The Spider’s Web

No. 53 - 08th October 2017

It must be that time of year when masses of spiders come out and weave their webs all round the outside of the house. I was going out to the garage and walked straight into a web that had been strategically placed at head height. The sticky mess spread all over my face like a clawing hand. It’s even worse when you get the spider with it as well. However, on the plus side, now that the dew is falling, those same cobwebs sparkle like jewels in the low, morning sunlight. They look so beautiful. Back in the summer, my wife and I were sitting out on the patio, watching a spider build its web right beside us. We saw it begin with a framework and then starting from the middle, it worked its way round in circles, gradually spiralling out from the centre to form a perfect web. It was like an immaculate piece of modern art.

A few years ago the Victoria and Albert museum displayed a very special garment modelled by Bianca Gavrilas. It was a beautifully embroidered, golden cape that had been made entirely from spiders web. It took nearly eight years to gather and weave the silk from more than a million Golden Orb spiders which can only be found on the island of Madagascar. The fabric hadn’t been died in any way, it just naturally shone with a brilliant, golden colour. Another stunningly beautiful work of art from the humble spider. Isn’t it strange that such beauty comes from what is essentially a death trap to catch the unwary. The other day, I saw a bee caught in a spider’s web, and the spider was sitting just an inch away, patiently waiting for the bee to thoroughly entangle itself, before being served up for lunch.

There’s a passage in the Book of Proverbs which talks about a young man who is in danger of being seduced by the beauty of another man’s wife. It says, “The lips of an adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as Hemlock. Keep away from her, don’t go near the door of her house, lest you lose your honour to others and your dignity to one who is cruel”. There are so many things in life that seem beautiful and innocent enough to begin with. So we reach out and grasp them, only to find ourselves caught in a trap that’s almost impossible to get out of. Think hard, and take a lesson from the spider.

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