There was a little jumping spider on the table at a fast food restaurant I ate at the other day. I don’t remember her being there when I sat down, but suddenly there she was, as well as some kind of flying insect, like a small crane fly, which looked like it was injured.

I watched the spider creep slowly toward the flying thing, one careful step at a time, until it was in range and pounced. I watched the spider hang onto the back of the squirming fly until it was still.

All this happened on the wide open expanse of the table, with nowhere for either of them to hide. I knew, as soon as I left, an employee would come along and wipe down the table, taking the spider and her meal with it. The spider had no idea what a dangerous place that table top was to be.

It made me wonder if we could be in a similar position. If there were forces about to wipe the tabletop of our planet, we would never know, and if we did, our only option would be to run.  We already know of things such as gamma ray bursts and asteroid collisions that could kill us, but likely there is much much more we don’t know about.

Like a prairie dog running out into traffic, or a mosquito splattered on a windshield, unknown forces beyond our control or comprehension could be lurking around any corner.  But we have no choice but to keep living, loving and learning, and eating our meals.  Just like that spider on the table top.


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