~~””~~”””~”~~~…””~”~~~”””~…~~”~… “~”~~~”~…Ms. Spinderella was prattling ceaselessly, it was another matter that I understood nothing – I don’t speak Spiderese, you see!
“Hey human, listen to her no more, cause I speak Humanese!” called out a voice from opposite Spinderella’s abode. I turned my head and saw a colourful spider swinging from the top of a blade of grass, six spiny legs holding on tightly while two slender front legs waved at me. “Hey Anansi, you know very well I am a linguist too bro, I was just teasing him”, retorted Spinderella. “You don’t listen to Anansi; he just sways from the tall grass all morning waiting to pounce on passing food, won’t weave a web the lazy fellow”, Spinderella addressed me, “Look at me though; I am a tunnel-sheet spider and I spread this wonderful web of the finest silk. See how it glistens drenched in this morning dew”. “Yes, and the lady waits like, for ages, hiding in that silken tunnel of hers, till some unfortunate insect dares walk on the web and she can run and grab it for lunch”, needled Anansi.
“To each his own. Some of you spin these beautiful, thoughtfully woven webs to trap prey while some like Anansi here just ambush victims. You insects are so fascinating!” I interjected trying to sound intelligent. And then all went silent. Anansi jumped from the grass and moved menacingly towards me, his colours deepening with rage. “Now, now, Anansi; he’s just another ignorant oaf – did you not hear Geronimo a while back?” Spinderella spoke up trying to calm Anansi, “They know zilch about us and it is for us to educate them”.
“But us? Insects? It’s like calling a human, a bird! He can’t be that much of an ignoramus”, Anansi was furious. “Easy bro, they have never taken efforts to understand us, so this was bound to happen. Let us at least be our sensible selves and teach them a thing or two”, said Spinderella in a soothing tone. Anansi halted advancing; the thought of being a superior species was pleasing to him. “Then, please tutor this human”, he spoke up decidedly.
“While we spiders are Arachnids, insects belong to, well, Insecta – two completely distinct Classes. While spiders have two body parts – cephalothorax and abdomen, insects have three – head, thorax and abdomen. Spiders have four pairs of legs while insects have three. Spiders have an unsegmented abdomen while insects have a segmented abdomen. While insects have compound as well as simple eyes, spiders have only simple eyes. Insects have antennae and many have wings too; spiders have neither antennae nor wings!” Spinderella educated me.
“I was indeed quite at fault”, I extending my apologies to both, “and henceforth will endeavour to be more considerate towards my fellow creatures”. Anansi seemed to mellow down now and shot off a parting repartee, “So remember this day – an Entomologist you were not today!”
– Narendra Nayak © 2018