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The spider's funeral

A modern folktale

recorded by ClassicDrogn

Based on a true story

Long ago, late one night, an old wizard spied a spider spiding in the middle of the hallway.

"Little spider," the wizard said, "That is not a good place for you to be. Your web will be torn down, and you'll become tangled in my beard or in the hair of my apprentice."

The spider swung gently and shrugged her forelegs as if to say, "What place would you have me spin? I must ply my web or starve."

The wizard's apprentice looked at the old man as if he'd gone daft, holding a conversation with a common bug. "Why not just sweep the horrid thing aside with a broom and be done?" he asked.

The old man smiled gently, and replied, "This little huntress will keep the mosquitoes from buzzing about our heads come summer, and the flies from our food. Why would I crush such a valuable ally?"

He raised his hand then, and twitched a finger to work his magic. The little spider's web came loose from the ceiling in the middle of the hall, and drifted through the air to a windowsill before reattaching. "There you are, Little Spider," he said gently. "A fine spot to snare any bugs who climb through the gaps in the frame, or are drawn to the light from inside. Good fortune in your hunting."

Skeptically, the apprentice repeated the well wishes under his master's eye, then both returned to their tasks. As the summer ripened, the apprentice would look at the spiderweb in the window each day, and count the husks of insects it had caught. When he took his meals or lay abed and was untroubled by pests, he thought of her, diligently crouched in a silken snare. The sight of her multitude of limbs or their darting, jerky motion lost its spine-chilling alien quality, and became almost a dance in his eyes.

When at last the fall came and the the tiny arachnid's short life came to an end, he carefully wrapped her in her final web and placed her in a box, then buried it and used his magic to raise a marker in a pleasant corner of the herb garden. Upon it he inscribed the words, "A small friend, a mighty huntress, a loyal guardian," and above it was a shining crystalline web that would sparkle in the morning sun.


Wizards? Magic? And it's supposed to be based on a true story? It depends on your definition of magic or a wizard, I suppose. The ability to bind thoughts and knowledge to a physical object through the use of arbitrary symbols would have once been considered the highest form of sorcery, but millions of school children do it every day.

last of the complete shorts from my archive of offline writing
"Anko, what you do in your free time is your own choice. Use it wisely. And if you do not use it wisely, make sure you thoroughly enjoy whatever unwise thing you are doing." - HymnOfRagnorok as Orochimaru at SpaceBattles
woot Med. Eng., verb, 1st & 3rd pers. prsnt. sg. know, knows
An interesting little story.

Though it's hard to love a spider when there's one crawling across your face when you wake up.
--m(^0^)m-- Wot, no sig?