Spiders and Vengeance

There is a spider who lives in the trees and bushes outside the front of my house. His body is about an inch long and he is grey and pretty fuzzy. I’ve seen him dozens of times and I think I could confidently pick him out of a spider lineup. Every night he builds a web accross the front path, about 5 feet out from the front door, connecting a tree on the left side of the entrance to a tree on the right. Every morning I get up, come out my front door, and destroy his web. Most of the time I walk into it, destroying it with my face. Sometimes I remember and take it down gently with a long stick. When his web starts coming down, the spider scurries frantically to the end, climbing onto the leaves of the tree and he stares at me. Hate in his thousands of spider eyes.

“Why don’t you just kill the spider?,” you might ask. I assure you it’s not some sense of righteousness about the sanctity of nature or the value of spider life. I kill spiders in my house all the time. Every time I see one, in fact. I don’t feel even the slightest pang of guilt when the shoe crushes a spider’s exoskeleten. Sure, he is outside, where he belongs, catching and eating other, more annoying, bugs like mosquitos. But even utility is not the reason I let him maintain his residence in the trees on my property without paying any rent. I haven’t killed him because the fate he is currently enduring seems far more brutal than the swift death of a crushing force. Every night he builds a silken masterpiece only to have it torn to shreds mere hours later. Leaving him to start anew, building another web to have torn down at sunrise. This is spider purgatory. This is his fate. If I have to get spiderweb on my face and head, so be it. Welcome to the jungle, Mr. Spider. Make yourself at home.

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