The Venerable was taking inventory of his stocks and of what he might be in need. Alex was off into the woods to the east to restock on firewood. Farmer Sal was tending his treasured crops in the garden behind the homestead.
Kassie had been left to her own devices to execute her general solo training regimen as was her daily responsibility as per the instructions given to her by Alex. She was not happy about it, but she complied with his request. Because, regardless of all else, he did rescue her twice and she did value and respected his opinions in this regard.
She was on the north side of the cabin doing her track work, alternating her jogging with wind sprints. She saw Farmer Sal in the distance tenting to his tender charges. As she swung towards the westside woods, she thought she saw something stirring within. Suddenly, she let out an ear splitting scream as she came to a jarring halt… “Eeeekkk!” Then she screamed aloud, “What is that?”
Kassie saw the biggest black spider that she had ever seen in her life. It was huge. It was about the size of an elephant. And here she was outside the homestead circle, without weapons, contrary to what she had been instructed to do by Alex.
She screamed again, but was unable to otherwise move, paralyzed in place. Kassie hated and had always been deadly afraid of spiders, as far back as she could recall ever since childhood. And this one was a BIG one! And it was now bearing down on her, being very fast for its lumbering size.
Kassie’s feet were frozen. She could not get herself to move. The spider was just a few yards away when suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, Farmer Sal appeared, and quickly spun a circle in the dirt around Kassie with the point of his spear. As he did so, he yelled, “Kassie, stand behind me, but stay in the circle!” Having completed the circle, he stood between Kassie and the spider and snapped the spear point in the direction of the huge animal. The spider stopped at the circle’s edge. It pwed the air with its 2 front legs. It gnawed its mandibles in a threatening angry gesture. It then retreated and withdrew back into the woods.
“Thank you, Farmer Sal. I thought for sure that I was a goner”, Kassie said with a sigh of relief.
“It’s a good thing I was close by”. Said Farmer Sal.
“I guess we are going to have to tell the others about this. Alex is not going to be happy with me.”
“Well, he’s going to be happy you didn’t wind up as that spider’s happy meal”, added Farmer Sal.
That evening during the suppertime, Kassie humbly and hesitatingly recounted her traumatic experience. Alex listened intently, his glowering eyes fixed on Kassie.
“But thanks to Farmer Sal, I was rescued just in the nick of time”, she offered cheerfully.
“It was nothing Kassie, really. Just be more careful next time, I see that Alex has not commented on this, so I will do it for him. Please use caution in the future as I know you have been many times advised to do. We would hate to lose you. I’m quite sure that I speak for everyone here on this.”
“Quite right”, added The Venerable. “We would miss the joyous sunshine you bring to us.”
“But something I don’t understand Farmer Sal. You ran away from the T-Rex like a scared chicken. Yet, you practically threw yourself in that huge spider’s path just to keep me from being eaten. You couldhave been eaten yourself. Weren’t you afraid?”
“Well Kassie, when I was running from the T-Rex, I was only running for my own life. With that spider, I was contending for your life. That makes it a different story. I didn’t have time to think about being afraid, and my own safety. And if that spider was going to devour me, that was just the chance I was going to have to take. It would have given you the opportunity to escape to safety and save yourself.”
Alex now broke his silence, “You don’t know about Farmer Sal. You just think he’s a guy the grew tomatoes and wanted to learn pottery. But, he is the reason I have done and learned some of the things that I have.”
“Oh stop that, You’re going to embarrass me”, complained Farmer Sal.
“No, no. I’m going to tell Kassie and The Venerable about you, because you will not.”