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The Little Spider

There was once a young spider who was rather good at spinning webs. This made him feel inordinately proud so he kept on spinning. Now whilst spinning is an important skill for a spider, there is much in addition that spiders must learn, for it is a harsh world and death may loom around any corner.

But the young spider found all this as boring as he found spinning fascinating and so he skipped lessons and scurried off to weave in another corner.

This worried his poor old mother sick but nothing she tried would convince the young spider to attend to his learning. He was also, be it known, rather pleased with the way he could get off lessons and put off other work. He feigned illness, made earnest promises, or patiently waited for his mother to finish pleading, then smugly went back to his spinning.

And so his webs grew and reached across and out from his corner, whilst he lied and tricked his way out of more and more lessons. Other young spiders from nearby families would come and admire all his webs, which made him rather vain and he would puff up his little chest and feel important.

One day, when he was merrily spinning he heard a muffled wail (for his webs deliberately kept out the sound of others). Pausing to listen, as the wail did seem rather panicked, he heard something like 'dustuss' and 'yelloo'. Turning away, he finished off the thread he was working on then casually peered out through a small hole in his web wall to see a mass of yellow feathers rapidly approaching.

Meanwhile, the woman below was muttering about the darned cobwebs and how this corner needed a good cleaning out.

Not knowing what to do the little spider tried to run, but he got caught up in his own webbing and was swept up into the feathers, all tangle and confusion. This was followed by bouncing and terror as he was marched outside, where a violent shaking, followed by a long fall, left him dazed and alone, still tangled in his beautiful, shredded web.

In the deathly silence that followed he crept out and shivered in the cold. Peering around, he saw two beady eyes in the distance, eyeing him greedily. Mortally afraid, he cried for his mother. But no rescuing answer came.


***

 

~by David Straker~

 

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