I just wrote a review for a book by Gary Paulsen called "Hatchet". (see book reviews)
Brian the 13 year old boy that was the only survivor of a small plane crash deep in the forested areas of Canada had to find a way to eat, and to avoid the dangers around him.
He learned by making mistakes and he also learned to think before he acted. He would stand, very silent, and observe the surroundings before making any movement. He felt he gained new insight that way.
Sometimes that approach couldn't save him. He avoided a bear and some wolves only because he was lucky.
What about a big black spider? No this wasn't a scene in the book i just reviewed, but I saw a huge spider this week and learned a few things. I learned that this variety of spider would not bite humans and lived on bugs mostly. That was interesting but the only reason I learned about this was that a man who knew all about this type of spider was on hand and told me about it.
What would I do if I was stranded in the far off forested regions of Canada and one of these guys came crawling up my leg? I haven't a clue right now and hope I never learn. In years past the answer would be that I would grab the Hatchet and finish off the spider.
This week, after being up close with this spider and learning more about it, I would hate to see it needlessly killed. The key to this situation is to know something about the spider.