down to the garden. We lived on the top floor of the house and had our bedrooms downstairs for some reason, that I’m sure was very practical at the time.
“Who will be the bravest one of you girls, and carry this down to the garden?” The others all squirmed away, and my dad gave me that look, the look that said, “You can do it.” When you are faced with the choice of being brave, or being a wimp, it’s no choice at all really. Well, it wasn’t for me then, though it’d be very different if I was faced with the same situation now. “OK, I’ll do it” I said. I gingerly took hold of the screwed top of the bag, making sure that it couldn’t get out.
There were two flights of stairs down to the ground floor, and then another smaller flight leading to the back door, which led into the garden. I started down the first few stairs, and must have shaken the bag as I hopped down. The spider rattled in the bag. I had visions of the ugly spider, with it’s long black legs, wriggling around inside the bag, and panicked! I ran faster and faster, with the spider rattling more and more, but I couldn’t possibly slow down. The faster I ran, the more the spider rattled. I was almost falling down the stairs in my blind panic! My little legs had never moved so fast! But I held on to that bag as tightly as I could. I HAD to show dad that I could do it. I opened the back door and threw the bag as fast as I could. I certainly wasn’t going to open the top and shake it out! It should think itself lucky it lived to see another day, albeit inside a brown paper bag! I could have fallen down the stairs, landed on the bag and squashed it flat. Be grateful, I say.
Mo’s spider bravery.
Jump forward 20 years, while I tell you of Mo’s bravery. I hadn’t known her very long, and I found a little spider in my flat. “Ooh! A spider” I said. “Oh that’s nothing” says Mo, acting all brave and picking it up to put it out the window. As soon as she had picked it up, a look of disgust flashed across her face. “Ughhh!” she said, and she threw it! At me! So much for protecting me from the horror of spiders.
So who do you think was the bravest?
I’m taking part in 30 Days of Writing, started by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese. For a list of who’s taking part just visit their blog and check the list of links at the bottom.