I’m terrified of spiders. Not just like, “Ewww, a spider,” but like run away to the nearest shelter, even if it’s in the next state. I don’t like to read the word, say the word, type the word. I don’t hate sp——, but I would rather share a bunk bed with Beelzebub than with a sp—–. No offense, arachnids. I’m sure you’re a very nice lot. If only you didn’t have so many legs. (Shiver.)
TODAY’S PROMPT–Write a letter to yourself from the source of your greatest phobia. Personify it, making it less terrifying. Think of it as an exercise in self help.
It seems like only yesterday when we first met, and while it was more than 30-some years ago, I still feel badly that we got off on the wrong foot. Or wrong leg. Ha! (Oops, sorry, I forgot how you feel about my legs.)
Anyway, I wish we could start over, as I hear frequently of your terror when you meet any of my relatives. I appreciate your not killing them, although I understand that courtesy comes not from the goodness of your heart, but because you fear us so, you cannot even bring yourself to touch one of our kind. So sad.
We really are a useful species. We eat unwanted bugs. Remember that mosquito that bit you on the back of your leg on your walk this morning? Not a spider. A mosquito! And who eats mosquitoes? You got it. The loyal spider.
A spider would never bite you to make a meal of your precious blood. In fact, we only bite humans when we feel threatened. You’ve got to understand, you are significantly larger than we, and we have to utilize some form of self defense. I am truly sorry if one of my brothers or sisters has ever attacked you. But I bet they haven’t.
You know how you love to knit? Well, spiders have long been a good luck charm for spinners and weavers, which is practically the same thing as knitting in my book. We could be buddies! I could help you out!
I understand that your phobia is not a chosen one. I understand that this fear is irrational–you know it, and I know it. I myself am terrified of clover. Those leaves send shivers up my thorax. My eight eyes snap shut at the sight of one. You must understand how I just can’t help it; I can’t go near that plant. And a four-leaf clover? Well, you know what you said about sharing a bunk bed with Beelzebub? Move over, and count me in.
Wait, Emily! Where did you go? Emily! I was only kidding about the bunk bed! Come on back! I’ll keep my legs to myself. Ha! Emily? I was just kidding. Now, where did she go?
Oh well, guess you’re just not ready yet. Maybe next time.
(from Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White)