Fire Flies Part One....Give Peas a Chance
By ice rivers
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Meanwhile, I've been poisoning a patch of innocent pea pods just to see what would happen to the peas.
Other pods, I've left alone just to give those routine peas a chance.
Naturally I've been raising almost as many caterpillars as I've been poisoning pods.
Just to see what might happen to the moths.
Most of the caterpillars that I've raised are immune to the poison that I've been putting in the pods.
They can eat all the poison they want and live to eat more on another day.
God knows that there's enough poison to go around.
The main reason I've been poisoning the pods, besides seeing what might happen to the peas, is to see what might happen to the spiders.
Ya see eventually the caterpillars that eat the poison peas will turn into moths.
These moths will look exactly like the moths that emerge from the caterpillars who ate the unpoisoned peas.
They will look the same and maybe even taste the same but the immune caterpillars who ate the poison peas will have a different truth when they become moths then will the other batch of moths whose pea digestion was restricted to the non-poisonous peas back in their respective caterpillar days.
"Different truth, different consequence" as Aristotle might have whispered to Gambar if they had ever met. Of course, the likelihood of fictional meeting non-fictional is always very poor no matter what happens to the spiders, if ya smell what I'm cooking.
And there's a lot cooking in California.
Too bad we couldn't have doused the fires of California with the floods of Katrina and called the whole thing a wash.
But so much for wishful thinking, even thought it is my favorite defense mechanism ( especially when the perceived threat is emotional rather than physical)
Let's return to the practical and the poisoning of peas.
What will happen to the spider?
Since all the caterpillars looked exactly alike whether or not they had eaten the peas from the poisoned pods, they would eventually grow into identical moths that I could throw into spider webs just to see what the spiders would do.
Moths fly into spider webs all of the time whereas the odds of a caterpillar showing up in a spider web are roughly those of a turtle sitting on a fence post.
Both the turtle and the caterpillar would need help to get to the top of the fencepost or the silk of the web and spiders are a lot smarter than fenceposts.
A fencepost ain't gonna worry about how a turtle got upon it wheras a spider might have some concern about how a caterpillar got into the web. The spider might be a little suspicious.
Since spiders are smarter than fenceposts, suspicion is a form of intelligence.
Nothing breeds suspicion like jealousy.
Nothing breeds jealousy like love.
Love always begins with attraction.
Attraction begins with notice.
On their way to delectable mothhood, two caterpillars noticed one another. The male caterpillar was named Yar. The female was named Asil.
Asil was the more mature of the two which meant she thought more about reproduction than did Yar who was concentrating on chewing and crawling.
How much did Asil think of reproduction?
Let's put it this way, she was jealous of fireflies.
Asil had no idea that the peas she was eating were from the poison pod patch, unlike the peas that Yar was digesting.
Yar's peas came from a totally different patch.
I know this for a fact because I'm the guy who personally poisoned the pods and I'm the guy who determined which caterpillars got the poison peas and which ones didn't.
And I kept em separated.
I'm also the guy who fed the caterpillars.
I'm the guy who bred the caterpillars.
Like most breeders, I'm a feeder.
I knew lots of things that the caterpillars didn't know.
I'm a man for God sake. Let's hope I got more brains than a caterpillar.
Here's what I knew that the caterpillars didn't know.
I knew that they were immune to the poison peas that they didn't know they were eating.
I also knew the purpose of their lives and why they were bred and fed in the first place.......
Just to see what would happen to the spider.
Although Asil was jealous of fireflies, she didn't love fire flies.
A caterpillar loving a firefly would be sick.
Asil wasn't jealous of fireflies because they could fly. Asil knew that someday, somehow she too would be able to fly.
Asil wasn't jealous of fireflies because of their fire because Asil sensed something that almost everybody senses unless they're sitting around a campfire.
The sparks coming from a campfire are very different than the fireflies flying near the campfire.
What appears to be fire in fireflies is really a mixture of luciferin and luciferase.
The resulting mixture is not a fire.
Fires, like truth, emanate light and heat.
Firefly fire contains no heat, only light.
Sort of like compassion.
Asil wasn't interested in truth or compassion.
Asil was interested in breeding and feeding.
Asil was more developed than Yar who was interested only in feeding.
No, Asil wasn't jealous because she loved fireflies.
Asil was jealous of the way that fireflies loved fireflies.
Fireflies flash when they're hungry or when they want sex. Every flash is a semaphor of desire either to feed or breed.
In this scenario, the female waits in the weeds untl she is luciferinated for a half second by the flash of the male flying above her.
Asil had seen this seductive behavior frequently from fireflies.
