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58   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

roadside was not done with an eye to beauty; there was no thought about the gentle dew adorning them with jewels ; no consideration that the sunbeams would be wrecked in their pendant pearls, and a human eye would be there to enjoy the spectacle. Quite otherwise: every net had been made for the special purpose of entangling some living thing. As a rule, only the female spiders can make webs. The males are smaller, slimmer, and prowl around the webs of species smaller than their own kind, and rob them. When pressed by hunger they will venture a combat with a female of their species, for the sake of a meal on a captured fly. Not very long ago I witnessed an encounter of that kind. The female, one of the wheel-making kind, a strong, active thing, that would more than cover a copper cent, had made a fine trap between two bits of a timber of a bridge. It was about a foot across. She sat in the centre, with each foot grasping a spoke and thus able to quickly feel any disturbance, and ready to run toward the point where a fly would be caught. The twilight was over all, and spider-life was becoming very active. A large male spider that had been in hiding near the fly-trap of his relative — one of the same species — ran quickly out on the edge of the web, seized a thread of it and


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