Meet Millie

I arrive in Africa a week from today. Next weekend I’ll be settling into my new home in Johannesburg.

Three days ago my boyfriend sent me this photo from the house. We have a new roommate.

“She’s a rain spider,” he said matter-of-factly. “Just a bit smaller than my hand.”

A good omen, he says, and good for killing all the huge mosquitoes.

Here’s a close-up:

“Do they bite?” I asked.

I was hoping for a short, two-letter response to this query. Instead I got this:

“Firstly, they are not lethal, or even dangerous. They bite to kill their prey. They also bite to defend themselves if alarmed. So you just musn’t be afraid, or make any sudden movements. Or they WILL bite, and it will hurt. And swell up.”

They’re very gentle, he says, as long as you stay outside their safety perimeter.

Hmm. What if SHE enters MY safety perimeter? When I’m asleep, for example?

To lessen my terror, I’ve decided to give her a name. Millie. It’s the most innocuous name I can come up with and I’m hoping it will help me think of her in a gentle, grandmotherly kind of way.

Yesterday I was informed that Millie has disappeared from her perch in the passageway.

“Where is she now?” I demanded.

Only Millie knows.

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7 Comments

  • Reply Deano July 30, 2010 at 11:01 am

    I’m liking Millie! Can Millie be my African pen pal? Maybe if you feed her large bugs, etc., she will tend to befriend you. Do they have scorpions in this area?
    Can you believe you’ll be leaving in a week?!?! Excited yet?

  • Reply 2summers July 30, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Hmm, not sure if there are scorpions. Hope not!

  • Reply Here | 2Summers August 8, 2010 at 11:11 am

    […] encounters with Millie yet. I’ve been watching my […]

  • Reply A walk through old Johannesburg | 2Summers August 14, 2010 at 11:01 am

    […] other news, Millie has officially departed the house for greener pastures in the garden. Joe and Lucky are mourning […]

  • Reply Lesotho Redux | 2Summers October 10, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    […] just spotted Millie crawling down the drain pipe! My first […]

  • Reply clouded marble December 4, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Hi there!
    I came across your blog recently and started reading (you’ll see me going from post one onwards). Since you mentioned Millie, I thought you might get a kick out of previous posts of mine 😉
    http://mizhitrun.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/an-itsy-bitsy-spider-moment/
    http://mizhitrun.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/it-is-just-one-surprise-after-the-other/

  • Reply clouded marble December 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    And this might also reassure you
    http://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/a-note-on-venom/

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