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Trouble With a Capital `S'


(Page 3 of 3)

Did I mean on the floor? Before I had a chance to explain, he took a step back, got down on his hands and knees, and ... crawled under the desk. The spider, large as a man's hand, was right next to his face.

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``I don't see it,'' came his muffled words.

It was a little funny.

``Robert,'' I said, ``look to your left.''

He did - and could've kissed that spider.

You've never heard a boy scream so loud. ``Arrgghh!'' His head snapped back and banged against the desk. He threw the flip-flop up in the air, scrambled to his feet, and was gone. I looked back in the bedroom. Spider - also gone.

``Robert!'' I shouted from the upstairs porch. He was standing on the front lawn, bent over, catching his breath. ``Are you coming back inside?''


Only one thing to do: Get the landlord.

Robert said to him, ``Do you know that the largest spider in the world lives upstairs?''

His answer was like a sock in the stomach.

``It's lived there for years. Eats all the insects. Won't hurt you. Just stay away from it.''

Huh? That spider was crawling on me in the night.

``We don't care what it does,'' Robert told him. ``We're not going back up there until you get rid of it.''

But he wouldn't. After telling us to relax and go for a nice swim, he shut the door in our faces.

The trick that backfired

``Hey, what're you two twirps doing?''

It was the puffers home from their morning tan.

``None of your....''

I shut Robert up by squeezing his arm - hard. ``Ouch!''

The look on my face had him puzzled. His two sisters, surprisingly cute in their bathing suits, were on their way up the stairs.

``I wouldn't go up there if I were you,'' I warned them.

They stopped. ``Why not?''

``Er, it's about the ... bedroom.''

``Bedroom!'' They looked ready to bite our noses off. ``If you two twirps were in our bedroom....'' Birdy began.

I cut her off. ``We were, but only because....''

``Did you touch anything?''

``Only the desk.''

``The desk! Our stuff's in that desk.''

The two of them were breathing fire.

``We only went through a few drawers,'' Robert said, catching on to what I was up to. About time.

``A few drawers!''

With that they ran up the stairs, beach towels flapping, all set to see what we'd gotten into. Robert and I, matching grins, sat on the bottom step and waited.

``Won't be long now,'' I said. ``Spider meets girls.''

``Hope so.''

The two of us started laughing and couldn't stop.

Then an upstairs door slammed. ``Is this what you were looking for ... twirps?''

Under the towel?

Birdy held the huge spider in her bare hand, its hairy legs sticking out between her fingers, running in the air. Running and running. Next to her Neecy's face was a snaggletooth smile.

Gross! Disgusting!

``Want to hold it, boys?'' The two of them - er, three - were on their way down now. I bounced up; so did Robert.

``Don't come near me!'' His voice was a squeak.

They kept on coming.

``Whatsa matter?'' Birdy said, as if she were talking to a baby. ``Scared of an itsy-bitsy spidee?''

She waved the thing in our faces. Robert bolted, backward, down the driveway and into the street. The sun made his earring sparkle. Then he turned and ran, shouting and waving his arms, faster than I'd ever seen him run before. Horns honked and people cheered.

``How about you?''

Birdy had her eyes on me.

``No, thanks,'' I told her, eyeing the spider. I wondered why it hadn't bitten her.

``Are you scared?''

Who me?

Closer they came, closer.

Like Robert, I turned and ran. Something sailed over my head - the ``spidee.'' Birdy'd thrown it like a discus, all the way across the street, to where it landed with a soft thud on the sandy beach. Was it hurt? No way. No crash landing was going to hurt that monster. The last any of us saw of it it was crawling toward the ocean. Good riddance!

``Wanna go swimming, anyone?''

`Kidspace' is a place on The Home Forum pages where kids can find stories that will tickle imaginations, entertain with a tall tale, explain how things work, or describe a real-life event. These articles will appear once or twice a month, always on Tuesday.