As daylight crept in through the western windows of the CowChows this morning I found myself in the midst of a life and death struggle. I stood at the window watching night slip away when sudden and frenzied activity caught my eye. A wasp was entangled in a spider’s web just outside the window pane.
I watched for a while as the wasp struggled with all his might to escape the silken threads; his wings beat the air; he twisted and grasped for purchase but could reach nothing solid. The spider crept close but stayed safely away. He reached out one slender arm, tentatively touched the struggling wasp, and then retreated to safety. The wasp was several times the size of the spider but he had no defense against the sticky strands that bound him, and the spider had only to wait.
What should I do? Should I leave the wasp to his fate, or interfere and rescue him? The laws of nature would have me leave him to the spider. After all, spider’s have to eat, too. But, my own nature called for me to spare his life. What chain of events might I set off if I were to interfere with nature’s plan, or was there no real plan but only a careless wasp and a lucky spider?
I watched as the wasp grew tired, and finally still. The spider, too, watched and waited. Finally, I could deny my own nature no longer and I slipped out onto the porch. I took a stick and reached it out to the exhausted wasp. He grasped it and clung to it as I pulled him from certain death. I lowered him onto the porch rail where he staggered to his feet. Remnants of the web clung to him and dragged him down, and he collapsed there on the porch rail unable to go on.
I stepped close, and gently and carefully began to pull the tangled strands from his motionless body. Perhaps after some rest he would revive and fly away. As I pulled the last of the spider’s web from his tiny feet, the little bastard stung me!
I guess nature had a plan after all.