A friend called me up the other night to come and “take care” of some spiders at their new house. Her boyfriend is deathly afraid of the creatures and wouldn’t go near them. I am not afraid of spiders. I sort of like them. Not in a creepy way; I don’t collect them or anything. I’m just fascinated by their existence. They are in essence nature’s exterminators. Spiders have no reason to bite humans; they are not bloodsuckers, and are not aware of our existence in any case. I read that out of the 37,000 different species of spiders, only 25 are in any way harmful to humans. In any given locality you can expect to find from zero to (at most) three such species. If a person bitten by one of these guys obtains medical aid, death from a genuine spider bite is almost unknown in North America and a decided rarity worldwide.
Why am I talking about spiders, you ask? I’m a firm believer that animals and insects do not attack people at random. If you got bitten or stung by a bug or attacked by a pack of rabid wolves, there was a reason. I’m not referring Karma or the fact that you might of “had it coming.” We are all a part of nature, and it has a beautiful sense of balance. So, why is it that so many folks are still afraid of spiders? Do they not have access to the internet? Because all those facts I cited in the previous paragraph came from exactly two minutes of Googling. So, considering that this knowledge is readily available to anyone, I started wondering if maybe this blind fear of nature that so many of us seem to have, whether it be of spiders, dogs, jellyfish or whatever is not a result of ignorance. Perhaps we have some inner demons that we are projecting out into nature.
Bear in mind that while we are so scared of spiders that we use their webs as a decorative symbol of terror during the entire month of October, in Cambodia they’re considered a savory snack; along with crickets and beetles. I think the moral of this story is- if you see a spider in your house, you can step on it, because letting bugs run around inside is just uncivilized. But if it’s outside, tip your hat to the little bugger. And if you have some free time, grab a moth and throw it into his web for a snack…just to let him know that we're cool.