Primordial Fear

Primordial fear. I still remember the first time I experienced it.

I was small. Very small. I remember going into the front room.

I’m not really sure why we had a front room cos we never used it.  Anyway. I went into the front room. I probably toddled into the front room….and there it was.

A gigantic, black, hairy spider.

I was terrified. Racing heart, shaking legs, vomiting sort of terror.  I couldn’t get out of the room fast enough.

Sadly, my language skills weren’t sufficient to convey the primordial nature of the fear I was feeling. I probably just bawled my eyes out, but I never forgot it.

What is it about spiders? Fast forward 33 years. My youngest son is sitting in his buggy in the front room of the house we are renting.  He’s a happy chappy. Fed, watered and ready for bed.  He’s watching that 90’s phenomenon, the ‘Tellytubbies.’ Dipsey and Lala are singing nursery rhymes. He loves it…until a big, hairy black spider descends over Miss Muffet’s bowl of curds and whey. And then he loses it. Bawls his eyes out.

Being a bit dim, I didn’t realise it was primordial fear. I thought it might be colic, or teething pains or possibly meningitis. I was always checking for meningitis.

I didn’t realise what was wrong until the next night when we did exactly the same thing and he reacted in the same way to the hairy black spider. Then I knew.

And I truly believe we have been hard-wired since cave-man times to be scared of things which can potentially kill us. It’s nature’s way of giving us the heads up. Getting the adrenalin pumping, ready for fight or flight.  Good old mother nature. Always looking out for us.

Nowadays, I’m not scared of bugs.  I developed an ability to rationalise. We live in a world full of creepy crawlies. Few of them can do us any real harm.

It doesn’t mean that I love big, hairy spiders but they don’t terrify me anymore. I’ve learned to live alongside them. Besides, they trap flies. We’re allies of sorts.

Today, however, I had a bad experience. It wasn’t primordial fear. It was more face scrunching, yuch inducing sort of bad.

Please don’t read on if you are squeamish. 

So, I was ironing a pillowcase. I iron pillowcases because I have a bnb and I’m expected to iron pillowcases. Otherwise I wouldn’t. I’d spend all my time writing stuff.

The pillowcase was looking lovely. Then I spotted a stain. I was fed up.  Somebody’s had a nose-bleed, I thought- on my good egyptian cotton pillowcase. How inconsiderate!

(Forgive me, it’s been a long season. I’m usually more caring)

Pleased that I spotted the stain, I turned the pillow-case inside out to investigate further.

Be warned, this is not nice. 

The blood was spider blood (I didn’t know they bled?? Maybe it was just gunge)

Inside my pillowcase was the biggest, hairiest, FLATTEST spider you have ever seen.

I’d ironed the poor old boy/ girl.

Being Autumn, the time of big, black hairy spiders, he’d obviously crawled inside my washing.

He probably didn’t have time to experience primordial fear before he was annihilated by my iron. I really hope not.








31 thoughts on “Primordial Fear

  1. Poor guy😪 I hate squashing bugs, even cockroaches. And I hate hairy spiders. The non-hairy kind, with a small body and long legs, or little garden spiders, I’m actually fond of, and spend hours rescuing them out the bath etc…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no! I would feel really bad about that. The only insects I kill with abandon and without remorse are ticks and fleas because they are foul parasites and inflict disease.

    And now I have the Tellytubbies song in my head – our kids must be the same age – so thanks for that!

    I hope spider blood comes out in the wash and you can save your Egyptian cotton.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ticks are the worst- I hate the way they such your blood. I’ve known a few people who’ve developed Lymes Disease after being bit by one.
      How old are your kids? My oldest is 19 and was a huge tellytubby fan in his day. Now it’s Game of Thrones

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Two girls, 23 and 21- now one’s a big Japanese Manga fan and the other is a fan of films in general but usually sci-fi, fantasy and comic book stuff. I blame LaLa 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I never realized it was possible to feel sorry for a spider. And yet, I do! Still, it would have been worse if it had crawled out while you were trying to go to sleep with your face on the pillow…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my goodness! I’m not too frightened of spiders, but I do kill the big ones indoors. Usually not with an iron, but … well…

    PS: I worry about meningitis a lot, too. Unreasonably so, I think, since the children have been vaccinated against at least one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Josna- I took a look at the link. It sounds like a great concept for a child’s story. I could never look at spiders the same way after seeing ‘Charlotte’s Web.’ It’s so beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So it’s clearly a day for spiders and normally I’d feel very sorry for that poor spider who snuffed it inside your pillow case but on this occasion I can very much understand your ‘disgruntlement’ having just IRONED the pillowcase. I can understand why you would need to running a B&B but it doesn’t make it any more pleasureable I’m sure… Anyhow – today in particular I can understand the ‘primordial fear because as I sat on the loo this morning and reached for the loo roll, the MOST GINORMOUS spider dropped out of the loo roll and onto my bare legs… particularly troublesome as I obviously couldn’t move.. I don’t know who was more shocked – me or the spider! x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Used to be terrified of them, but now the thought of using an iron scares me just as much. I never kill bugs, not even spiders, but I confess to doing dreadful things to slugs – they are the one exception where I’ll do whatever it takes


  7. Oh my! Well living in Texas these last 7 years has taught me a thing or two about creepy crawlies…
    1. I don’t like them
    2. I can kill just about anything with a flipflop
    3. I don’t like them.

    ps…This is Nikki from A Kinder Way. Blogging at a new place now. Stop by if you have some time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Spiders seem to be a common terror. That’s horrible that both u and your son experienced the same thing, preverbally. thank god you figured his out so quickly!!
    WHY do they have spiders in nursery rhymes???


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