I was enjoying a cup of coffee on the patio this morning when a small black spider under the table caught my eye. It was stumbling around beneath a few threads of a web that glinted in the morning sunshine, and tentatively outstretched a leg to test its strength.
An odd thought popped into my head: this little spider is going to die in front of my eyes.
To my horror, a few seconds later a large pale brown spider, like a thing from hell, quickly abseiled down from inside the hollow metal tube that is part of the table leg. It started a fight, jabbing the small spider with one long leg, much as I would angrily poke something with a stick.
The smaller spider shrank back, trying to defend itself. After receiving several jabs, its legs were folded against its body and was helpless as the bigger spider began bundling it up, six of its legs working quickly and methodically. A few seconds later, the pale brown spider retreated back into the table leg, airlifting its meal with it.
Although I hadn’t foreseen its demise, it made me shudder to think I’d had a premonition of the little spider’s death. It was gruesome and horrifying to watch, yet fascinating. I don’t think I’ll be sitting with my feet under that patio table for a while…