Saturday, June 28, 2003

spiders still missing

from our special correspondent
The spiders in the Arava valley are still missing. The event was first noticed in this post and their disappearance has been a mystery to many respected scientists (me). These scientists have suggested that the spiders have gone on vacation to escape the heat of the Arava, but these theories cannot be confirmed. A Spokespider which remained was strangely noncommital to our impassioned queries. Where have they gone? when will they be back? How many will return? A curt "no comments" was all we heard. But there are signs that the population is on the mend. In another spider neighbourhood (called Acacia TREE), several individuals remained. When asked why they hadn't left, they replied," This is our home. If we leave here, where can we go?" Well, thats the million dollar question, because as we all know, the desert is a dangerous place especially for unarmed spiders (legs don't count) and to leave is to risk death. Certain neutral observers (me, again-sorry) have suggested that the presence of these few individuals will be the genesis of whole new spider community with strong emphasis on family values and attachment to place, but it remains to be seen whether it will be true. Meanwhile the disappearance of the spiders has had untold repercussions on several important scientific projects (mine). Scientists are debating whether or not to ask the Spokespider, and the Chairspider of the Arava Spider Community Web for compensation, either monetarily or by allowing the import of Foreign Spiders but the issue remains unsolved. Watch this space for updates.

Photo: A Colony of Cyrtophora citricola, on an Acacia tree, before the great disappearance.