No tuffet, no curds and whey required

My wife was just sitting there, quietly reading, when she noticed this little friend descending from the ceiling to sit down beside her, and instead of being frightened away, she yelled for me to come see it. I was mildly surprised — it’s a male Steatoda triangulosa, which have been rather scarce this past summer (it’s generally been a poor summer for all spiders this year).

Sorry, the box I caught him in had a lot of fluff and dirt in it, and I’m not going to retake the photo. I’m going to have to release this handsome boy back in my house, in the hopes that there are some triangulosa girls lurking about.

I guess Mary just attracts all the spider boys in the neighborhood.


  1. René says

    Whoosh! The meaning of the OP’s heading just went past my left ear. Any native speaker care to explain it?

  2. whheydt says

    Re: Rene @ #1…
    From the Mother Goose rhyme collection…
    Little Miss Muffet
    Sat on her tuffet
    Eating her curds and whey

    The rest involves a spider.

  3. says

    The rest:

    Along came a spider
    and sat down beside her
    and frightened Miss Muffet away.

    Obviously, Miss Muffet wasn’t frightened at all. She was just going to get her DSLR.

  4. brucegee1962 says

    This was a poem I memorized when I was a wee sprout, and I rarely have a chance to trot it out. It was written by Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873-1904).

    Little Miss Muffet discovered a tuffet,
    (Which never occurred to the rest of us)
    And, as ’twas a June day, and just about noonday,
    She wanted to eat — like the best of us:
    Her diet was whey, and I hasten to say
    It is wholesome and people grow fat on it.
    The spot being lonely, the lady not only
    Discovered the tuffet, but sat on it.

    A rivulet gabbled beside her and babbled,
    As rivulets always are thought to do,
    And dragon flies sported around and cavorted,
    As poets say dragon flies ought to do;
    When, glancing aside for a moment, she spied
    A horrible sight that brought fear to her,
    A hideous spider was sitting beside her,
    And most unavoidably near to her!

    Albeit unsightly, this creature politely
    Said, “Madam, I earnestly vow to you,
    I’m penitent that I did not bring my hat. I
    Should otherwise certainly bow to you.”
    Though anxious to please, he was so ill at ease
    That he lost all sense of propriety,
    And grew so inept that he clumsily stept
    In her plate — which is barred in Society.

    This curious error completed her terror;
    She shuddered, and growing much paler, not
    Only left tuffet, but dealt him a buffet
    Which doubled him up in a sailor knot.
    It should be explained that at this he was pained;
    He cried, “I have vexed you, no doubt of it!
    Your fist’s like a truncheon.” “You’re still in my luncheon,”
    Was all that she answered. “Get out of it!”

    And THE MORAL is this: Be it madam or miss
    To whom you have something to say,
    You are only absurd when you get in the curd
    But you’re rude when you get in the whey!

  5. blf says

    I guess Mary just attracts all the spider boys in the neighborhood

    And vomit-spewing evil cats.

    it’s generally been a poor summer for all spiders this year

    Rumour is there’s a mad perfessor in the area with a world-wide dungeon of caves and caverns and secret under-volcano “labs”, breeding and starving spiders (and kraken and other eight-legged beasties). He(presumably) lurches about with a limp and a cold steel heart — according to the rumours — and is alleged to sit quietly in the dark in movie cinemas, stealing the masks off innocent movie-goers, then cackling to a hoard of mindless acolytes about his(presumably) exploits in turning zebras into fish (what this has to do with masks (presumably medical) in cinemas is a mystery whose answer is, allegedly, only known to his(presumably) only known companion, a black cat(allegedly) named “Evil”, or more likely, “Evilution”).