Once upon a time there was a little girl, who was about ten years old, and had been sent on an extended holiday, to stay with her aunt and uncle on the other side of the world.
She missed her home and her family very much, especially when her cousin was picking on her, which he did quite often; but on the other hand, she didn’t have to go to school for ten weeks, and that was some serious compensation.
Christmas came, but there in Australia it did not snow. The little girl went with her aunt and uncle on a holiday-within-a-holiday, to a place called Jervis Bay. They stayed in a little cottage that had been empty for quite some time, and the little girl, who wasn’t desperately afraid of spiders, was teased mercilessly by her bigger cousin. He would tell her tales about there being a red-back spider on the swing where she had just been playing, and make up stories about fighting back funnelwebs that lived behind the barbecue.
The empty cottage was quite cobwebby in places, and it made her nervous.
The little girl was allocated a bedroom to herself, which was rather nice after sharing with her smaller cousin, back in Sydney. Cautiously, she entered the room, checked under the bed and in the cupboards, and inspected the corners of the ceiling for unacceptable insect life.
She pronounced the room acceptable.
And then she rolled up the window-blind.
Huntsman Spiders do not have a fatal bite, but that bastard was huge, right there, in the middle of the window-pane. The size of your hand at least, and glaring with all eight of its eyes, as spiders do.
The little girl screamed for help, but no-one came. From around the house, she heard such casual responses as Oh, not another spider, Karen. Be there in a minute. Eventually the little girl’s uncle came and bashed the evil creature to death with a broom handle.
The spider-fearing little girl part of me has not yet grown up.