Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nature hurts.

Horsefly in Spiderweb
Source: Askville by Amazon

So, our house has had some ant problems lately.  My sister, being the "strong" one, has taken to viciously attacking them whenever she sees one.  And I mean VICIOUSLY.  Like grabs the first hard thing she sees (har har har) and runs all crazed hips forward-shoulders and head back and then starts whacking as though the ant were holding a gun to her child's head.  And these aren't big ants, I mean these are teeny tiny kinda cute ants.  Not the gross big ones where you can see all the separate body parts.  The point is, my sister is on this raging bug-hating/killing binge right now.

Lately, my sister and I have taken to studying in our dining room (big table, lots of space, close to the kitchen, etc.).  She studying for the MCAT and me writing for school and work.  Anyway, earlier today there was a big horsefly in our living room.  Apparently.  We were quietly studying when my sister grabs one of her study books and runs to the living room and starts poking around by the plants near the window.  She then comes back and says dejectedly, "Aww, man.  I lost it."  Me: "Lost what?" She: "A big fly."  I shrug, whatever.

Before dinner, we have another run-in with the big horsefly (I was going to include a picture but I literally retched in my mouth when I was image searching and saw them all detailed and blown up) where she loses it again.  By now, she's pretty riled up about this wiley horsefly getting away from her twice.  I don't care.  As long as it's not bothering me, I don't really care if it lives or dies.

Anyway, it's almost 11pm now and I go to my parents' bathroom tonight to get some floss and I hear a weird buzzing noise.  My parents recently got a Korean bidet seat for their toilet (that I have yet to see or use) so I walk in there wondering if that's what is buzzing.  It's not...  I look down where the sound is coming from and I see the fly... apparently frozen near the shower door hinge.

I look closer, and OHMIGOD NATURE IN ACTION!!!  The fly is caught in a spider web!!!  I back away and call out to my sister.
Me: Jiyun!!!  Remember that fly from before?  I found it!
J:  What?!?!!! Where!?!
I tell her and she runs off to the bathroom.  She returns 15 minutes later (NO JOKE).  She then proceeds to detail how she was watching it struggle and there was a small spider just stabbing at it with its many legs.  She can't figure out if the spider has started wrapping up the fly in its deathnest or is just poking at it.  I DON'T CARE!!!  This is disgusting and sad.  I tell her to go kill both of them quickly and put everyone out of his/her misery.  She says no.  She is going to finish her study chapter and check on them in 20 minutes.  I shiver...

20 minutes later:  She goes to check and returns 5 minutes later to report.  The fly is completely rolled up in a deathnest but there is now a BIG spider next to the wrapped up horsefly and the smaller, original captor is just a bit off to the side.  For some reason, upon hearing this, my eyes well up with tears and I am struck with a sense of hopelessness.  My sister shakes her head like there is something wrong WITH ME and walks back to continue watching the gruesome scene unfold.

I don't know why, but this really struck me as a sad and unfortunate situation.  I mean I know nature works the way it works for a reason.  Survival of the fittest, circle of life, food chain, etc.  But still, somehow, knowing that it's going on right in my own house and that there is death and pain and struggle and that there is nothing I that I could or should or even WANT to do to prevent it is a difficult way to feel.

I  mean, I hate bugs.  Spiders (which I know are technically not insects but whatever) and flies are among my least favorite things but their suffering still loomed rather large in my head.  And the fact that I really wasn't supposed to step in.  Besides, what would my interference have achieved?  I can't pick a "favorite" or a "side."  If I "save" the fly then I'm starving the spider(s).  If I leave the fly alone, then I am choosing the spiders over it.  Moral quandaries indeed!

I really have no idea what the point of this entry was.  Other than there was a bug situation that I think deserved its own spot on "Life" or "Planet Earth."  And that nature makes me sad.  Because there is no unilateral evil or "bad guy" to hate.  The spider was just doing what it had to do to survive.  And I can't begrudge or blame it for that.  And the fly, just by getting caught in the web, went from annoying pest to unfortunate victim/meal.  And its changed circumstances elicited pity and even a tear from me.  And THAT is not something that I expected when I woke up this morning.  To have shed a tear for the unfortunate lives of horseflies and spiders...

No comments: