Beetle and The Spider

December 11, 2014 — 32 Comments


It was late and the bottle of wine was slowly emptying and the tongues of cigarette smoke licked my cheeks as they rose and assembled in haze above us. We said we hoped it would rain.
There are not many things that go together like lateness and wine and rain on a tin roof.
So when it rained we drank more wine and I told stories and said silly things.

And then there was Beetle.

A bbq sat dormant from winter, the hose stretching down lay unconnected to the gas bottle on the floor and it was between the front left leg of the bbq and the descending hose that little Beetle was suspended in mid air, caught by the single strand of a spiders web.

Look at the beetle he said, its been caught in a spiders web.

And so I looked and then I couldn’t take my eyes off it.
Where in human history and wherever in the predictions of our future has there ever been even whisperings of technology that could match the remarkable spiders web: A thread of spun crystal, invisible save only for the moments it catches light and in its holding of water droplets like threaded diamonds on a priceless necklace. So impossibly fine that as you near it you shallow your breathing believing that this spun crystal will shatter even at your exhale.

But it doesn’t shatter.
It stops fast moving things dead in their tracks. It will hold arms and legs still with the power of iron yet as gently as a whisper.
No, never will there be in all of our future an invention as remarkable as the spiders web.

We watch Beetle fight against these chains it can barely feel and probably not even see and in that moment, I want him to get free. There was only one strand, Beetle will get free if he can have a bit more time…

And then there was the spider.

She free falls down and kisses Beetle with more crystal thread. Up she goes and the thread is secured to the wood, then down again and with another kiss there is another thread and again she ascends and secures it.

Up and down and up and down she goes and she is moving with such speed and the beetle may not get free now. We are mesmerized by the methods of the spider. She knows exactly what she is doing. She makes no mistakes.

I ask if we can set Beetle free and he says no, we don’t have the right to set Beetle free and I know that’s the truth.

“Who will win?” I ask. And he asks me who I think will win. “I desperately want to say Beetle, because I want him to win, but if this were a bet I would put my money behind The Spider, and I feel terrible for saying that but it’s the truth”

He agrees. The Spider will win.

He explains “The spider won the moment Beetle flew into the web. The spider was up there the whole time looking down. She saw him suspended there, struggling against that single thread and she wasn’t worried. She would have been up there saying ‘struggle all you want to little Beetle, its no use.’
And she was right, he has already lost.

“This wouldn’t make a good thing to bet on would it” I said “because no one would bet on Beetle, they would all back the spider wouldn’t they” and he said “No, I think you could convince a man bet on Beetle. You would say to the man ‘look at how big that beetle is! Its wing is several times bigger than the whole spider and he’s got two of them!’ You could convince men to bet on the beetle because it makes sense. It makes sense for Beetle to win on size alone. But Beetle isn’t going to win. The spider is.

“Do you think he knows it?” I say “Do you think he knows he has already lost? Does he know he is going to die?”
He says he doesn’t know for sure, he says that he thinks Beetle would know he was in deep trouble, but he wouldn’t be fighting if he didn’t think he had a chance to survive.

And the spider is still moving up and down and up and down and with each kiss the crystal shackles tighten.

“But maybe not” I say. “Maybe he does know but he cant help himself but to fight. Is it possible for a creature to ever just accept death? Even in the moment where you see death all around you and its inevitable, don’t we still rage against it? Doesn’t the Gazelle still run from the cheetah that she knows she could never outrun? Doesn’t she still kick out as the cheetah tackles her to the ground? And humans? Even in our darkest or dangerous moments we never just lay down and die, we still buck against it.

I have seen people who are moments from death but are still gasping and gasping, just wanting One. More. Breath. So I think Beetle knows he is dying, but he cant help but fight against it and so even Beetles must value their lives.”

Because of this thought I look at him and ask him to please set Beetle free. When he doesn’t move to do so, I ask again. I know that he wont though. It would be more unjust and more unkind to interfere and so all we could do was sit there and watch as Beetle fought and fought against the crystal thread that was being knit together into a beautiful white shroud, bandaging him up for wounds he’s yet to receive.

