I don’t know where my phobia of spiders came from and I know it’s silly, but thats the point of a phobia- it is an irrational fear. I know people who have much more amusing phobias, worms, yellow cars, moustaches etcetera etcetera. But I have one of spiders and it’s a bad one. I once nearly dropped the pen playing pictionary when I drew a cartoon spider, that’s how bad it is. I’m currently itching all over and have a slightly sweaty brow as I type this to boot.
Does it make me a wuss as one of the commentators on wifey’s blog mentioned? I don’t know and to be perfectly honest, if the horrible aracnids keep away from me, I don’t particularly care either :)
But anyway, on to the Untold and Sensational Tale of Bunny’s Adventure. It was a hot day and shorts were very much the order of the day for M’laddo and me. Wifey was wearing either trousers or a skirt, I forget in the horror of unfolding events. I would have remembered had she been naked but other than that my mind occupied itself with other matters of a leporidic nature (that’s bunnies in case you hadn’t realised and thought I was butterfly hunting or something) to the exclusion of pretty much everything else.
We loaded up the car and drove what turned out to be about 3 minutes up the road to the Walsingham light railway, a rather delightful narrow gauge railway, completing lacking any warning signs about spiders or escaping rabbits. Purchasing a ticket was the usual British affair- none of the customers wanted to get on until they had paid in case they got told off and the volunteer run railway weren’t bothered about tapping people up for money until about ten minutes prior to departure, so there were dozens of anxious middle aged people milling about desperate to give money to someone.
Eventually money had been exchanged for tickets and the train was ready to depart. Toot, and indeed toot! as we talked to M’laddo about trains, the noises they make and so on.
His excitement was palpable. This was his first trip on a train, and it was an open carriaged steam train to boot. His little legs were drumming the seat and he had a huge grin on his face. The world builds you up for a fall doesn’t it?
He arranged his cushion just so and passed me Bun-bun (who hadn’t had a bath for several days and was getting a bit stinky) for safe keeping as we moved off. Let me reiterate this, my two year old boy, who worships me and trusts me more than anything in the world, gave me the thing he loves most after his Mummy and Daddy to look after. Right, hope I’ve made that clear.
Bunny’s ear gets a good sucking and was terribly wet. I had shorts on and didn’t want the soggy ear lying on my lap so I started down the path to ther terrible incident by balancing Bun-bun on my knee with his wet ear flapping in the warm breeze. Time passed and we enjoyed the passing scenery, which for a large part consisted of beds of stnging nettles lining the railway cuttings, but there was a steam engine up in front and that made even nettles exciting.
And then disaster struck in all it’s evil 8 legged horror. I caught site of something out of the corner of my eye and looked down at my lap. Looking up at me was a horrible black spider. I let loose a little girly shriek and my knees flew up all of about 3 inches. Unfortunately 3 inches was enough to catapult the most precious inaminate object in the world out of the train. I think the spider scuttled off under wifey’s rucsack, again this is a little hazy as I don’t really remember much other than watching Bun-bun drift gently and in slow motion over the side of the train.
Chuff Chuff, we steamed merrily onwards with Bun-bun disappearing into the distance. I was distraught immediately, Wifey either took it brilliantly (she was so calm, non judgemental and so on) or immediately went into a state of shock/denial on the matter. I shall credit her with the former, despite her calling me a “numbskull”- it was probably deserved.
I made a mental note of where the incident had occured but couldn’t really think of anything else other than: 1) how the hell we were going to get Bun-bun back and 2) how I’d completely betrayed and failed the little fella who is still at the age when Mummy and Daddy are God-like beings who can solve any problem.
In the short term we solved the problem by lying through our teeth to M’laddo and telling him that Bun-bun had hopped up the front to drive the train. He didn’t look convinced and there were a few tears but generally I think he bought it because he wanted to. Lets face it, if you’re two and your idiot father throws your favourite toy off a train, you’ll want to believe any hogwash you’re told rather than the truth wont you?
The next ten minutes were hell until we reached Walsingham and I admit I blubbed a little bit at my own stupidity and on behalf of M’laddo. I actually had to send Wifey to speak to the guard about recovering Bun-bun of the way back as I was too upset. The guard was really good about it and said that sort of thing happens all the time (apparently) and even showed M’laddo the engine and everything (fortunately M’laddo didn’t think to ask where Bun-bun was if he was supposed to be driving the damn train). I was filled with a mixture of relief and dread- we stayed on the train for an immediate return trip, and my mind was in a turmoil of whether the guard would spot Bun-bun, whether I would be able to grab him if the guard missed him and so on.
Fortunately Wifey helped my turmoil by distracting me by saying that Bun-bun could have fallen under the train so we might actually just choo-choo past a heavily dismembered toy rabbit that would probably traumatise M’laddo for life. I didn’t cover myself in glory by having a bit of a rant about the laws of physics and such but it did distract me from wallowing in self pity for at least a couple of minutes.
This is already probably the longest post I’ve made and many of you probably already know the outcome. Suffice to say the driver tooted his whistle when he saw Bun-bun on the track and slowed down, the guard grabbed the escaped rabbit and all was well and right with the world.
When the guard brought Bun-bun up to us at the end of the ride, it was very much like he had been driving the train.
Hurrah for the guard then!!!