The power dynamic between an eensy Daddy longlegs up in the bedroom corner and a human being some 800 times the spider's size doesn't require much pondering, because the outcome is this: Spider wins, at least in the bravery showdown.
There are few things so small that stand as tall in our minds, but given the stories and Halloween decorations and films, we people can rightly get a mite fidgety around the 8-leggers who often share our home.
We needn't be, as the Natural History Museum will show us. The Exposition Park's annual Spider Pavilion spins its gossamer web on Sunday, Sept. 21, and the web's wee denizens will make their home there through Sunday, Nov. 2.
It isn't one web, of course; the walk-through enclosure next to the museum contains many webs and a beautiful bouquet of multi-eyed, spinnaret-rocking residents. Those residents include silk spiders of a large size, tarantulas, jumping spiders, and bug-eaters boasting impressive names like Nephilia maculata.
Spiders are amazing, period. Should we should act with caution when coming across an arachnid who has taken up residence in our cabinets? We should.
Should we scream and run into doors and call every neighbor on the street? Well, that's pretty theatrical.
Is there a way to appreciate the spider without nightmarish visions of the one from "The Lord of the Rings"? Oh, we had to go and bring Shelob up, didn't we? Remember when the mega spider wrapped Frodo and Sam up in web cocoons?
Yeah. That's probably not going to happen to you, ever. Unless you go to Mordor. (Don't.)
Spiders, in short, do a world of good for we bigger beings, and the seasonal pavilion wants to share that knowledge with both serious spiderists and those tentatively taking their first fearless steps toward arachnid understanding.
Speaking of arachnid understanding, how dare we almost forget to mention that Nephilia maculata can grow to the size of a human palm and is able to "engineer webs up to six feet across"?
Sleep on that one tonight, spider obsessives. Nighty night.