Because it's there

Saturday, August 06, 2005

"Spiders are very interesting creatures," she thought to herself watching a white-ish speciment sail loosely in the wind. The bus stop was next to the forest so the oncoming nightfall set loose a small cloud of mosquitoes. It seemed a small revenge to stand next to a spider's web.

The poor spider. He would get thrown up by the wind, spinning erratically between the metal girders of the telephone booth and catching himself on the far post. The little adventure suited him so well he retraced his steps on the same silk skein and let loose once more.

"Doesn't seem to be quite useful. This spider hardly seems focused enough to make a web." She flicked her ponytail absent-mindedly and checked her watch again. All her life she had been called disorganized, but, if there was one thing she had learned in her young years of this world, it was that seldom does greatness come from planning. It was those that yoked adventure with two firm hands, that scorned the schedule and ate the map, that really felt the full blood of life in their veins.

And so she turned around to check on the spider again and saw another one, busy spinning it's web. This one seemed to be more concentrated on the task at hand. There was a distinct plan which was evident in the neat and ordered rungs of silk. It moved methodically, crawling on a newly laid out skein, trailing silk, then moving a few millimeters down and using it's hind legs to fix the silk to its support. She watched its movements, hypnotised by the repetition.

"Ouch!" A mosquito bit her on the leg. Why were the spiders not being more useful? There seemed to be lots of webs, around her, with spiders, their legs like withered grandmothers, sitting at the centre, waiting for prey while she herself was getting bitten by the dozen. If spiders could somehow emit enough CO2 to fool their prey, they're life would be sinful and godlike.

Her eyes silently accused the pretty web. "Perfect, but useless."

She did, notice, however, that the unruly and undisciplined spider had built a web that spanned an improbably wide space. He now sat prettily, at the centre of his assymetrical and unkempt creation, ready to feast.

"I bet that spider will catch a mosquito before the organized one. His web is so much more improbable there must be a hidden genius to it. I'll stand equidistant between the two webs, and find out which one wins."

So she stood there, for seconds, which became minutes, which became a sun setting from red to turqoise to dark. And still she stood, till she got tired of scratching her small mosquito welts. Just as she was about to smash one of the webs, a black car sped through the corner and swung in front. She got in and it sped away.

The two spiders, bored on their webs, grumbled between them.

"That stupid girl. Why was she sitting there taking all the mosquitoes away from us."
"What's that? I didn't hear you?"
"I mean, who does she think she is, the queen of the telephone booth?"

Just then a giant flying ant came tearing through and ripped through the organized spider's web and landed flat on the eccentric spider's web. Henry, for that was the disorganized spider's name, ran hilly gilly, eager to suck empty his prey. But, just as he was about to feast, the largest spider of them all swung down and pierced Henry's main support. Web, spider and prey fluttered wildly in the wind for several seconds, before tumbling down on the ground.

"Why did you do that!? Why did you tear his web down?" Dorian, our organized spider asked the malicious giant.

"Because it's there."