Why You Shouldn’t Save a Skink By Its Tail or Untether a Spider From Your Rearview Window: Everyday Magic, Day 394

I was just trying to help, honest. So when the cat brought in the iridescent skink, ready to tear off its limbs while purring loudly, I managed to grab the skink by the tail to take it back outside and out of cat claw reach. The electric blue tail broke right off, and only that, but it coiled wildly in the floor for minutes, jumping and twirling. I screamed for Daniel who, as a biology major, knows what many of you know: skink’s tails just break off automatically in such situation so that big mammals can’t have their way with the little shiny lizards. Luckily, Daniel could save the skink in a greeting card and take it to safety outside.

An hour later, when I got in my car and saw the spider clutching the side-view mirror, I remembered running hours of chores with that spider hanging on for dear life to its web between the mirror and car door while I drove 55 mph. So I did what seemed kind: I tossed a little water on her so that she spun herself down, and then broke her new webbing so that she went to the ground. I saw her racing toward the woods, pissed off but less likely to get flung to a highway death. Later that night, after I told Ken how I saved the spider, he shook his head and told me she had been there for weeks and even rode to the airport and back with him. It seems she likes the wind in her hair, or whatever slightly fuzzy covering she has.

All I can say is that I tried, and trying isn’t always the right thing. On the other hand, the skink will regrow his gorgeous tail instead of drying out dead behind the armchair in the living room, and the spider is probably webbing the woods right now……or maybe she’s crept back behind that sideview mirror in her spider RV. At least this time if I see her, I’ll let her ride and maybe direct any errant flies out my window right into her web.

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