When I was 10 years old, my parents decided to sell our little farm and move into the city.  They sold the chickens and sold my donkeys. I wasn’t too upset because they replaced my wonderful pets with a bicycle. The donkeys went to a good new home with pasture and children.

“Kay,” he said in a very stern voice. “Immediately, take your hand off the bicycle seat. Do not ask a question. Just move your hand.” Jay Ondreicka/Shutterstock.com

The bicycle was the best gift ever to replace my pets. I learned to ride it that fall. We were to move in the spring, so we put the bicycle and other items in the cellar for the winter. You can’t ride a bicycle through 10 or 12 inches of snow. Even a 10-year-old knows that.

The winter passed and we began to prepare for the big move. Last but not least, my daddy said, “OK, Kay. It is time for you to get your bicycle and bring it up out of the cellar.” I was so excited. I hadn’t even seen my prized possession for several months. Now, I was going to bring it up out of the dungeon and ride it!

My dad and I went around the house back to the bulkhead. He opened the heavy door and there were the steps to the cellar and to my precious bicycle. I saw my beautiful blue girl’s bike and ran toward it. It was slightly jammed in under a canvas and something else. It appeared to be protected. I ran up to it and grabbed the left handlebar with my left hand and put my right fingers under the seat.

Suddenly, I heard my father’s voice. His tone had changed. He was very serious-sounding, almost frightening.

“Kay,” he said in a very stern voice. “Immediately, take your hand off the bicycle seat. Do not ask a question. Just move your hand.” I had never heard my father speak in this tone of voice. I immediately took my hand off the seat.


My father observed my movement and then said, “Now, look under the seat where your fingers were and tell me what you see.”

There it was! Hanging gracefully from underneath my bicycle seat. A creature of frightening beauty. She was shiny black with skinny legs. Her body was plump, round and black. I was taken aback by her beauty. On her back, in sharp contrast, was the brilliant and beautiful red shape of an hourglass.

I left my bike there and went up the stairs. I watched my father go down into the cellar with gloves on. He carefully rescued the “beauty queen” black widow spider. He placed her somewhere else in the cellar and then brought my bicycle up the stairs for me.

“You didn’t kill her!” I said with fear in my voice. He looked at me with a gentle smile.

“Kay,” he intoned with a look of kindness. “She wasn’t hurting you and you didn’t hurt her. She has the same right to be alive and warm as we do.”

I have never forgotten those words. Oh, by the way, I have never put my hand under a bicycle seat again.

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