Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Nice Story About…

Late one night, some years back, I was exploring the desert about my house with a flashlight. Night is a good time to view some of the smaller denizens of the desert. Various types of insects creep about at that time.

So, I was casting my light here and there when it fell upon a luminous object on the ground about twenty feet distant. It seemed to have the shape of a starfish with four or five arms radiating from a central point. I was stunned to see such a thing in the desert. The arms seemed to be moving very slowly. I approached it. As I approached, the arms began to shrink back toward the central body. It was diffuse, and rather transparent. As I moved closer the arms shrank with increasing rapidity and I began to make out individual lights, hundreds of them flowing toward a dark central disk. Finally I was standing over it. It was then that I realized that the glowing, moving objects were tiny insects. I shone the flashlight into the dark central disk, which I then understood was a hole in the ground. There I saw six or eight small lights, larger than the luminous insects rushing into the central hole, shinning back at me. The shock of realization hit me; those larger lights were the eyes of a tarantula staring back at me, reflecting the light from my flashlight, and the luminous small objects were baby spiders each one with a set of eight eyes all of them looking at me and also reflecting the light. The baby spiders had been out exploring the world and foraging and as I approached them I had frightened them causing them to rush back into the nest. Mother was standing guard just inside the nest looking back at me and ready to defend its baby…spiders!

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