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Friday, May 8, 2015
THE JUMPING SPIDER
There are all kinds and colors and sizes of jumping spiders, but they can be recognized by their large eyes and their resemblance to scruffy, super-energetic bulldogs. Their eyesight is excellent, and they turn really fast. You needn't fear these spiders.
Once when I was sitting by a lake in a nudist camp, one of these critters happened upon me. Somewhere I had heard before that they don't hurt you, so I managed to get it on the palm of my hand. The spider was twitching this way and that, sighting its whereabouts and options, and I put my other hand up, a few inches from the spider, and it stopped and stared at it. Then suddenly it jumped from one hand to the other! It then turned around and peered back at where it jumped from, and I moved my empty hand further away. To my delight, the spider jumped back. We continued this game, with me moving my hands further and further apart. It got to where it would have been a shorter distance to jump to my face, but the spider knew by then that the game was to jump from hand to hand.
Finally it missed its mark and fell short. It was then that I realized it lets out a very fine strand of silk as it jumps, and instead of falling to the ground, it simply swung down on the end of the silk and quickly climbed back up onto the hand it had jumped from and tried again.
I was amazed throughout this game with a jumping spider and have liked these odd creatures ever since. Next time you spot one, see if it wants to play. Nature can be a lot of fun.
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