Spiders On My Truck
Not Furry or Scaly But, Industrious
Spiders On My Truck
By Roberto Alago
Working animals and pets share a special bond with their handlers and companions. Often, each can anticipate the actions or reactions of the other. They seem to sense each other's feelings and at times, express joy or sadness in reaction to the other's actions, behavior or mood.
Some animals serve to protect their human companions or their property. Others seem to be content or even happy just being around their human fellows; weather working in an office or just enjoying the trip we call life.
If life is a trip, we need to choose wisely with whom we are going to share our travels and speaking of travels, almost no one on the planet travels more than an Over-The-Road Truck Driver. I soon learned this when I became one.
It was September 2011. I was just fresh out of trucking school and had finished my 6 months of mandatory team driving. I finally was driving my rig by myself and enjoying the solitude. I grew up in a large family, served in the US Army and have a wife, four Children and eight Grandchildren. So, yes, I was definitely enjoying the ride.
I didn't like to admit it but, at times, it felt lonesome. Specially in the mornings, while I was inspecting my truck, before getting on the way. Until one morning; as I was returning from a refreshing and much needed shower. That's when I met her. Spidey, as I named her.
She was huge bird spider. She had created a big beautiful perfect web between my truck and a nearby tree. I stood there just gazing at the perfection of her creation. I was saddened because, I knew that soon, I would be moving out and her perfect web would be destroyed.
So, I talked to Spidey and told her I was sorry that I had to be on my way. As I was almost finished with my inspection, I cranked the engine and gazed at the spider web. To my surprise, Spidey was picking up her web. I continued with the last part of my inspection and lost sight of her.
Before moving out, I looked again. Spidey was gone. I felt a little sad. But, I had work to do and I got on the way. Throughout the day, I thought about Spidey and wonder where she had gone and how she was doing.
At the end of my shift I refueled and parked at a truck stop. Went inside, had dinner and came back to the truck to call my wife. To my surprise, there she was. Spidey had laid her beautiful web between my truck and a light post.
At first I thought, it may be another spider. But, her markings were an exact match. I smiled and welcomed my uninvited guest and told her not to get too comfortable because I was leaving in the morning.
That night, I went out of the truck a couple of times and Spidey was still there. Next day, I followed my morning routine. As soon as I cranked the engine, Spidey started collecting her web. Then I noticed she hid in the mirror housing and that's when I realized, she had traveled in my truck all day the previous day.
This became the routine. Every day I would talk to Spidey in the morning before getting on the way. She would hide behind the mirror. I would drive all day, and in the evening, she would set up her web. I would talk to her some more before going to bed and the next day we would do it again.
One October morning, Spidey did something totally different. Just as I was about to take off, she jumped and walked on my windshield and stood there right in front of me for a little bit and jumped off to the side of the truck. That was the last I saw of her.
Winter came too soon. All throughout the winter, as I drove, I often thought about Spidey and about the way she departed. On how she had stood on my windshield as if saying good bye. We had traveled together through eleven states. We had shared our mornings and evenings. She protected my truck from intruders, as most people would stay clear of a spider web, specially one where a huge spider could be seen. I always parked near a light post to ensure she would get a chance to find enough food.
Is it possible for a human and an arachnid to connect on a spiritual level? Did she understand that I made every effort to make sure she was well fed? Had we become friends? Did she actually say good bye? Or was she just trying to decide which way to go?
Spidey was gone and I was alone again. Winter was over, almost as fast as it came. One spring morning, as I drove, I saw a tiny spider walking out from the back of my truck's mirror. Once it got to the top of the mirror housing the wind carried it away.
A few minutes later, I spotted several other tiny spiders crawling from the top of the mirror housing only to be carried away by the wind. The same repeated about four more times. I assumed Spidey had left an egg behind the mirror and now her offspring were moving away. As I was approaching the city of St Louis, MO, I had to concentrate on my driving and don't know if any more spiders had come out.
A few days later, I was at a Truck Stop in Laredo, Tx and as I was approaching my truck, I noticed it. It was a beautiful spider web hanging between my truck and the truck on the next stall. In the middle of it was a small spider.
I welcomed it and got into my truck. The next morning, the other truck was gone and so was the spider web. I assumed the spider had hitch a ride in the other truck. I performed my inspection and headed out.
Two days later, while at a company terminal in Dallas, TX. The spider came crawling out of the mirror and set her web and positioned itself in the middle of it. I rolled down my window and started talking to it, as I did with Spidey. I decided to call her, Dallas.
Every morning and evening I would take a few minutes to talk to Dallas. Every morning, as soon as I cranked the engine, she would pick up her web and crawled behind the mirror. Every evening, as I parked, she would crawl out and setup her web once more.
This went on for about six months, then one evening, when I returned to my truck, she was gone. No web, no Dallas. I don't know if she left on her own, like Spidey did before her or if someone or something had scared her. I like to think she left on her own, sensing that winter was soon approaching.
Either way, I feel privileged to have shared over 72,000 miles with my arachnid friends. Up until this experience, I had never thought much about the beauty there is surrounding a spider. Her body is amazingly built and adapted to her environment and way of living. The webs they make are true works of art.
I had seen a spider grow right before my eyes, from a tiny little creature to a full grown and beautiful bird spider. She kept bugs off my truck, kept me company, I provided her with transportation and a new location every day. It was a mutually beneficial relationship. I missed those days of travelling around the country, and I miss Spidee and Dallas. Sometimes I wonder… If there is an afterlife; Will I ever see them again? Will they remember me?
#spiders #pet #animal #roberto #alago #truck #travel #work
About the Creator
Born in PR. Married, Father of four and Grandfather of eight. Soldier, Computer Expert. Admissions Associate at Interactive College Of Technology. A versatile man with interests too numerous to list; including: Acting and Public Speaking.
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