Monday, June 25, 2007

The Claw

This weekend I discovered that spiders really can get caught in their own webs.

Apparently, they produce several different kinds of silk. Some are sticky and others are not. Once they’ve built their intricate fly-catchers, they know where to tread. Each one of their legs has a couple of claws on the end that spiders use to grasp fine web threads and maneuver along their willowy highways.

Should they take a miscalculated misstep, another claw quickly saws through the sticky material and the spider is free to move about the cabin once more.

Some spiders, like the orb spider, like to get out and stretch those legs a bit. Check things out at the neighbors. Despite having eight eyes, they are as blind as bats, and that can lead to problems in spiderdom.

Once in a while, whether they mean to or not, one spider might just wander into another spider’s web. Not knowing the layout of the new domicile, visiting spiders end up in the sticky stuff.

But before the uninvited house guest gets a chance to whip out the old saw claw, the owner of the place is on him. In no time at all, the visitor is wrapped up like a cookie in a two-year old’s fist.

Then the owner of the web has a decision to make. He’ll either eat his guest or pull out his own little saw claw and cut the offender loose, letting the silky package fall to the ground and ignoring it. Either way, its curtains for the wandering araneae.

That special saw spiders carry seems quite handy to me, and something I wish I could get a hold of, somehow. Imagine: any problem that wanders into my little space and I’m on it! Grab it, package it, cut it loose and it falls away without causing any harm or damage. And my world is quickly returned to normal.