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Daniel Bird Daniel Bird
Recommendations: 47

The Spider Playground


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She had a friend.

      Three year old Cristy Chan screamed and dropped to her knees, tears instantly forming in her eyes, breath coming in fast and winded, her little heart suddenly broken. She screamed and began to cry. Her mother dashed into the kitchen, taking her up quickly, consoling her, checking for bumps, cuts or bruises. There were none. The back door banged shut, and she could only point and gasp. And with the shock that had taken her, she could only rest her head in her mother’s shoulder and cry. It was the only thing she could muster after what had just taken place. And she would never forget it. And she closed her eyes and wept herself to the brink of sleep, mumbling, eyes only half opened. And all was well and safe once again in mommy’s arms.



     It started with the dreams of Mr. Spider going to the grocery market. It was a sunny happy day and the birds were chirping and the flowers were full and fluffy. Mr. Spider loved days like that. Bright and cheery! He left his car home and decided that he really didn’t need to take it today since there was no rain. So, like a little bubble in the breeze Mr. Spider set off down the sidewalk on an adventure! Passing Mr. Brown’s house and right on past Mr. Quan Li’s house and further down the block, across the road and past the church and then past the row of houses that look all the same, and then across a busy street with lots of cars.


     And before he knew it, Mr. Spider was lost. And the city was no longer Mr. Spider’s city but somewhere else far far away. And he couldn’t get to the grocery store to buy the kids food because he couldn’t find his way. And there were scary giant birds and big bad Beetles and scary things in the city, and the lights went out and the horrible noises of big horrible Meenies began and then Mr. Spider just ran and ran and ran. And when he stopped, when he was in good hiding, he cried because he was lost. And this city was no longer his. And he had no food for Tommy and Little sister. And it was Christmas time and their daddy couldn’t bring home the gifts. And everybody had a really sad sad day! And the baby Jesus in his manger was crying too! And the wise men didn’t even know where to find Mr. Spider because he was so lost.


     And a giant had come by and squashed Mr. Spider and took his nice little hat, and just left him lying there in the street. And his blue tie was all crooked and his glasses were broken. And he tried to crawl back home but he was still lost. And then he just gave up because he was so lost and scared and hurt and broken. His bones were broken. And the giant was a bad giant, hurting all the people of the city. And Mrs. Spider was sad. She needed Mr. Spider to be there for her but he went away, leaving her all alone. With the kids. And the bills. And all the important stuff. And Mrs. Spider thought he loved her. But he would not have gone away if he did love her. And he didn’t even take the car. And the sun was gone away and the rain was falling splash right onto her front steps.


     And Mr. Spider wanted to go home because he really did love Mrs. Spider but he was squashed and couldn’t move. He missed Tommy and Little sister and missed his home and his car. But most of all he missed Tommy and Little sister. And they missed him too. And the people in the street couldn’t scrape him off without hurting him. And they didn’t like the bad giant. And they thought he should just go put his head in some porridge. And maybe he should just go stand in the corner for a time-out. And maybe someone should count to five and send him to his room. And maybe he should just stay there until he feels like saying sorry and behaving nicely again.



     After a moment of dreaminess, she pointed right out onto the back yard. And there he was. The big giant meenie himself. Tommy. And she whimpered a little and pointed and said, “Tommy did it.” And she looked back to the little dot in the middle of the kitchen floor. Tommy’s bad.” And she looked out to Tommy, shaking her finger, “You’re bad, Mister! You’re a bad boy!”


     The door opened with mother's voice charging the air “What did you do to your sister? Why’s she crying?”


     He shrugged, “I didn’t do anything!”


     She pointed to the kitchen floor once again, “Tommy did it! Tommy Killed Mr. Spider!”


     He shrugged, continuing to play in the grass, his trucks, cars, Superman and Batman figurines, alive and real in his brain, on a mission to save the world! “Mom, it was just a spider. It gave me the creeps! What if it bit me? What if it was a poisonous Spider?”


     “A Daddy Long Legs? Are you kidding me?”


      He shrugged again, “How do I know? Better just not to give it a chance, I always say.”


     A crisp annoyance rang out in her voice, “You always say? I’ve never heard you say that. Anyways, I want you to apologize right now. You know she loves spiders.”


     Tommy looked over, catching her eyes, “I’m sorry for killing your darn spider, alright? Can I go on living now!”


     Cristy, half asleep and grumpy and cozy, simply pointed to the squashed spider on the floor, offering but a little bit of a mumble. Mommy was the best mommy ever, saying, “I know baby. I’ll get to it. You just go sleep now. Nap time.”


    
          She awoke to Tommy shoving her gently, an excited look in his eyes, “Cristy, wake up. I found something! You have to see it!”


     She sat straight up, suddenly lifted in her heart. She loved surprises, “What?” She asked.


     “Hurry! Follow me!” He took her by the hand, out the room, down the hallway, left at the banister and down the stairs into the basement. To her surprise Mommy was waiting there, a half smile splashed over her face, kitchen gloves on her hands, sweat on her brow and damp rag in her hand. Under the basement stairs was a door. Cristy hardly ever went in there. It was too dark and dusty and she was not a big fan of the dark. But this time, a light was on in there! Tommy stood by the door, mother behind her, as if to behold a great secret.


     “I thought you would like this," Tommy said.


     She veered in and instantly her eyes came to life, the Halogen lamp bringing her dreams to fruition. Standing there in the doorway she could see it all, her little hands and fingers reaching out, careful not to touch them. They were so tiny. Babies. A hundred maybe! All crawling around the mommy. And instantly she wished she had a hundred brothers and sisters to play with. And Tommy was no longer a mean giant, and no longer was she mad at him. And she forgave him all the things in the world and he was a good big brother. And at six years old he was so brave. Even mom wouldn’t dare kill a spider. Even now she was standing ten feet back, afraid of the little things.


     And she went on in, got right on her knees and simply watched them scurry and climb their little webs. And how she wanted to play with them, touch them and pet them, But she knew they were so small and could break easily. And all her little dreams could come true now! All the little wishes that Mr. Spider could really come back and feed the kids, were gone and filled with more wishes that all the little kids would go out and find their daddy and bring him home safe to Mommy Spider and they could be home happy and safe. And then they could all open gifts together by the fireplace and have hot chocolate and snacks.


     And with a bright light in her eyes, a funny tickle in her heart and the sweetest voice she could muster, for all the baby spiders and the momma too, she said, “Awww...they're just babies. All playing!” And in her mind all the children were playing on the swings, running up and down the slide and even they had little spider pets running around in the park. And all the daddy’s left all the cars home because it was just such a nice sunny day. A day in a good neighbourhood in a good city that they could never get lost in and no big bad giants could come and squash them, because even bad giants don’t like to squash the little spider kids playing in the spider playground.


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