Conversation with a Spider

by Alice Woodrome

"Darn you spider" I said,
Brushing the web from my face.
A voice came from the pear limb,
"Watch where you are walking."

I strained to see the speaker.
I thought I was in the garden alone.
Then I saw the big brown spider.
"Are you talking to me?"

"Who else?" the spider answered.
"Would it hurt you to wait
Until the sun is fully up
Before you walk on my path?
Is that asking too much
For all the help I give you?"

My eyes grew wide in wonder
As I listened to the spider speak.

"I'll spend most of the morning
Repairing the damage you did."

"Oh, my. I'm sorry," I said,
"But must you build your web
Right across the path?"

"The better to catch my dinner," he said.
"You don't know a lot about spiders, do you?"

"I never talked with one before.
Hey, I've always wondered -
How do you get your web
Out in the open like that, anyway?
I know you can't fly -- so how do you do it?"

"I have my ways," he said smugly.

"And why is your web so strong.
It's just a tiny silky thread,
But it can stop a June bug cold.
That's always amazed me," I said.

"Ask my creator," he offered.
"I'm just being true to my nature."

"Then how about the pattern?
Why do you build it that way?"

"Because it works."

Then the spider added,
"You are so full of questions,
Let me ask you one.
Why do you jump in fear when you see me?
I am a gardener's friend.
I eat the bugs that eat your flowers?"

"Just being true to my nature," I said.
It wasn't a good answer,
But then I didn't get many answers
From the spider, either.


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