Tuesday, March 27, 2007

the itsy bitsy spider

So when I got into my truck to come to work, there was a tiny crab spider directly in my sight line on the windshield. He’d heard that there could be no better place on the planet to catch insects than on the windshield of a moving vehicle, so he placed himself, assumed the stance, and waited until time to go to work. When I got in, there he was, front crab legs splayed far apart in readiness for prey to fall within reach.
When I got out on the interstate, he wasn’t fazed a bit, he just sat there like nothing was wrong. 45, 50, 60, 65, no problem.
Evidently there were logistics he hadn’t considered. If a bug hits the windshield, at this speed, it would be precarious traveling to get across the glass to retrieve it. Furthermore, when a bug hits a 65mph windshield, it hits at a 65 mile per hour minimum.
The first potential logistical challenge proved not to be a problem. The first bug to happen along pegged precisely across the plate, dead center in the strike zone, between his waiting, splayed, crab legs. But the second challenge, the speed at which the bug crossed the plate was indeed a surprise to the cute little predator. As it turns out, it didn’t matter a bit that the spider’s reflexes were too slow to grab the bug. In fact, it all happened so quickly that the poor arachnid stood there completely covered in his lunch, unable to move due to the paralyzing wind pinning him in a sea of bug goo against the windshield.
Had he the fortitude to stick it out, he’d have had a pre-processed dinner. But instead, when I slowed enough for him to wiggle out of the goo, with mere scrapes and bruises, he hobbled to the side of the window to seek shelter in the crack of the door.
It’s only my speculation that he has since returned to the old fashioned way of sitting on a flower petal and awaiting some unsuspecting, slow-moving honeybee to buzz along.

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