walking up the beautiful porch
I noticed a large round spider web
intricate, complex, a work of art.
The owner of the shop came outside
both carrying some items for display
and to greet me.
Noticing where my gaze was fixed she dropped her item
pulled back in fear and made a loud squeal
“Ewww!! Spider web! Look at that spider!” she pointed
at the nice sized little creature climbing up its habitat
towards a pair of mosquitos it had managed to catch.
“Get rid of it, get rid of it!” she screamed in as high pitched a voice
as I can ever recall hearing.
As she searched for some large object to use to attack
I grabbed a long string of the spider web, and disconnected it from the ceiling
which only made the woman scream more, calling me
crazy for wanting to touch it
I moved it to the side of the building,
towards a bush and set it down there,
far away from the entrance and the panicking woman
who had run back into the store.
After entering the shop and making a minor purchase
once she was fully collected again
“Thank you for killing that spider,” she said with a smile.
“I didn't kill it,” I pointed out “just moved it away from the front door.”
“Aw, you shoulda killed it!” she said a little less happy.
I tilted my head and asked the question, “why?”
despite knowing I've heard this response before.
“Because it's a disgusting spider! Ew, they should all just die.”
I shrug, not wanting to press the argument further
knowing from experience that this will probably just make her angry
but as I leave I wonder,
I wonder if this woman realized that this little
harmless spider might have saved her
from two mosquitos carrying diseases
I wonder if she had given any thought to what might happen to the delicate balance
of the ecosystem
without spiders or other creatures
and then I thought and wondered why she had such
trouble tolerating this harmless little spider
who had been minding his own business
and why she seemed unable to handle its mere existence.
And then I realized that humans have a very long history
and a very bad track record in this department
whether it be the other hominids we wiped out for
us to gain supremacy of this planet
the Native Americans that settlers from Europe
couldn't share the continent with
all those people deemed “Just this or that” and easily disposable
during the early 1940's.
The intolerance shown during segregation
or the fact the majority of the 50 states in the land of the free seem to be
as unable to handle the idea of same sex marriage as
that woman was able to handle that harmless spider sharing the world with her.
The spider that could not logically do any harm to her or her person
her shop or her way of life
and I wonder what it is about humans
so uniquely on this world
that makes us feel the need to wipe out
whatever it is that makes us uncomfortable.
Is this our primary function? Biologically?
For our fears to throw things out of balance?
Or are we just so uncomfortable with ourselves
so insecure in our own skins
so scared of the world around us
that maybe we secretly feel
that WE are the ones
who do not belong.