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Tiny Spider

Sitting at a stop light on my way home from returning a DVD, I noticed a little white spider climbing about on the outside of the windshield. It couldn’t have been any wider than a quarter of an inch with its legs spread out. When I started up again, it hunkered down on the glass, trying to hold on. The car’s speed increased to 45 miles per hour, and still it clung there, like a tiny snowflake or a bit of downy fluff glued to the window. I was amazed that those tiny legs could hold on at such a speed. Now I am no fan of spiders—those I meet within my house tend to die a premature death—but I found myself hoping that this particular arachnid would survive. The odds against it seemed high, and I tend to cheer for the underdog, or under-spider, in this case.

We reached my side street, where the speed limit drops to 25. The little legs started to move again, slowly, as it tested them out. I took my attention off it for a minute, as I backed into the driveway. When I looked again, it was gone. Had it made it? I got out of the car and surveyed the area where I had last seen it, checking first to make sure no neighbors were watching. Nothing. Perhaps it had scrambled off or headed for another part of the car. I saw no point in looking further. Chances were quite slim that I could find such a tiny, insignificant bit of life—as insignificant as I sometimes feel when I look up at the night sky or stand before the roaring ocean. And yet it is, no doubt, the center of its own world, a world that I can’t comprehend much better than it can comprehend mine.

I wish it well. May it catch lots of gnats and live a long life, whatever that may be for such a tiny spider. Just so it stays outside, where it belongs.

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