Sunday, November 14, 2010

Life Lessons Taught By a Spider Named Earl

Once upon a time in a basement far, far away, lived a spider. Like all spiders. he had eight legs, a threatening appearance and a penchant for eliciting terror from those who gazed upon him.

But, this spider had an issue ... this spider was unable to spin a web. Unlike his cousins who hung out at the lightbulbs at night just waiting for dinner to show up on their self-made platters, this spider was only able to scurry after dinner that was either slow, disabled or too dismayed with life to battle for another day of life.

For simplicity, let's call this spider 'Earl'. You see, Earl was born at a disadvantage. His mama was a woman that was raised in a family of 127, the youngest of the sac. She fought her way through childhood by webbing those who dared challenge her. Those males who won her affection were rewarded with eight-legged, hairy-thorax love complete with consensual death by ingestion of the spent male ... all in the name of love and survival of the family name.

Earl was special .. Earl was the only one to emerge from the sac ... Whether by chance or by choice, Earl was a survivor from the moment he stumbled over his many siblings as he entered the world. No matter that Earl's first impressions of the grandiose world that he was entering consisted of visions of food crumbs, a broom and soiled socks. No matter that Earl stepped into the unknown not aware that by simply being a spider he was despised, feared and hated. Earl stepped forward and tested his unstable legs ...

"yeah," ... Earl said to himself ... that is, if spiders talk to themselves ... "this is gonna be ok ... I must have been chosen to do something special ... "

No matter that Earl couldn't spin a web. Earl was a Wolf Spider. Wolf spiders don't spin webs but they have some big-ass teeth. Wolf spiders say, "I might not have all the tools to get what I want but if what I want can't run fast enough and I catch it, it's mine."

So, Earl opened his many eyes and spied an inviting light peeking under a closed door only five thousand steps, or for we bi-peds, two feet from the sac that was his birthplace and all he'd known. There was a whole other world beyond that door ... a future full of hope, whatever hope is to a creature that is reviled.

Earl, confident in himself, quickly crossed the door's barrier and found that he was not alone. As Earl surveyed his newfound freedom he marveled  at the possibilities ... so he can't spin webs, but his feet stick to everything ... no height is off limits. So what that he is small ... he learned that his self-image commands respect.

"Ok", Earl thought to himself .. "I'm not the biggest or the baddest bug on the block, but I'm a survivor. I'm worthy of respect. I have some big-ass teeth. I can't spin a web, but all spiders spin webs, so I'm unique."

With this in mind, a confident Earl considered himself to be not a spider, but an arachnid. A proper name worthy of consideration ... and with a confidence of a Tarantula, Earl ventured towards the baseboards in the far-away kitchen beyond the door from which he'd broached.


"Spiders are scary," the voice from above exclaimed. "Creepy bastards."

And just as quickly as a life is embraced by one so small, that same life is taken by one with no understanding of life beyond oneself.

Eight legs, four legs or two legs ... who creeps you out?

See ya on the other side, Earl. You're an arachnid in my book.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like the makings of an interesting children's book, could have many sequels. Love to hear more from Earl, even on the other side.