Story: The Spider

This is a CONFIDENCE story – discovering self belief and letting go of limiting fears.

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A spider once lived in a dark corner of a neglected garden shed, spinning his webs and catching unwary insects. Sometimes, when waiting for food to become ensnared in a sticky web, he heard the most exquisite and fascinating songs outside the shed. The spider would listen to them intensely and after a while, he noticed that each song was different; some had a range of notes and others just a few. He was intrigued to know what wonderful creature produced such sounds.

Through the dusty window in the shed came beams of sunlight that illuminated floating specks of dust and strange -shaped forgotten objects. The spider spun a long thread to the window so that he could look out and discover the source of the songs. But he was disappointed to see only vague shapes – nothing of the wonders he had anticipated. But something caught his eye. In the corner of the shed was a small crack of light.

The following day, the spider made another long thread and crawled his way to the crack. It was so small he began to regret the idea, and wished he had stayed in his own comfortable corner. Too exhausted to crawl back, he fell asleep.

Next morning, the same enchanting song woke the spider. With renewed energy, making himself flat and small, he squeezed and eased himself out through the cracks. The spider felt the sudden chill of the cold outside air on his body and shivered. He was momentarily dazzled by the brightness of the sunlight; it was both strange and worrying. What had he done? It occurred to him to crawl straight back through the crack to the safety of the shed. But his anxiety was mixed with a frisson of excitement. There was a part of him that was proud of what he had achieved. He had lived in that shed for as long as he could remember. He hadn’t known any other life or any other place.

Looking up, the spider saw fronds waving in the breeze and dappled light playing on the tree trunk. The leaves rustled and moved. In this world everything seemed to be dancing. The shed had been such a still quiet and changing place. And then – he heard it – the liquid song of a large speckled thrush, singing in the branches of trees. The spider gazed entranced by the notes. At that moment he decided that whatever happened to him from now on, it had all be worth it just to see and hear the magical creature.

Hilary Farmer