Friday, May 24, 2013


... and they will take unpardonable liberties. Now I know how Lemuel Gulliver felt in Lilliput.

I was catching the last of the sun on the deck, gazing at nothing in particular. After a productive few hours work, it was great to sit on the old sofa, warm from the sun, there was cranberry juice at my elbow and there was shimmering in the air.

Shimmering? The sun was glinting on something ... invisible. Many somethings. The flimsiest of filaments, floating between me and the wooden railing of the deck. They were so fine I could hardly see them except when the sun caught them. As they moved, whatever they were rippled and swayed, and I watched, idly at first then closer, with deepening interest.

Spiders. Tiny spiders, babies, so small they looked like grey flecks, were attached to the filaments and drifting with the soft breeze. They were scurrying along the invisible threads, sometimes meeting another speck, conferring, leaving a minute silver dot smaller than a full stop behind, and trapezing away again.

I moved my foot sideways. A long silvery line stretched and drifted sideways too, revealing more threads further along in an untidy cluster. While I had been sitting and watching, those cheeky little bleepers had attached a thread to my shoe and started connecting me to the railing. And – there – another thread to one of the posts of the deck, complete with floating attachments. What a nerve. Give them a kindly glance and a place to live, and they start lashing me to the deck like Gulliver.

But the sun was setting and I had to move. I reached down and detached most of the threads from my person and attached them carefully elsewhere before going inside.

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