There’s a spider outside the magistrates’ court.
He’s roughly the size of a Volvo – one of those big estate ones. It’s funny you don’t notice him more, but I guess he’s just a naturally inconspicuous sort of person.
And he’s a retiring personality. He stays out of the way for the most part; somewhere off down to the left, out of sight, out of mind. But every now and then, especially when it gets a bit breezy, he’ll get up and wander up to the court building door, and knock.
The guy comes out. I don’t know his name. He’s a big fellow; large-built – you wouldn’t want to mess with him, unless you were… well, a spider the size of a Volvo estate, maybe. But he has a friendly nature, and the spider never causes any problems; they seem to get on well.
“Hey, dude,” says the spider, with a tip of his hat. “Just checking everything’s okay.” The big man smiles, and nods.
“Everything’s good, my friend,” he says. “Very good. How’re you?”
“Oh, fair to middling, you know. Mustn’t grumble.”
They stand for a moment, the big man and the spider, looking around. It’s a comfortable silence, as between two old buddies who don’t need to talk all the time; who can just enjoy each other’s company.
“Well,” the spider says at length, “I’d better get back. No rest for the wicked, is there?” The man shakes his head in wry agreement.
“Never, man,” he says. “But all right: you take care now. I’ll see you soon.”
“Not if I see you first,” the spider jokes, and gives that particular all-over body-shake that stands in for a wave of the hand (it can look a bit odd when you first see it, but among spiders a wave of the arm is usually a challenge, you see). And then he turns and make his way back to his little corner, down to the left.
The big man smiles, goes back inside, and shuts the door, and the business of the court goes on.