Yes, creepy things are out and about these fall days, but not only in the humans’ yards. Hickory and I were racing along the top of a concrete wall, leaped off and when I looked down, I saw something wasn’t right.
We rounded back to the wall for a closer look.
“Is it…a Daddy Longlegs?” Hickory guessed.
It was. We crept closer. He didn’t look right.
Then Hickory started laughing. “He’s in a hole. The concrete is full of holes and he’s ducked his body into one of them.”
So he had. We looked from all angles, then raced to get Ol’ Wally and Miz Flora.
“I never saw anything like it.” Ol’ Wally twitched his tail. “I don’t suspect I ever will again.”
Miz Flora peered from the side, close enough her nose nearly touched the concrete. “Show him from this angle, Nutmeg, or the humans will never believe the harvestmen are this smart.”
I couldn’t get a good focus, but even fuzzy this shows he’s got his body in the hole, surrounded by warm concrete in the crust day. “But why do you call them Harvestmen?,” I asked.
“That’s the ol’ name for ’em,” Ol’ Wally explained. “You young’uns don’t use it, but it’s a good one.”
“Because they scavenge. Feed off the dead. And worse.” Miz Flora sniffed.
Hickory’s eyes gleamed. “Worse? Like these weird statues the humans are displaying now instead of regular wildlife?”
Her nose dipped. “Certainly worse,” she whispered. “Nothing a decent squirrel would never eat.” We inched closer to hear. “Most arachnids are predators, capturing live insects. Harvestmen might capture an insect or two, but they also eat–” she shuddered “–the leavings of birds and other animals.”
Leavings. Hickory and I knew what that meant: an even politer way of saying scat, or the dung of animals. My stomach rolled, and we all wrinkled out noses at the thought.
Hickory finally broke the silence.”Hey, someone’s got to clean up that mess. Better them than us.” And with a tail twitch, he raced to the nearest oak. “Let’s see who can gather the most acorns in five minutes!”
I ran to join him. “I’m in,” I chittered nervously. “I need a stash for this evening. With all these creepy things the humans are putting out, I’m going to hole up in my leaf nest early tonight.”