Life is like a book.We come across different characters in that book who may or may not be significant.We do not even remember most.One such character which came to my life was a spider.But I confess I am not an arachnophobiac.
It was a cold morning when I went looking for something in an old shed.’Old’ definitely is an implication of dust,dirt and spider-webs.While cleaning the shed,at a top corner,I came across this spider.A remarkable structure it had,with large opisthosoma(abdomen) and little dark eyes at the top front area of its carapace of prosoma(cephalothorax).Such gigantic size naturally instigated fear for I could imagine its chelicerae with fangs that inject venom.
The spider was busy though, working on its web, using its spinneret that extruded silk from up to six types of glands. Hence, it did not even mind my presence, watching its creativity on its large orb-web.
I met the spider next morning and found him resting peacefully on its web. Though I had a temptation to disturb it, I managed to resist it. This resistance was due to the train of thoughts that ran through my mind that time. I did not know if it had been a jumping spider whose vision was heard to be good(human eye is only 5 times sharper than that of a jumping spider’s).If it is not, still, I could not help but fear its 8 long legs. With no extensor muscles in their limbs, spiders use hydraulic pressure to extend them, and that spider appeared pretty strong and cool that it could have easily attacked me.
For the next two days, I found the spider in the same position that I began to suspect it to be meditating or fasting. Neither was it paying any attention to the insects caught in the web nor was it hostile towards the younger spiders feeding on them. So selfless, I thought.
On the 5th day, as I was watching it, I observed a change in its mannerisms. It was breathing heavily for I saw its abdomen expanding and contracting like a balloon. With the passage of time, the frequency of this process increased. None of the younger spiders were to be seen. Perhaps, they too were as confused as I was, at its odd behaviour, that they ran away. The exercise continued for some time until it came to a stand still. I was quite relieved that it stopped its mockery. But then something scary happened.
The legs of the spider which were once beautifully straight and holding on to the web began to move in a weird fashion. Three of its legs twisted in one direction while the other 3 counterparts twisted in the opposite direction. It looked like it was practicing yoga.Soon the abdomen contracted and became wrinkled. The spider was DEAD.
I did not know why I felt so odd and sad. I witnessed the death of a spider whom I had been seeing for four days and may be that made the difference. This character in my book of life, however small or insignificant it appeared to be, taught me that human beings or spiders, death do happen and its not so pleasant. After all, ” life is a beautiful lie, death is a painful truth”.