21 August 2011

The True Story of Carl the Spider

183.6 lbs -  *blank stare*

Carl the spider moved in some time in the early summer, though I couldn't tell you exactly when. He set up camp in our kitchen, building his web on the window between the cactus and the windowsill. While we normally don't allow insects (or in this case, arachnids) to take up lodging in our home, the fact that Carl spun his intricate web in such a precarious place made us rather fond of him so we decided to let him stay.

Hi! I'm Carl!

That, and he's better than any fruit fly trap on the market.

We watched every day as Carl 's web would snag a fruit fly and  he would venture out from the cactus to retrieve his snack. Day after day he would do this and to our amusement, he actually started to grow. I'm not talking super-natural tarantula size or anything, but he certainly was getting bigger.

However, as summer progressed, Carl seemed to grow complacent. Fruit flies came easy to him. Unlike his free-range relatives, Carl didn't need to work particularly hard for his daily bread. And it started to show. He rarely came out from under the fake flower glued to the top of the grocery-store cactus. His web started to fall apart and was no longer a strong work of natural art, but a couple of threads clinging desperately to the window. He just didn't look good. Carl was phoning it in.

Vegging under the flower

As I watched Carl's decline, I realised how much he resembled the way we live in a modern world. Our lives are easy. It's easy to pick up the phone and order a pizza, delivered at our doorstep in 20 minutes or it's free. It's easy to forgo a workout and lay on the couch instead.  I may not have a web in serious decline, but it certainly wouldn't hurt if I got off my ass and pushed a Swiffer around this place - there's enough dog hair here to knit a sweater.

It's easy to become complacent when things are easy, but that doesn't mean it's good for us. Things that matter take effort. Get off the couch today. Go to the grocery store. Make an amazing, healthy meal.  Play hard. Sweat. Heck, maybe even put away that stack of newspapers on the kitchen table. Care about yourself enough to not take the easy route, and take pride in the life you work hard to make.

Lookin' good, Carl!
There's a happy ending to the story of Carl. After the sudden appearance of a second spider (clearly someone who wanted in on the easy life), Carl got his act together, booted out the intruder, and renovated his web. He looks stronger and no longer vegetates under the fake cactus flower. He stands firm in the middle of the web, waiting to pounce. Today, I think I'll pounce, too! (but not on flies).

True story.

No comments:

Post a Comment