She thought it was cool.
Cool as a fire without heat yet hot as a fire without light.
I've watched the caterpillars grow into moths. I've picked out the two moths that look the best. I'm gonna throw them one at a time into a spider web that I've found. In the meantime, I want to sing you folks some blues before we all find out what the spider's gonna do.
Well, it looks like it's come down to the final two
Yes, it looks like it's come down to the final two
One looks at the other and says "up to me and you".
I don't know if caterpillars have names.
I don't know if caterpillars have names.
If they don't they oughta cause they both look just the same.
I've chosen the spider, I've approved her spinning.
I've chosen that spider, I'm down with her spinning
The game is sudden death, I can't see two moths winning.
Both of the pillars have grown up to be moths.
Both caterpillars have grown up to be moths.
They're gonna get all caught up in a game of webtoss.
The lady caterpillar's chock full of poison peas.
Yeah, the female pillar all fulla poisoned peas
Yet the moth she became ain't suffereing no disease.
The male caterpillar of poison peas is free
The caterpillar man of poison peas is free.
There's a load of silk underneath the apple tree.
I'll conclude my experiment when I'm done with strummin.
I'll end my experiment when I finish this strummin'
Spin on Mona, Your poison trick or treats a comin'.
I'm gonna have some rum and apple cider too
Gonna drink some rum and suck some cider too
Then we'll find out what the spider's gonna do.
Of course, the caterpillars eventually became moths. When they took wing, Asil became Lisa and Yar became Ray.
By the time they became reacquainted, Ray's scent brushes were loaded with alkaloid. Lisa could smell that from ten feet away. Lisa was sitting on a wire perch chemically treated with poison peas. The chemical treatment lured Lisa to the wire and Lisa lured Ray.
Lisa had already lured a dozen others to her in her four days of fertility but there was something about Ray that suggested that his alkaloid package would be the package selected for warrior offspring.
Maybe it was his size. The bigger the moth, the more the alkaloid. The more the alkaloid, the more the male moth advertises his reproductive eligibility.
This is the message Ray was sending to Lisa. 'Look at all the alkaloid I'm carrying. I get this from the flowers. If you want your kids to be able to gather a lot of alkaloid from the flowers make sure that their old man brings a load of alkaloid to the bargain'.
Ray looked big and he smelled big.
Ray was a regular Mothra.
Ray hovered over the wire.
Lisa called to Ray.
Lisa called with her scent.
Although Ray was not a butterfly, he did know how to flutter by. He did just that.
His scent brushes came out when he got in range.
Once, twice, thrice, in less than a second.
Lisa was impressed.
She accepted Ray.
The rest is moth love, too private and exquisite to describe.
Even on a weekend when practically no one is looking.
Except just a few who wonder what the spider's gonna do.
Mona the spider is fastidious. She knows how to use her silk. Her silk will be far less useful if it becomes cluttered so Mona spends most of her visible time cleaning the debris from her web.
The more debris in the web, the less clear the signal becomes when something of value is caught up in the silk.
Mona can not see all of her web so she waits between spinnings and cleanings. She stays out of sight and waits for a signal.
Her web is filled with silk spun of different levels of water content. The more water in the silk, the more elastic. The most elastic silk is in the middle of her web. These are the waterworks. When prey falls into the web, they are confronted with mysterious elasticity far beyond rubber.
Caught in the center of the silk, the prey in its struggles puts very little tension on the web. Every attempt at escape only results in tighter wrapping.
Mona reads the level of tension. She has her escape routes well designed when the tension gets too high. Mona only feeds upon appropriate tension.
All the prey can do is pray.
Mona isn't looking for a fight.
Mona is looking for food.
Even on weekends, when things are so quiet elsewhere.
I know all about Mona but not yet enough.
I'm gonna use Lisa and Ray to find out what the spider is gonna do.
And Lisa will be a momma soon, if she survives the tension.
Mona was middle aged.
She was six months old.
Every spider month is equivalent to seven years of human life. In human terms Mona was forty two. The last of her spiderlings had balooned away. Her mate died right after mating with Mona. Such is nature.
If you've seen Spiderman, you know what balooning is. The spiderling projects a single thread of silk which sticks to a nearby object. The spider then swings to that object and baloons again. Depending on how far they want to get away from their mother, the spiderling continues to baloon and baloon.
As a mother, Mona paid attention to the spider parental creed. Make sure the spiderlings get webs and wings. This creed meant that it was important for each spiderling to feel a sense of security so that they would be willing to leave the web and establish a home of their own. The stronger the sense of web the stronger the sense of wing. The more that a spiderling loved his mother's web, the further he would distance himself from it when he finally balooned. The further away he got, the less competition his web would be for the web of his momma.
