The debate on its purpose and meaning – on the lesson that the arrival of such a prodigy was intended to teach – lasted for generations, over the whole span of the creature’s long life and beyond. Its behaviour was strange and complex, but it seemed mute, producing no kind of gesture or vibration that could be considered an attempt at speech. Some noted that when it opened and closed its mouth, a cleverly designed web could catch a curious murmur, the same that might be felt when objects were pounded together. It was a vibration that travelled through the air, rather than across a strand or through the ground. For some time this was hypothesized as a means of communication, provoking much intelligent debate, but in the end the absurdity of such an idea won out. After all, using the same orifice for eating and communication was manifestly too inefficient. The spiders are not deaf, exactly, but their hearing is deeply tied into their sense of touch and vibration. The giant’s utterances, all the frequencies of human speech, are not even whispers to them.
The spiders are awesome. They also see value in preserving ecological diversity.