A/N: Here's another idea I had to get out of my head before I could do anything else. Quite short and quite pointless. Basically brought about because I feel quite sorry for the little blighters and could honestly not imagine living in a house without them. Of course, I could probably do without the cobwebs... Anyway, enjoy!
Frodo was sitting in his study, staring at a blank page of the Red Book. Well, perhaps staring through it would be more accurate. He was lost in his thoughts and was absently flicking the feather of his quill over his lips, occasionally murmuring something.
The sun was shining in from behind him as she lowered towards her resting- place beneath the horizon. The orange light made the parchment look as though it were ablaze. Frodo was only seeing it with half a mind though, as the other half wandered elsewhere.
Slowly, a small black dot lowered itself into Frodo's view. It stood out enough from the bright background to draw Frodo back from his thoughts. Frodo shook his head a little, frowning, and focussed upon the dot. It was a spider.
Frodo's immediate reaction was to jump back from it in fright, the sight of it bringing back memories he'd much rather keep buried. But as he began to calm himself, he looked more closely at the tiny little creature. It hung there still, swaying with Frodo's breath, desperately hoping that it hadn't been seen. Frodo smiled and laughed in relief.
"That's not a very clever place to build a web now is it?" he admonished the spider quietly as he put his finger through the line that joined it to the ceiling. The spider, realising that it had been caught frantically began to climb back up its line, though it was now attached to Frodo's finger. Frodo removed the spider from his finger and onto the desk where he watched it scurry away.
He'd always lived around spiders. His mother and father had preferred the spiders' quiet patience to the flies' intrusive buzzing and so never dusted away all the spiders. Frodo remembered quite clearly watching with morbid fascination as a spider wrapped a particularly fat bluebottle in its silk and then stored it away. Frodo could now empathise with the fly but still didn't begrudge the spider its lifestyle; he enjoyed watching them too much. It was as good as any sport watching a spider trying to catch its prey, the spider had to time it just right otherwise its catch would escape.
In fact, when Frodo moved to Brandy Hall he'd noticed the distinct lack of spiders. Unfortunately for the spiders, there were too many people living there who disliked them. However, Frodo had managed to find one that had dodged the maid's dusters. She was a large black one, her body about the size of a pea and her legs half an inch long, Frodo preferred that type to the ones with pinhead bodies and hair-thin legs; you could always see were they were. This particular spider had found herself a hole on the cellar steps into which she could dash whenever anyone came by. Frodo had seen her one evening when he was fetching something from the cellar and he'd watched for some time until he had been called away. He always felt that she was a little piece of home.
When he'd moved to Bag End, he'd also found it disappointingly devoid of spiders, even though he'd been living for many years in an almost completely spider-free area. In the end he managed to persuade Mrs. Gamgee, who did all the housework, to leave some spiders in less obvious places. Bilbo was none too keen on spiders after a certain incident in Mirkwood.
There was one spider Bell Gamgee allowed in the open because it was in Frodo's room. It used to have its web across the window and it was always there somewhere. Now Frodo thought about it, it couldn't have been the same spider the whole time, but it was most certainly always a descendant of the original one. That particular family of spiders was gone, destroyed along with so many other things in the occupation of the Shire.
The more Frodo thought about spiders, the more he decided that he couldn't dislike them. That in itself seemed strange. Though one encounter had imprinted itself upon him and was likely to give him nightmares for many months, perhaps even years, to come, he found he couldn't blame the little creatures that had so long been a part of his home. That would be like judging the whole of the race of men on someone like Bill Ferny.
Frodo's thoughts were once again interrupted by a small black dot lowering itself into his view. He stared at it for a short while before he laughed.
"Very well my foolish little spider, I'll leave you to your web-building." he said as he rose from the chair. The spider ignored him and continued its steady descent. Frodo smiled again and then left the room.