Our Other Roommate: Shelob the Shaggy


The first time we met Shelob, we murdered several thousand of her children—freshly hatched spiderlings which were seething over one corner of our bathroom. We washed them down the drain, but took mercy on Mama who watched from the wall, deflated egg sac oozing fluid on her hairy abdomen.

Maybe we let her live because we felt bad about our recent infanticide and, in this land of karma, we were worried about our future reincarnations; maybe it was because she was just too damn big to contemplate killing (imagine squishing a small kitten).

Whatever the case, one month after that first socially awkward encounter, Shelob, Tay, and I (and Sarmishtha and Debasish before they left for Calcutta) have worked out a peaceful arrangement; she roams our bathroom like she owns the place, and we let her be, as long as she doesn’t jump into anyone’s hair, an event which, however unlikely, was feared by certain of the aforementioned individuals for a week or two. Shelob rarely strays from the walls and ceiling and occasionally disappears for days at a time, probably out the bathroom window, lookin’ for lovin’ and another batch of little ones.

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