Tucked up against the trunk of the big old redwood was the entrance to a deep dark cave. Roots and moss swirled around the opening partially hiding the depth and darkness of this foreboding place. The spring sun started to warm winters earth and Gossamer along with thousands of her brothers and sisters started to stir from their long winter nap. They had all been safe and sound in a giant silk pod that their Mother had hidden safely deep down in this labyrinth but now it was time to be born, to be awake and start their new life and climb out into the light.
As Gossamer crawled out of the cave and stood in the sunlight at the base of the big old redwood something inside of Gossamer told her that she needed to climb high. She needed to climb high up into the tall redwood that she had slept below. She knew that she was not the only one that had felt the need to climb as she joined the line of little spiders climbing up the sunny side of the trunk.
March, march, march. Up they went. Higher and higher and higher. Occasionally they would find a bit of dew and stop to take a quick drink but something was pulling her, driving her to continue her march up the tree.
Some of Gossamer’s brothers and sisters were exhausted but Gossamer led them onward and upward as they neared the top of old redwood. “Come on!” she encouraged them, “We’re almost there!”
At last they all stopped on a branch high up in the tree. Way down below them was the forest floor. Everyone was frightened. The wind whispered in the branches and the old redwood gently swayed in the wind.
Gossamer knew that there was one more thing that she had to do. She stood up on her toes and pointed her abdomen into the wind and let out a thin string of silk… Immediately the silk caught the wind and carried Gossamer off the branch and out over the forest floor. “Weeeeeeeeee…!”
And that was all that her brothers and sisters need to see. They too stood up on their toes and pointer their abdomens into the wind and shot out a thin string of silk and, “Weeeeeeeeee…!” they all shouted.
Thousand of little spiders took to the wind floating together magically in the air. They could see everything. They could see their fellow forest creatures, Salmon, Caterpillar, Butterfly, Banana Slug, Phoenix. They even saw Raven flying along with them. From their view high above they learned where the creek was, where the campers where, where the deer where… They all figured out where everything was.
And they all could see where they wanted to land and make their home for the summer. They flew for the rest of day until the sun started to set and the wind slowly died down. All of the little spiders started down on their journey to their new home. Gently, softly the floated down until they came to rest on their new home on the forest floor. It was a good day.
Gossamer awoke to the sound of Raven calling for everyone to wake up. “Caw, Caw, CAW!!!” As the morning sun filtered down through the redwoods and warmed her body, Gossamer realized that she was hungry. In fact she had a mighty hunger and this hunger sprang her into action. She spied a small branch above her that was perfect for the task at hand.
Gossamer scurried up to the top of the branch, the hunger pushing her forward. She attached a tiny bit of silky web to the highest point on the branch and then jumped off. “Weeee..Wee..!” She drifted down softly to the bottom of the branch several feet below. Tying off the web to the lower branch, she then raced back to the top to attach another point near where she had started the silky web. “Weeeee…” Gossamer dropped of the branch again… She attached a new string to the lower branch and was off again to the top of the branch. Over and over and over again she traveled up and around the branch. Gossamer was spinning her very first web and it was a beautiful sight. It sparkled and shimmered in the sunlight and drifted and stretched in the soft morning breeze blowing through the forest. Gossamer’s web was amazing, but poor Gossamer was exhausted and still very hungry. She climbed out to the middle of her web and stretched out to take a nap.
Gossamer slept. And as she dreamed her magical web picked up the sounds and noises of the forest around her. She could hear Salmon making soft splashes as he rose from the creek bottom to eat little bugs that floated by. She could hear Butterfly flutter from flower to flower, sucking the sweet nourishing nectar. She could hear Banana Slug slowly sliding over the moist rotting leaves and absorbing their nutrients. She could hear Raven hopping about under the picnic tables pickup up food scraps that were left by the littles. Everything was so alive and awake, but Gossamer still hungry.
Just then, a rude, awakening bump started her from sleep when a large gnat slammed into Gossamer’s beautiful silky web. It nearly threw Gossamer onto the forest floor below but she hung on tight and sprang into action. Instinctually she rushed to the Gnat and swirled a tight web around it. The Gnat was trapped. Quickly Gossamer placed a small bite into the Gnat and injected it with her magic poison. Soon, the Gnat dissolved into a nourishing meal for Gossamer. And it was a very good meal.
Gossamer moved back into the middle of her web. The sun was starting to go down and she was tired. What a day. As she drifted off to sleep her web was once again amplifying the noises of the woods, picking up the sounds around her. Everything was flowing through the web and she could hear – and in a magical way – see all of the creatures of the forest around her as she slept. She was one with the forest, her home.
Summer was very good for Gossamer, she had traveled throughout the Redwoods spinning here web everywhere, over the creek where Salmon swam, under the fern branches with Banana Slug, in the milkweed patch with Butterfly and her favorite spot was under the picnic table with Raven. Raven would grab pieces of food that fell to the ground when the little ones would eat and Gossamer would trap the flies that the fallen food had attracted. A few grasshoppers, a couple of moths and zillion or so flies later she no longer a little spider but a great big fury spider. She finally had to move up into the branches of the Redwood when one of the littles had spied her while climbing under the picnic table and ran off screaming in fright.
The days of Summer heated up and Gossamer’s web became more intricate and much much larger. She would sit in the center of her web and watch the big puffy clouds float by as she drifted back and forth in her web. On one particular day the puffy clouds grew into a big dark thunderhead. The wind grew from a soft breeze into strong guests as the sun dipped below the trees. The sound of thunder rolled through the redwoods… Boom…. Crackle. Static electricity charged the air. Rain started to splatter against Gossamer’s web and she had just started to move from the center of her web to the safety of the trunk of the Old Redwood when suddenly… CRACK. SIZZLE BOOM!!!!
A gigantic thunderbolt crashed down through the sky and sizzled around the trunk of Old Redwood before exploding down into the entrance of the dark cave that lay beneath. The bolt of lightning was so bright that it froze everything in place. Magical light hung in the air and time stood still.
Gossamer looked around her. Smoke swirled through the air and everything was moving magically slow. It was like the her whole world had shifted and she was between the worlds.
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