The Tale of Mister Spider

people talk most commonly

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of the butterfly effect

but today i am pondering the spider effect

i saw him there on the hook

where i hang my shirts to steam them

because i am too lazy to iron

my professional attire

he had spun a web on that hook

about six feet off the ground

on the back of my bathroom door

and i saw a couple beetles but

they were not in his web

they were on the floor

and i thought, you sir

are a none-too-bright spider

if you think you can spin a

web there

and catch anything


but maybe you will surprise me

Mister Spider


so i backed off my initial plan

to squash him

like the bug he was

and instead let him

take up rent-free residence

on the hook

on the back

of my bathroom door

day one he was zesty

day two a bit moody

day three a bit slower

and today

he was crouched

in a little pitiful ball

i thought he was dead

but he was not

just suspended

about two feet down

from the hook

unable to crawl back up

and apparently

unable to spin more web

to climb down


i felt bad for Mister Spider

and thought

as the play god

for that moment

of all the options

at my disposal

and none of them

were any good

how it must suck to be God

i would not want his job

i thought, bring a little beetle

to Mister Spider

but then, who was i to say

mister beetle deserved to die

so Mister Spider could live

then i thought leave

Mister Spider to his fate

After all, he had used his free will

to end up

where he was

and i thought of him there


then maybe i could gather

him up in a cup

and leave him outside

where he would either

become a meal

or find a meal

but in either case

i would be intervening

if he did find a meal

i would be enabling him

and his weaknesses

and if he became a meal

who was i to decide if

he would rather

die of starvation or

die as a meal

and finally i thought

maybe i should just

crush him

like the bug he was

out of mercy

but then

what if ten minutes later a

gnat flew by

and got stuck in that

one strand of web

suspending Mister Spider

he would have a meal then

but then maybe he would be too weak

either way it was not

for me to intervene

and i think as play god

what if i could hear

Mister Spider’s prayers?

what would he be asking for

a meal?

and how many bugs

were sending prayers

to not be meals?

and how many bugs

we praying not to end up

on the grill of a car

or on the losing side

of a can of bug spray

and who would i be to grant

any of those prayers

when i couldn’t even decide

what to do with the


on the back

of my bathroom door

he will likely dangle there

because i think the most humane


is to let him live his life

to whatever its natural end

might be

and then i will just have faith

that it went

how it should

because that is how it went

the end

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