The Wasp and the Spider, A Sequel

Macro photography of spider web

Exactly a year ago, I wrote a post about a Moth at my Window.

The moth, in being attracted to the light of my computer screen, flew into a spider web and nearly died — would have been eaten by the spider— had I not turned off my screen. I cast myself as the hero in that drama.

Well, there’s a sequel.

Yesterday, a wasp showed up hovering in that same corner as the moth, bouncing around in the cobwebs, now thicker and wispier. As the wasp hit the web, out came the spider, predictably so. It reared up and lashed out at the wasp with one of its spindly legs.

At first, I was rooting for the wasp, just as I had for the moth a year ago. But then I realized it was the wasp that was making the attack this time.

The wasp wasn’t caught in the web. The spider was. It’s fight was a defensive one, to protect the homeland and the bounty – a last stand.

I leaned in, safe behind the glass, like humans do.

I could see the textures of the wasp, it’s legs wrapping around the spider, it’s stinger swooping down and in, repeatedly like a jack hammer.

The spider didn’t have a chance.

The wasp flew away, leaving the spider a balled-up mess, and I wondered if the wasp was just in it for the kill.

I silently hoped the spider was playing dead, but one of its legs had been pulled off and was dangling off the edge of the web. It was over.

I pulled away from the glass, went back to work, forgot about the massacre.

It wasn’t until the wasp returned that I thought about the spider again. The wasp, hovering , examining the web, the spider’s bounty now its own.

Wait. The spider.

The crumpled mess was gone.

Had the wasp eaten it already? (I would have noticed.)
Did the wind blow it away? (Nothing on the sill.)
Had the spider made a run for it?
(How am I to know?)

Hope is not an easy thing to let go of.

Even now as I type these lines, here on the other side of the glass, I stopped for a second to knock on the window. I’d love to give you a fairy tale ending.

But death is all around us. We just miss the drama because we’re wrapped up in our own.

I thought about my part in this particular death. I could have knocked on the glass earlier. I could have opened the window and swatted the —

Ha! It happens so quickly.

Like the spider to the moth and the wasp to the spider, my agenda on top of another’s, drawing a line through a life to finish my own story.

Depending on where you are in reference to the glass and the web, life goes on.

Or doesn’t.