I’m no sissy. In fact, I think I recovered quite quickly from having the wits frightened out of me by our massive Baboon Spider visitor last month. Especially considering I almost stood on an enormous scorpion at the washing line last week!
So, last night, I’m lying in bed reading. Suddenly I see a flash of movement in my peripheral vision. My heart races. I’m having a flashback, I think. Until the flash reappears and suddenly I wish the Baboon Spider really was back! This is no idle flash (no pun intended) – this is a new-generation terminator on steroids! A cross between a mean spider and an evil scorpion that fires on 8 pistons and high-octane fuel. Gulp!
I alert my hero, who, thanks to the Baboon Spider episode, doesn’t doubt me when I say we have a problem on ‘our’ hands. Of course, he votes for the death sentence and I plead extenuating circumstances (although for the life of me, I can’t remember what they were now!). So, his sentence got reduced to being chased around our room with a broom and a torch…
They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and just for fun, picture this: 2 scantily clad adults in a room where all the furniture is eventually pulled into the centre of the room, carpets are rolled up and the sliding door is wide open, as one drives the broom and the other shines the torch under said furniture, only to take turns jumping away when said monster creature runs at them.
The plan wasn’t working. So on the strength of the lasso move I pulled with the plastic bowl and cardboard last time with the Baboon Spider, I rearm with aforementioned relocation tools.
Eventually, I get the bowl over my target and slide the card between the bowl and the wall. This would probably be a good time to mention that I have experienced a serious degeneration in fine motor skills over the past year – especially in my left hand. The monster chase-down had augmented this significantly and suddenly I find myself unable to keep the card steady over the bowl, as I run out the door, barefoot into the night in my little nightshirt.
Eager to release my captive, I fling him out into the night and run back inside. Then my hero points out that said monster is running back towards me! I turn as Peter slams the sliding door closed, literally in the face of the mean one! We stare at each other in wide-eyed disbelief.
Google says we were visited by a Solifuge, aka sun spider, wind scorpion, camel spider, and colloquially, red roman. Neither a spider nor a scorpion, these creatures are known for their speed – up to 16 km/ph! I can attest to that, and also that humans can be inspired to great speeds when they meet one.
They are also the subject of many urban legends… It’s said that they can run at 48 km/ph, jump 1m high and chase humans down! They’re also said to disembowel camels… Ironically, they run after humans in search of shade, because contrary to one of their names, they actually hide from the sun. Their bites are not venomous but can be painful. Oh, and did I mention that they eat spiders, lizards, small snakes and rodents, and even EACH OTHER!?
Let’s just say that it took a long litany of ‘think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts’ before I could eventually sleep last night! Aside from the fact that it was the last thing my hero’s heart needed after his episode last week.
Fast forward 20 hours. I’m sitting at my work station on our patio, minding my own business until the speedster runs out from under my desk just as my hero leaves on an urgent call-out. Nooooo!
I won’t bore you with the replay of last night, only this time I was fully clothed and on my own in the trenches. Suffice to say, the monster creature has been relocated into a patch of parkland – this time I caught him with the pool net. My heart is STILL racing. Just so you know, the shaky images (don’t judge – there was a serious fear-factor) really, REALLY don’t do the visitor justice. He had a span of at least 10 cm. Anyway, gotta go start thinking happy thoughts so that I can sleep tonight🤣🕷🦂 Zebra On My Stoep#zebraonmystoep. #marlothpark