"Did you hear the story about a girl who was afraid of a spider?"
Translation:Ĉu vi aŭdis la rakonton pri knabino kiu timas araneon?
Because at the time of the story, the fear was current. "Timis" would be that she was afraid before the story starts, with an implication that she was not afarid when it starts
To be strict, the same is true in english. Though it is rare to find anyone who uses the language in such fine detail.