“Spider dead” or “Let’s be friends”?

A number of years ago, I was at a family reunion. My brother’s little boy, around two at the time, was seated in his high chair. Just for fun, I pretended that the fingers of my right hand were a hairy spider. “Spider’s coming to get you!” I warned. Without a second thought, Clay tightened his fist and slammed it down on the “spider.” With glee, he pronounced:

” Spider dead!”

That was what I’d expected him to do, since I’d played the game dozens of times with my own sons when they were younger. I wasn’t prepared for Gabrielle, his older sister. When my finger-spider inched toward her, with my usual verbal warning, she made a finger spider of her own, and inched it out toward mine. In a high-pitched voice, obviously the voice of the arachnid, she replied:

“Let’s be friends!”

And that, my friends, is why our world is going to hell in a hand-basket. Armies roam the world, sent by powerful male politicians wanting to play “spider dead.” How many wars are there going on right now in Africa alone, with all its countries (except Liberia) ruled by male Presidents?

Enough suffering. Let’s give the women a try. Maybe it’s time for “Let’s be friends.” It can’t be any worse.

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