My friend, Mrs R, was always an arachnophobe, and was not at all interested in Mrs Bert, our perfectly harmless rescued rain spider.
She would not even come near when I first introduced her, but slowly, over the past few weeks, every time she has visited she has taken an interest.
And unbeknownst to us all, Mrs R had a secret goal: She was determined to conquer her fear of spiders.
So yesterday, she decided the time was right. Initially she grabbed my wrist so tightly I thought the blood supply had been cut off! Then she averted her eyes while the spider very gently crawled onto her hand.
Bert is still semi-invalid so there was no super fast scurrying, but rather a very tentative exploratory dabble with her front legs.
After a few moments of trembling, she looked at the spider who had hardly moved, released her vice-like grip on my wrist and was able to pose long enough for Ems to take a photo.
Believe me, to go from pants-wetting fear to this, is quite an achievement, make no mistake.