In the story, a Pigmy Spider feels superior because he is able to make his house atop bamboo canes, but a rough wind quickly dismantles his web. As the wind continues to undermine his efforts, the spider’s feeling of superiority wears away while other spiders learn a valuable lesson and join in to help. Written by Saurav Kiran Shrestha and translated by Ram C. Khatri and Shankar Babu Acharya, the story is good for children ages four to ten.
“Aw, why is the Pigmy Spider in such a hurry?”
Other spiders gossiped about him, but the Pigmy Spider did not care. He crawled up until he reached the top of a bamboo cane then he let out a long, wheezing sigh.
“There’s no place higher than this,” he thought proudly. He looked around. “Now, I’ll make my house here.”
He was satisfied. He looked at the other spiders, who were making their webs below him in the pear tree. He smiled.
First, he left a sticky substance on a branch. One end of the sticky line was knocked off by a rough wind. That line then stuck to another small branch. The Pigmy Spider felt victorious and laughed. He stuck the other end of the line to the branch he stood on.
In this way, he made a bridge of sticky thread and walked from one end to the other. He continued to weave his house, joining many lines of the sticky substance. Thus, he started to make his web without interruption.
“Well, let me build a house then they’ll see how I will always be able to rest. How good! I will be able to eat joyfully while sleeping.”
The Pigmy Spider imagined tasty insects being effortlessly trapped in his web. Meanwhile, warm sunrays filtered through. He felt elated by the warmth. He looked down where other spiders were making their web in the damp shadows.
Again he smiled. “Ahh, this is another advantage of making a house at this height. The sunrays appear here first.”
Pigmy Spider finished making his web by the afternoon. Sitting at the centre of the web, he checked the strength of the thread. He was satisfied that he had built a strong house. He thought about organizing a feast for his relatives. He looked down. They were still knitting webs in the pear tree.
“It’s not wise to make a web in the pear tree,” he said. “The risk factor is very high there. Humans might dismantle the web while picking the pears. Sometimes even birds come to eat the pears. When they do, the ungrateful birds fly swiftly, making a hole in the web. The house must not be made in an improper place. Thank God, the place I have chosen today is quite safe. There’s nothing to worry about here.” He thanked himself for being able to find such a perfect place.
A strong wind started to blow through the tops of the bamboo. With a whoosh, the bamboo canes swayed over like a pendulum. The spiders that were making their web in the pear tree were scared. They looked at the Pigmy Spider’s web. All the threads had been instantly dismantled. Once again the wind gusted. The bamboo swayed with another whoosh of a passing breeze.
When the strong wind stopped, there was silence everywhere. The spiders looked for the Pigmy Spider here and there. They looked in every possible place. But they could not find the Pigmy Spider anywhere.
“The Pigmy Spider,” the other spiders concluded, “must have been swept away by the rough wind.”
It is known that the Pigmy Spider’s wife has announced a prize for anyone who can find him. The Pigmy Spider might have come to your house or courtyard. The Pigmy Spider could be making his web on your ceiling or in a corner or somewhere near your house. Please check those places carefully.
[The Story was translated by Ram C. Khatri and Shankar Babu Acharya]
About the Author: Saurav Kiran Shrestha, a versatile writer of children’s literature, was born in Kathmandu, Nepal. Some of his published books of children stories include Ma Pani Bhag Linchu (I Also Participate), Pipal ko Paat (A Leaf from a Pipal Tree), Ghara Pharkada (While Returning Home), and Tilke ko Tauko ma Tutilko (A Bulge in Tilke’s Head). Shrestha has authored children’s plays and novels and edited about half a dozen magazines in addition to being a skillful artist.