A Lesson in Self-Sacrifice from a Spider

Tonight, I watched a spider die for me. That kind of self-sacrifice was, I have to admit, the last thing I would have imagined. I was experiencing some rather severe pain in my head and neck, especially in my sinuses. Suffice it to say that between practice and an unplanned visit to Wequamps, I overdid things.

This of course made it hard to sleep. Around about midnight-thirty I started getting a “go take a shower” push. I didn’t want to, but I did anyway, stopping to sit on the pot along the way just in case I needed to. While sitting there, a small house spider came in to join me.

Mind you, I’ve never been fond of spiders. I’m still struggling with my distrust of them and they creep me out a bit. Add to that the fact that if I let one live where Kara or John can see it, they’ll likely kill it or try to guilt me into killing it.

So, I’m sitting on the toilet and a spider is streaking towards me…

BOOM! About a foot from my foot, it goes into convulsions. Seriously. The spider starts writhing on the floor, flopping about in apparent agony. Meanwhile, my headache starts to let up.

Feeling sorry for the spider, I put down a piece of toilet paper, thinking maybe it had wandered into a spot of water that I couldn’t see. Nope, it used the paper to hold steady for a minute, then proceeded to continue thrashing about. It looked for all the world as if the spider was dying in front of me for no reason. Strangely, my headache kept letting up.

After five or ten minutes of this, I used the paper to lift it up to the counter. There it thrashed about until it rolled into the empty sink. I finished my business and waited patiently, watching the poor spider as it curled up into a ball and sat there. Looking closely, I could see a tiny something slowly waving about at the end of its right foreleg.

I’m not sure what it was, but it was the only part of the spider moving. It looked like a nearly invisible thread that kept elongating until it was about a millimeter long. I blew at the thread to see if I could move it, and it blew away! For a moment, the transparent something looked more like a tiny bubble or puff of nanoscopic threads, and then it was gone.

A moment later, the spider started moving again. It was still unsteady and thrashing about upside down. I blew on it, and it managed to turn over, but it slid towards the drain. There, it began to freeze up again and curl into a ball. I breathed again, and it drunkenly teetered into the drain.

I waited awhile, but the spider never came back up. Eventually, I ran the sink in the hopes of ending its death throes more quickly. By this point, my headache had gone from agony to annoyance, where it still sits as I write this.

I took my shower and after getting mostly dry, I went out and sprinkled a pinch of tobacco around a spider web in honor and thanks for the spider’s self-sacrifice.

I have a lot of processing to do to really internalize what happened, but it was definitely not a run-of-the-mill spider encounter.