He goes very still.

We talk about how remarkable this scene in front of us is. We say how privileged we feel to be observing this moment between Beetle and The Spider and how tragic it is that we spend time and money chasing experiences or sitting in front of the next big blockbuster film and yet as he put it “this is one of the best things I’ve ever seen. This is the real blockbuster.”

Suddenly Beetle rouses himself. Oh my darling little Beetle. He puts in one last go at life, one last fierce struggle and then without warning….

Beetle flew free.
We gasped and then we were quiet as we watched Beetle fly up, up, up into the light where all the other free bugs danced and then out into the darkness of the night.
My eyes filled with tears and I felt so moved that I couldn’t speak. I had spoken death over him because I could see it was inevitable but I was wrong. I called out to beetle that I was sorry that I didn’t bet on him, that I’m sorry about what I had said but he flew away regardless.

We didn’t set him free, he set himself free. And even though he was wrapped in the crystal cage and there was no way out he set the example that no matter how hopeless things look, no matter how trapped you feel, don’t give up. Because like Beetle showed, it may be that one last fight that sets you free.

32 responses to Beetle and The Spider


    Wow, that was a beautiful read.


    The beetle lived its truth, and was just being who it was within. As was the spider. A great share. We are usually too busy with our lives to see the beauty of those truths around us. Namaste


    WOW! So moving and elegantly written!


    Welcome back. Lovely story–a fine return 🙂


    Ohmygoodness. This is perfect ❤


    I see myself in the bettle. Sorry spider. As a servent of Jesus and mankind life gets pretty darn tuff sometimes. I get all caught up in the world and want to give up. I don’t though I have faith a strong faith. I never give up. I run the race. One day I will be free. I will have my reward because I never quit. I enjoyed your writing tremendously. I was captivated and drawn in from the beginning. Well done.

    Much love Tom


    Bravo! Excellent story – this was the best thing I read all week. If I could, I’d raise a glass of wine to your and your storytelling (but I’m a recovering alcoholic), I’ll raise a glass of soda to you, Ms. K! Cheers, and keep that last fight in you!
    – mosk


    That was an amazing story! It is both well written and uplifting! You have a great talent.


    Marvelous. You could have ended it at “This is the real blockbuster.” But thanks to the endless struggle of Beetle, it was even more beautiful. Had you freed Beetle, he would not have known his own strength, nor grown from the experience (if he did indeed grow). This is why sometimes we must struggle, even though we think some other force should free us.

    Simply beautiful.


      Thank you! That is exactly the lesson I took away from it! I was selfish when I wanted to free him because his struggle made me uncomfortable. I wanted to interfere with nature because I thought that the only way the story would end well is if I freed him.
      So wrong of me.
      Watching that incredible scene play out in front of me and then watching beetle fly away impacted me so much more than I can express. Thanks for reading!!


    Awesome. Thanks for sharing, but only you (and “he”) got to really see and experience it, it was for you two. But I feel like I got a sense of the impact it had reading your account. Hope 2015 is treating you ok thus far.


    Now that’s theater – and these are compelling words that made me feel I watched the struggle, too. It’s nature at work, and it’s representative of the webs we both set and get caught up in every day. What will be our fate?

    And we shouldn’t forget Spider, who saw one get away. He must fix his web and try again.

    mywonderfulplanet March 3, 2015 at 7:56 AM

    The style of your writing is remarkable! Never have I ever enjoyed a story about a spider since I was probably three 🙂

    mywonderfulplanet March 3, 2015 at 7:57 AM

    Reblogged this on mywonderfulplanet and commented:
    Never. Give. Up.

    mywonderfulplanet March 3, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    I just realised that there’s only 12 days to go! I know this doesn’t mean that you will jump in a relationship or date straight away and that would be it with singledom but still. What a milestone that is! I’m happy that I was able to witness this, even if it was just virtually, but sometimes this blog gave me some strength and hope. You are truly inspiring and can’t wait to read about the summery of the past 1000 single days 🙂 I’m going through some hard time right now, so genuinely this count down will be something to look forward to!


