(NOTE: If you are a first-timer to this blog, you may want to go back to the first of the 6-part series, to make sense of it, by clicking here. Then again, you might not.)
What to do with the body?
Now that the execution was over, I needed to clean out that corner of the garage. Wash the poison off the stepladder, etc. I looked at the mortal remains of the black widow, hanging in the web next to fly crumbs and the hind leg of her last husband.
I considered lining a match box with black tissue paper and burying her in that. I wondered if the spider had wanted to be cremated.
While I was thinking, I heard a noise behind me and my wife moved around me with a broom and before I could catch my breath, had swept up the dead spider, the web, and old nail and two cups of dirt into a dustpan and thrown it in the trash bin. Then she looked at me quizzically and asked, “What on earth are you thinking?”
“I was wondering if the spider believed in God,” I said.
Karen laughed. “She probably thought you were God.” She dropped the dustpan and broom in the corner and went back in the house, saying, “I’m just glad you finally got rid of it.”
I stood for a long time pondering. Could Aragog possibly have thought that I was God? Before I showed up, she had been going from day to day in typical black widow fashion. Then suddenly there were earth-shaking vibrations, gigantic shapes filling the sky above her, blinding, flashing lights that came in the night. Then food miraculously appearing in her web.
Maybe she stayed in her web instead of running and hiding on that last day because she had experienced some kind of insect epiphany. In her little arachnid mind, I was some kind of unfathomable mystery. What did she know of who I was really was? What did she know of my blogging? She didn’t even have a tiny computer?
I walked outside the garage. The drizzle had stopped and the sun was breaking through the clouds. I looked up and realized that I understood the God that I worshipped no better than Aragog had understood me. In an odd way, this thought strengthened my faith although it deepened my understanding that I have faith in a great mystery.
I said a silent prayer for the world and went back inside. I took one last look at where Aragog had been and my heart skipped a beat. The egg sac under the ladder rung was broken…and empty.
“Each egg sack contains approximately 200 eggs,” I muttered.