entry for Writers Cramp
|Spiderman (My version of a Canadian folktale) 760 words
In olden times Spiderman lived in the sky-country. He spun silken threads, which the sky people used to come down to the earth at night. They would become forest fairies and do good deeds until morning when they would climb back up the threads again.
Spiderman was kept very busy spinning his threads and became resentful at having to work so hard. Sometimes he would cut the threads and send sky people tumbling down to earth. Men saw them and thought they were shooting stars.
Of course many were killed or injured by the fall and they could never return to the sky without their threads, But Spiderman was cruel and thought such japes were funny.
One day Spiderman looked down to earth and saw how beautiful Canada was, with its lakes and forests. He also saw that the tribesmen who lived there did no work. Their wives would take sap from the maple trees, pick berries and tend the maize crops while the men sat around idle.
I would like such a lifestyle, thought Spiderman. So he spun himself a thread, went down to earth and joined a tribe. Soon he had married four wives, who did all the work and Spiderman was happy.
The god Glooskap, who ruled upon the earth, became angry because men were so lazy, and he sent a famine to punish them for their sins
Spiderman was so hungry that he decided to go and find some food. He left his four wives and went into the forest. On and on he walked until night fell and still he found no food. Then ahead of him he saw a light. He hurried towards it and saw it was a lantern carried by a man. It was easy to catch the man up for he walked with a limp and when Spiderman got near he saw that the man had a bent and twisted back as if he had been in an accident.
“Have you any food?” asked Spiderman.
The man turned and he recognized Spiderman at once for he was one of the sky people who Spiderman had sent crashing to earth.
“Have you any food?” demanded Spiderman, who had no idea who he was talking to.
“Are you hungry.”
“Yes, and my tribe is starving.”
“Follow me.” The forest fairy led Spiderman to a hollow tree and took out a pot. “This food is for your tribe. It is a magic pot and will always be full, but you must not open it until you reach your people.”
Spiderman took the pot and hurried back through the forest. A magic pot? What nonsense. He thought. Why should I share this food with the tribe. I am going to eat it myself.
So he sat down, opened the pot and found it contained the most delicious stew. He ate and ate and the pot remained as full as ever. It really was a magic pot.
Perhaps I will share it with the tribe, after all thought Spiderman. They will be so grateful that they will make me Chief and I will have younger, prettier wives.
So he took the pot back to the tribe and hid it behind a tree.
“Go and tell the people to come to me,” he said to his wives, “and I will give them a feast.”
His wives were very excited and soon all the people, including the Chief, were gathered at the tree.
“I have travelled far and faced many danger to bring you this food,” said Spiderman proudly and he pulled out the pot from behind the tree and opened it with a flourish.
It was empty!
The people were furious at his cruel joke and set upon him, punching and kicking him until he lay prostrated upon the ground.
The forest fairy heard the hullaballoo and hurried towards it. He found Spiderman in a terrible state. The beating had split his arms and legs so he appeared to have eight limbs instead of four.
“It serves you right,” said the forest fairy. “Your greed broke the spell. In return for all your cruelty you will become a spider and scuttle on eight legs and eat flies.” The forest fairy waved a hand and Spiderman shrunk into a spider. “You will spin threads and try to get back to the sky,” said the forest fairy. “But you will always fall back to earth.”
So next time you see a spider, don’t step on it for it might be Spiderman forced to be a spider forever,