      And today the final day! I just logged in to write my final post, this was the first comment I read. Where has the time gone? 1000 days? Time is like sand falling throughout fingers, the grains just rush through. I will be thinking of you as I write this last post, and I hope that you learn something very important about this life, something I have learned in over the last 1000 days: Things always work out. You have to have faith that they will and not panic when you can’t see how they can. When we panic we interfere with the process. Be calm, no matter what you are facing and you’ll see I’m right.

        mywonderfulplanet March 17, 2015 at 4:36 AM

        ❤ Thanks a lot and looking forward to that final post, I'm sure it will be a masterpiece like all of your writings 🙂 and if you ever got around to that book… I will be one of the firsts to buy it 😀 lots of love you lovely stranger 🙂

    mywonderfulplanet July 15, 2015 at 6:44 PM

    I’m still looking forward to your final post… is it still happening? ❤


    As always, a great post. I remember you started blogging roughly around the same time I did in 2012. I hope you achieved your goal. More importantly, I hope you continue to blog, even if it’s under a different blog name. You’ve got real talent as a writer. Take care and best of luck in whatever you choose to do.


      Tallent as a ‘web-slinger’ and ‘yarn-spinner’ certainly. & so in a thousand days of gracing the world of genuine lovers with your otherwise, psychologically unavoidable convalescence, you say you’ve learned not to be reactive–which’s to say abreactive to the point of hyperactivity? That is certainly a good start. Do let us know what you’ve learned in another thousand days of said mindful practice, now that you’ve, perhaps, ‘learned how to learn’? = ] & consider yourself fortunate indeed: you’ve apparently not yet had to learn that it does not in fact “work out” everyone can learn to overmaster their own brain chemistry and basic biology as you report having accomplished. Would it were so, even being an attractive denizen of the ‘developed world’, living above the poverty-level, and fairly well-spoken {granted} guarantees anything in this world–or that the average sociopath actually cares whatever state their ‘marks” amigdalas may be operating out of. Lest we should all have been victims of abuse by age 13 for simply not yet learning ‘don’t panic’. Such rarefied ‘lovely’ sentiments, worthy of childrens’ fiction-writing, indubitably.
      Oh, and congratulations upon ‘flinging’ yourself headlong into the next train-wreck of a ‘relationship’ with another specimen of what you’ve consistently regarded as ‘manhood’, 1,001 days later, but of course, darling. ; ) Or save your ‘self+others’ SOME trouble and at least look up ‘Stockholm syndrome’, not necessarily to learn anything about the fundaments of ‘human’ animal-nature as I’m convinced it wouldn’t do myself much greater good and certainly but shabbily ode honor. Not one self-blaming victim has ever yet thanked me with anything approaching so much as reciprocal, communal concern, therefore I expect nothing …less! (How’s that grab ya, for some serious mid-‘life lessoning’? X)
      As for me? About, three-thousand, five-hundred days of involuntary ardorous exile later … ? I could say, in ‘kind’, “Don’t worry, be happy” as well any genuinely detached stoic may, but then again, as it’s also said,
      “Might as well be hung for a sheep, as for a lamb.”

      “Some folks are hollow,
      got no tomorrow-
      -happiness, can neither
      beg, steal nor borrow . . .”

      But what do I know? Not as if I ever said ‘no’ to anyone and actually stood by my word, most assuredly.

      [“Just another WordPress…” ‘asshat’ to the likes of you, as ever ; ]

      p.s., thanks for refraining from leading me into temptation that there might be some greater ‘love light’ in the ‘bloggosphere’ for myself. I’m sure it must’ve been no less difficult for you to resist.


        Oh my. If writing ever acts as a connector to humanity then you have been the one to prove it. Who are you? WHERE are you? Who ever and where ever you are: thank you for being ‘here’ with me right now as I read how you have reacted to me and what I had to say. You are magnificent.

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