Who’s for dinner?

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I had just finished preparing my dinner when my neighbour Doris called round. I swear she could smell a meal from a mile away. After spending all the previous day obtaining the meat, trussing it up and leaving it overnight to stew, there was no way I wanted to share it with her. Plus, even though she would probably have dug in with gusto had I let her, if she knew where it had come from she might not be so eager. But then she might blab, and my reputation might suffer, so I couldn’t use my dinner’s origins to put her off.

The only thing for it was to hide the food. I carried it up to the top floor of my house and wrapped it up carefully. I couldn’t resist having a munch while I was there, as it smelled delicious. It tasted surprisingly good. I was brought back down to earth by my neighbour’s insistent calls from below, so I reluctantly left my dinner and went to see what she wanted.

Her first comment was that she could smell meat. I said that it was a new kind of air freshener, like those ones that people use when they are selling their houses, so visitors enter to the scent of fresh bread or rich coffee. Doris didn’t seem totally convinced, but thankfully didn’t press the matter. She finally came to the point about why she had come over. Her house had been flooded out and she had nowhere to go. She was wondering if she could stay with me for a day or two until things settled down.

I couldn’t say no to such a request, but I was still desperate to get back to my dinner, and even though Doris was in trouble, I still didn’t want to share the meal with her – she could go out and find her own food like I had. As a compromise, I said that she could stay, but told her to go and collect her belongings, have something to eat, and then come back in the evening.

I tried not to look too happy when she instantly accepted my suggestion to come back later, and I had to be careful not to show her that my mouth was watering at the thought of eating my dinner in peace. As soon as she had gone, I rushed up to collect my food, and then you arrived. I only agreed to talk to you because I saw you watching me yesterday, and I know you won’t tell Doris or any of the others what I have been up to.

It’s a hard life being a spider. There’s no peace when you find food. Even though I wanted to get rid of Doris, I couldn’t have told her that it was another spider I had managed to catch. She had nothing to fear from me – us water spiders are rather thin, so there is not much on her for me to eat – but I just couldn’t resist the meaty thing that walked into my house yesterday.

It was his own fault for trespassing. He was bigger than me, so I was very surprised by how easy it was for me to capture and subdue him after he tripped over one of my webs and got his leg stuck. The only thing I am afraid of is that my relatives might ostracise me as a cannibal because I succumbed to temptation, even though they would never tempt me to eat them, the skinny things. Well, the meat tastes good, and that’s the main thing... isn’t it?

Anyway, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to my dinner.

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