Miss Muffet

My very special friend Jax wrote me the night before last that her boys had found a brightly colored jumping spider in their back yard. It was a male Regal Jumping Spider and after satisfying herself that he wasn’t particularly harmful to humans, she invited him to join the family.

No surprise then that yesterday evening, as the sun was dropping in the skies over Lithia, I found myself on a blanket in the back yard with Jax, her daughters, and the recently named Giebun.

The little guy was so friendly; crawled all over us, shooting little strands of web and jumping from stick to hand to head. He seemed very much to be enjoying the visit with us as we were enjoying time with him.

I’ve never played with a spider before and in fact it was my first time letting one jump on me and crawl along my arms. He enjoyed my arm hair but found Kallista’s full head of hair more appealing.

The feeling of his jump to land on your arm was wonderful. There was very little weight to the little guy so what your eyes readied your brain for, was dramatically overstated when his landing produced a feather touch on your arm. It was wonderful.

We talked softly to him and while I don’t for a second believe that he knew what we were saying, the softness of our tone put him at ease and he just happily explored us without fear.

There were many instances, where we could see him stop and look at us. He would lift his head or adjust his stance and keep an eye on what we were doing. Well, eight eyes actually.

He was a remarkably intelligent and inquisitive little guy with bucket loads of character and when I wasn’t playing with him, I was taking some pictures of him.

They are at the end of the blog. If you are fearful of spiders, then be warned. I find him beautiful, but you may not.

While talking with Jax, we hit on the topic of people’s fear and misunderstanding of little creatures like this and that is what put the topic of today’s blog into my mind.

You see, from an early age we pre-condition our kids into a fear, or dislike, or disregard for certain creatures. We do so willfully without regard to what effect that has on the creatures (and arguably the child).

Invariably we lie about the intelligence and feelings and value of little lives and we do so for a few reasons.

Firstly, humans for some reason need to think they are god’s gift to the planet we all share. We need to be better, more intelligent, and therefore more valuable than any other creature.

And I get it. Someone creates a god, then writes a book on behalf of this god, and the book of course says we are all created in god’s image. There’s a degree of manic egotism in such a position, but much of the world has bought it. As a species, the only thing more dominant than us on this planet, is our egos.

The second reason we tell these lies is so that we can kill, eat, and displace, all these creatures without conscience. And we do that on a level that is so wildly destructive that we even endanger the planet we are all standing on.

But that’s OK, because one day the humans will colonize another planet somewhere in a far off galaxy, so we will leave all this destruction behind. The destruction we caused. Like a swarm of locusts, we consume, destroy, and then move on.

The third reason for our lies is ignorance. When we dismiss creatures in this manner, then we don’t need to learn anything about them. We leave such knowledge to the radical left activists, so that we don’t have to change our behavior based on real knowledge. So, we choose the lazy way – willful ignorance.

There are likely many other reasons for the lies too, but at the end of the day, these lies are all derived from our own wants. We want to feel special, we want to kill, we want to be lazy.

All lies are wrong in some fashion. And I know there are degrees of lying and we all do it.

But in my mind, the worst lies that can be told are the ones that are based on selfish wants, regardless of the damage that these may cause.

Ask yourself how forgivable it would be for you to experience a destructive lie from your best friend, just so they could have what they want.

I would argue that if your best friend did this once, they would no longer be your best friend.

Spiders are so maligned that we stomp on them for no reason at all. Just because we see them. How dare they be in our presence! And it all dates back to that spider that frightened poor little Miss Muffet away.

Yeah, we teach this behavior to kids very early on. But at least we make it rhyme. So sweet!

… just a thought.