I wasn't really satisfied with my post on Wal-Mart--not in the least. I will try again in the next few days. In the meantime, you can go to the Mex Files here and get a broader perspective. Sr. Grabman was kind enough to cite my blog in a later post, but I don't think I deserved it.
But here I will just recount one tiny incident.
I was just sitting and reading when movement on the floor caught my eye. It was a daddy-long-legs, limbs stretched forward from its tiny body, quivering. I thought it was dying. I watched. Suddenly it drew its legs up so they bent and circled its body. And then it lay still again. The legs stretched and drew together once more. I wa sure it was dying. It was in fact dying. But so very slowly. I watched it repeat its dance and then decided I would move it off to the side so that no one would step on it. I took a napkin and gently slid it towards a corner. Two of its legs came off and it lay still. But just for a few seconds. There it went on its six legs to find its missing limbs. It nestled close to them and seemed to reattach them. And then it sank down again, legs stretched out together.
How could it not be dying? A couple of hours later I went to look. The spider was sitting like a flower, its body in the midst of its eight curled legs. A puff of dust seemed to have trapped it. I reached over and tried to pluck the dust off as gently a I could. The spider fell into pieces: leg joints and body. There was no more recovering for it.