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As I was reading Eastman's: "From The Deep Woods to Civilization," a fascinating account of a Sioux doctor on the Sioux reservation during the time of the ghost dance, I noticed a black spider on the white ceiling. Above a wilting house plant, near a heater vent, he hangs from the ceiling. He has hairs, fangs, reproductive cells, a primitive nervous system. And I have a decision to make. If I try to kill him, he may bite me. If I leave him alone, it's quite possible that he'll bite me as I sleep. I hear the drum and the fife; I can hear him squishing in my imagination. Yin and yang struggle in my nervous system. Really, enlightened self interest calls for me to leave him alone.
But seeing as he's become a literary character, I really think all of our interests lie in his death. At any rate, a second ago, I got some toilet paper, leaped into the air and hit him, doing only mild damage and sending him hurling to the floor, very nearly onto me. Opposed against the white carpet, I saw and crushed him. Those fangs will never bite anyone; those eggs will never create new life.
Here he is on my desk: a furry, forlorn sight. His athletic frame will nevermore zoom across the ceiling. His stomach acids will never digest another meal. I squished him for a fetus of my siring that even now grows within a lesbian's womb and conceivably might read this someday. The death of this fanged but living being is on your heads... I killed him for my readers and for the literary market-place.
I squint at him/her with these fading eyes and I can see his tiny, shiny, black eyes looking back at me. I didn't hate this creature. I'd rather give the earth to him and his ancestors than have it be a wasteland. I admire his small strength though I quiver at the thought of his venom.
A thoughtful man would have let him be. Things might have turned out differently for us both. But I am not ultimately a thoughtful man; my bare bodkin is a pen. I am caught in the web of this society but every cell of my body is bent to my dread purpose. My weakness is that I am honestly intrigued by whether this black weaver, whose corpse now rests on a bed of coffee-grounds in an American trash can, is looking down on me and whether he has anything to tell me. Well, some thai leftovers have flown into my web and man cannot live on words alone.



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Comments

The following comments are for "The Tragedy of a Spider"
by seanspacey

Sean - this was funny!
I remember when we killed spiders and bugs without hesitation - there was no moral dillemma to it at all - kind of like your justifications. But there was a simplier time when what we did never venture to the "why's" of it all.

More peace, more simplicity... that's good right? But, I think what has changed, is that we now consider the rights and feelings of all the proverbial spiders - and contemplate the cosmic effect of it all.

I really enjoyed reading this!

Thanks for amusing me again : )

Felicia

( Posted by: feliciastone [Member] On: March 18, 2005 )





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