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1.28.2007

The Spirit of the clock

Our accomodations are really quite nice. The entire upstairs of the house of David and Felicity. We have a sitting room, a veranda with a view of the lake and the Congo as well as the Burundi mountains behind us, two bedrooms, two baths and a small kitchen. Quite delux. I have hot water, Derek not so much - he is not complaining - truly you don't care to much for the hot stuff here.

In our sitting room there is a clock on the wall. The ceiling is at least 12 foot, and the clock is placed high. It has never told anything close to the correct time, but D and I have been working on our African cool so we don't care. Niyonzima came up and noticed how off it was - this bugged him and he got up on a chair and took the clock down. Behind the clock was exposed one the the fabulous Burundian 2 inch spiders. They move way to fast and are very smart. The only creature in the house that can catch one is the extremely predatory burundian chicken and she was not present. But this spider was behaving very weirdly - she was running around the nail that had held the clock in very nice clockwise circles. She kept this up as we watched. David says "look!, the spirit of the clock has posessed the spider!" he tried a valiant swat, but the spider forsook the circle and dodged into the woodwork. Just out of curiosity I asked If the spider was poisonous.
"Well. no - not poison - they don't bite"
I could tell there was more
"what do they do?"
"They do a thing I don't really know how to explain in english"
"try"
"They throw a substance out of their mouth that hurts"
"They spit poison"
"no, I told you,not poison - a liquid that burns - on the skin it looks a lot like that patch on your neck, peggy"
"nice, we have a acid spitting spider in the house"

I had awakened the other day with a burning patch on my neck - it has been healing.
spiders are not stopped by mere mosquito nets.
yikes
I think I am inviting the chicken upstairs.
sweet dreams
Comments:
I thought the chicken was dead, or given away. You need one of the bug catcher things from Lee Valley Catalog! I got one for Karen, just for spiders (she hates them even though she used to be a backpacker). Those spiders sound pretty witchy. Nasty spit.
 
This is the daughter of the previous chicken, who was sold down river by Elie. I am telling you, she is tough. patrols the yard like a soldier. In a very precise pattern. she can get a grasshopper at two meters. Think velociraptor from Jurassic Park. No escape for bugs. Then the other day we saw her take down, kill and eat a small finch. Do not mess with these chickens.

A bug catching device would not help with the spider issue because they move so fast that you would never sneak up and trap them. YOu can swat and cause them to run away - at least temporarily, but you have to sleep sometime.
 
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