“No, I am but a human, with two eyes only.”


“Two more than one needs,” mused the spider, “yet six less than I’ve got.  What do you want then?  And be quick about it, I’ve got supper waiting.”


“Your work habits puzzle me,” said Galashnikov.  “I would think a spider industrious and creative — an artist of sorts, for your webs are so intricate and delightful.  Yet I see you here, waiting for time to pass you by.  Are spiders not artistically inclined?”


“Goodness gracious, no!” said the spider, slapping his belly and having a good laugh, which got him thoroughly out of breath.  After a moment he continued.  “The web looks complex, but its making is a process that, once learned, cannot be unlearned.  After one has webbed once, one may web without worry.  It is simple variation on a theme: you crawl from one corner to another, spinning much the same web as you have before.  Occasionally a web falls down and you put another in its place.”


“And, this is desirable?”


“It is more than desirable,” said the spider, adjusting his spectacles and peering once more into the loupe.  “It is comfortable.  For what more could one ask?”





Galashnikov plucked his loupe from Dzhugashvili’s nose, but the palm of his hand stuck to the honey man’s face, and it took some delicate wrangling before the two separated with a THWAP!