Once upon a time, the mother of a young spider had just finished teaching her son, Nathan, how to climb trees without being seen and how to build beautiful webs that trapped even the agilest of insects. Nathan had performed well in these tasks, but that was mainly because he was extremely excited about the skill he was about to learn. His mother was about to teach him how to wrap his dinner up as tightly as possible using the special silk he could make from his body. Although they were both confident Nathan would pick this skill up easily, neither of them could guess just how far Nathan’s confidence would take him.
Nathan watched closely as his mother showed him how she was able to tightly wrap the flies that had recently trapped themselves in her web, taking notes on every move she made. She was very fast and it took her three tries wrapping up three different flies for Nathan to be confident enough to give this skill a try for himself. Because his web was so beautifully made, it didn’t take long for a fly to find itself trapped and, as the fly buzzed around trying to set itself free, Nathan pounced on it as if he had done this a million times before. He let out some silk and wrapped the fly with an ease that could put many other spiders to shame. Nathan now had a thirst for wrapping up insects and wanted more. He asked his mother if he could make a web closer to the ground so that he might trap a grasshopper.
His mother agreed, so Nathan climbed down the trunk of the tree, blending into the background as he went and set up another beautiful web between the base of two trees. The wait for a grasshopper was always a lot longer than it was for a fly, but, eventually, an unlucky grasshopper blindly got itself caught in the web and Nathan was once again able to impress his mother with his new found talent. Nathan made his way back up the tree and lifted the wrapped-up grasshopper to the top of the tree using a single thread of silk, storing it next to the fly for dinner. But, Nathan wasn’t hungry yet and wanted to try and catch something bigger. This time, without asking if he was allowed or not, he made his way back down the tree and wondered how he was going to go about wrapping up an even larger animal.
Scurrying from underneath one leaf to the next, Nathan made his way across the forest floor, looking for the next animal on which he was going to test his wrapping skills. He passed animals such as birds and lizards, but none of these were going to satisfy his desire to wrap up something truly impressive. No, if he was going to prove to his mother that he could survive on his own, then Nathan was going to have to find an animal that could feed him and his mother for much longer than any of those. That was when Nathan spotted the animal that he was going try and catch. Chewing on some berries only metres in front of him, was a giant, grizzly bear.
Nathan crept closer to the bear, who wasn’t paying any attention to the little spider at all and made a web in the direction he predicted the bear would travel in once he had finished his berries. Giving him more confidence in his skills, the bear walked right into the web and immediately began swiping away the sticky silk that now covered his eyes. Nathan moved fast and went straight for the bear’s legs, impressing himself with how quickly he was able to wrap silk up to the bear’s knees. The bear was now momentarily blinded and was also unable to walk. Nathan continued making his way up the bears’ body, strapping his big arms to the side of his round his body. The bear, now resembling an ancient mummy, let out an enormous roar as Nathan attempted to wrap lines of silk across the bears’ mouth.
For several minutes, Nathan would attempt to completely finish wrapping up the bear by covering his mouth as the bear just chomped it away in anger. This pattern went on long enough for the bear to be able to get his arm free from the silk that had been professionally wrapped around his torso and lifted his arm up so Nathan could see he was longer trapped by his silk. Nathan continued trying to wrap up the bears’ face before admitting defeat and slowly coming to a halt on the bear’s big, black nose. The bear looked cross-eyed at Nathan sitting on his nose and lifted his hairy fingers beside the spider, his thumb and forefinger making a circle in preparation for the type of flick that was as forceful as it was satisfying. With a loud ‘click’, the bear sent the spider flying through the air, giving Nathan enough time to think about how silly he had been before coming down to land very close to where his adventure first began.
A piece of silk appeared from the branch above him and he was lifted to safety by the mysterious silk strand. Nathan realised it was his mother and that she had been watching all along. Having thought he learned more from that experience than she could ever teach him herself, she dragged Nathan back up to the safety of a branch next to her web. The two of them enjoyed a hearty meal of flies and grasshoppers with Nathan mentioning it would be many years before he would ever try and catch a bear again.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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