Mona's spiderlings were far, far away. They had been well raised and they loved their mother.
Mona was an empty webber.
She was acutely aware of the double disturbance in her web as she sat in her den. Her experience had taught her that it was very unlikely for two disturbances to occurr so simultaneously. She figured the commotion could be traced back to one of two possibilities. The disturbances, soon to become prey, then to become liquid then to become food, must have been romantically involved. That's why they were fluttering so near to one another.
And flying blind.
Or else the Giant had delivered them.
The Giant had been feeding Mona since she was a girl, before the mating and the spiderlings and all that jazz. She had grown to trust the Giant.
Most urgent, however, was the hunger.
I should be more specific.
Mona wouldn't take a nibble. Mona would take a suck.
Before sucking, Mona would inject either Ray or Lisa or both with venom that would turn their insides into liquid.
She would go back to her den and wait for the innards of her prey to liquify. Then she would begin to suck. Sometimes, the sucking took place right out in the open. Other times, Mona would take her silk wrapped supper into her den where she could suck in private.
I've tried to imagine what it must be like to feel my insides turning into liquid. I had food poisoning once and that did some serious liquefying.
Maximum diarrhea mixed with technicolor yawning.
I have experienced emotional liquification more frequently than physical liquification over the course of my life. When I am injected with the contempt of another person, my convictions tend to liquify. Contempt is a powerful venom. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Resentment is the natural reaction to contempt.Here's the equation to avoid.
You have contempt for me, I have resentment for you.
Or vice versa.
If turning someones insides into liquid can be viewed as a physical manifestation of contempt, then I suppose the prey being liquified must be pretty resentful.
Resentment resembles jealousy and jealousy is the green eyed monster that mocks the meat it feeds upon.
Contempt is an eight eyed, eight legged empty webbed widow
who injects whatever she has trapped with a poison that turns their convictions into liquid so she can suck them dry and ignore their resentment.
Does contempt poison itself when it inadvertently sucks up poisoned convictions concealed within resentment?
I wondered if I would be able to pick up on any of these emotions or answer any essntial questions as I patiently sat and watched and wondered
what the spider might do.
I play the guitar a little bit.
I drink a little bit.
Sometimes I drink a little bit before I play the guitar.
Sometimes people tell me I sound better on the guitar after I've drank a little bit.
I'm pretty sure I don't sound any better but somehow when I play, I make the people who listening to me want to drink.
The more I play, the more they drink.
The more they drink, the better I sound.
So I drink even more so I can sound even better so they can drink more because I sound better which makes me want to drink more so I can sound better which will make them drink more which will make me drink more so that.......
Ya know, the usual.
I've often wished that I could drink while I was playing the guitar not just before or after. I've wondered if that would actually make my guitar playing sound even better to the folks who were listening because unlike me when I play, they are actually drinking whlle they are listening whereas I am playing under the disadvantage of not drinking at the same instant that I am playing which puts me a little out of synch with the drunks who are listening.
I wish I had a couple of extra hands coming out of my mouth.
If I did, I could pour the beer down my throat while at the same time playing the guitar with my other two hands.
Spiders have two little hands coming out of their mouths.
Those two little hands are called palps. Spiders use those pulps to hold on to whatever they are going to sink their fangs into. Sometimes they use the palps to make changes in the thread of their webs. They grasp the thread with their palps and amend the web with thier mouths.
Spiders don't play the guitar unless of course, they happen to be Spiders from Mars.
The moths are in the web.
I've got a cold beer in my hands.
I'm sipping the beer and wondering what the spider's gonna do.
Let's remember, the moth nearest the spider was the moth who ate the poisoned peas.
I figured that the spider would go to the nearest meal. The spider would nibble on the pregnant moth with the poisoned peas. The spider would realize that something was wrong. The spider would choose one of her escape routes. She would return to her corner.
She would feel weak. She would ascertain from the vibes coming through the silk that the meal furthest away was too strong for her to overwhelm. She would wait until her queasiness subsided. Then she would return to the near meal and nibble a little bit more.
I knew something that she couldn't possibly know. The meal she was nibbling on was poisonous. Every nibble would make her weaker.
I didn't know who would die first, the poisoned spider or the moths struggling in the web.I wondered if it was the silk that killed the moth or was it the spider. If the spider died first, I would free the moths from the web.
I figured the whole deal might take a day after the first taste. This is what I thought the spider might do.
I waited to find out what the spider would actually do.
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different truths are like
different truths are like different histories they are both true and not.
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