By Tom Mangan

Warning – do not read if you have a fear of flesh-eating spiders!

When Miss Trimble first saw the little spider in her bath she reached for the tap, thinking that a quick blast of water would flush him down the plughole and get rid of him. But then, at the last second, she relented. Instead she paused and watched his frantic attempts to climb the smooth acrylic surface.

Each time he would manage to ascend a few inches before his feet slipped and he fell back down. She began to feel pity for him and found herself willing him to succeed.

However, after twenty minutes he was still trapped in the bath and was becoming noticeably slower and weaker. Miss Trimble realised that he would never escape without her help. So she draped a hand towel over the side of the bath to provide an easy, non-slip route for him to climb.

“There now,” she told him, and she left him to find his own way out.

She was surprised and a little uncertain to see that he was still there the following morning.

“What am I going to do with you now?” she wondered. “I’ll need to take a bath on Friday.”

The spider sat, unmoving, at the bottom of the bath. He looked so sad and so helpless that Miss Trimble couldn’t bring herself to wash him away. “But what else can I do?” she asked him.

She was leaning over the bath as she spoke and a few crumbs of breakfast toast, which had lodged in the neck of her cardigan, fell close to the spider. He pounced immediately, grabbing the largest crumb and settling over it.

“You’re hungry!” Miss Trimble realised. “Why, of course you are! You’ve been there all night without a bite to eat. I should have known.”

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own