Antagonism

“Come on over,” said the spider to the fly. Dalinda is a common house spider. She eats bugs she catches in her web. Spider webs come in different sizes and patterns. Dalinda’s webs are created fast and haphazardly which means she doesn’t put much thought or plan into them.

A web here, a web there. Most spiders make one web but not Dalinda. She makes her webs for another reason than to live in and catch prey.


Dalinda lives near humans. She isn’t afraid of them but likes to make them squirm, jump, and sometimes scream. She learned how to frighten and then get away. Sometimes during the night, she weaves her web in a place where she thinks her human will accidentally walk into it. Other times, she propels herself with a shimmering thread of silk onto an arm or shoulder knowing the frightened human will jerk and fling her off. The hope is: the silk will hold her and she will climb up or she will land without injury. So far her antics have worked.

Every day, she either frightens a human or catches random unsuspecting insects in her webs. Most of the insects she caught are left alone in her web. Some are able to escape but some are left to die. Of course, her private home web is where she captures and eats her prey.

■■■

The humans are upset about this antagonistic and annoying spider.

Mark put his arm around Amanda his wife. “I think there are not multiple spiders but one spider that is bothering us on purpose.”  

She tilted her head back and turned her frowning wide eyes to her husband. “Why would it do that? Does it have it in for us? I thought spiders preyed on smaller insects, like flies.”

“I don’t know honey. Maybe the spider senses you are afraid of it. Or it could be playing. I’ve tried to kill it several times. The spider manages to slip away but it appears to be the same one.”

“Mark, what should we do? It’s always jumping down on me or I reach for something and my hand touches its web. Both creep me out. What if we had a baby or child in the house?”

“I’m not sure what we should do.”

The spider seemed to be getting the upper hand. Amanda was a wreck and Mark scanned everywhere hoping to catch it before it startled him. He was surprised at the actions of this house spider. He thought they were nearsighted. This spider saw them better than he thought possible and was smarter than he gave spiders credit for.

■■■

Dalinda felt elated. She hadn’t realized annoying people would be so fun. The next plan was to string one thin silk string diagonally across the upper part of the doorway into the kitchen. The second part of her plan was to sit in plain view on the kitchen table.
Her hope was the human with long hair, who reacted so deliciously, would collide with the web as she came at her with the fly swatter she always carried. The silk web would distract her so she could get away. Dalinda had already placed a web from the table down to the floor as her escape. She was ready.

The waiting began as a sliver of sun peaked over the horizon. Soon, she predicted a commotion would erupt at the door and that would be her cue to race away. Glee almost erupted as she anticipated what her actions would create.    

■■■


Amanda woke to the soft breeze that flitted the curtains. The sun was spreading its warmth across the landscape and into their room. “Mark, I have a feeling our spider is going to do something to me today. Could you come with me to the kitchen? The spider seems to know when we will be separated. We have the day off work, so maybe if we stick together together we can catch it at its pranks.”

Mark gave her a kiss on the cheek and said, “Sure, I’d love to do everything with you today. That means fifty/fifty. I’ll do what you want but you need to do the same with me. Fair?”

“Fair. Let’s make coffee as we plan our day.”

They made their way to the kitchen arm in arm—scanning around them. Mark noticed the spider on the table. “Amanda,” he whispered in her ear, “our friend is waiting on the table. That might mean something is up.”

Amanda stiffened then whispered and pointed. “Look at the door frame.”

“I’ll go around and sneak in through the dining room and when you see me, come in, but duck under the web.”

Amanda nodded.

Mark flipped the light switch as he and Amanda entered the room at the same time. The spider started one way then backed up and made a circle then ran toward the edge of the table. Mark was ready and clamped a glass over the spider, he had grabbed from the hutch in the dining room.

“Mark, why didn’t you kill it?”

“I don’t know. I kind of admire this little creature.”

“I hate it and all it has put us, especially me, through. I want it dead.”

“I don’t want to kill it but,” he put up his hand, “hold on, I’ll take it far away where it won’t be able to antagonize another person. Spiders are really our friends. They keep the bug population down. You may get more bugs around here. Are you prepared for that?”

Amanda smiled and said, “Yeah, I think I can handle a few bugs if I don’t need to worry and look over my shoulder all the time.”

Mark carefully took the offending spider a mile out of town and placed it in the middle of a field by a tree.


■■■

Children, what do you think of Dalinda? Dalinda’s actions were antagonistic. She tried hard to bother the people. Sometimes we can be antagonistic to others. We need to be careful not to annoy, bother, provoke, oppose, and plan things to get under peoples skins, which means antagonize.  The opposite is to uplift, edify, make peace, and help others feel comfortable around you. Edify means to instruct or improve someone.  


Memorize: Romans 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

Verses in NKJV unless otherwise stated


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