Hola, individuals who are reading this. Sorry it took me so long to write something new, I've been busy. Anyway, this is a short fairy tale about a girl named Harriet and her brother (and spiders of course). I don't know how I got the idea, don't ask, but it sort of popped up in my head (like internet ads, aren't they annoying?) But I was in the garden weeding, while thinking about the last fairy tale I had read (I'm reading a book of fairy tales for research for another story I'm writing) and at the same time about the spider who scampered across my stomach in bed the other night shudder Anyway, it's a cute little piece, that ends like all fairy tales, with a happily ever after (not the words, but the ending is happy), and a little bit of death. An odd formula, but it's true to the bone. Anyway, now that you know my life story, enjoy!

-Meghan


Harriet and the Spider

Once, where corn grew taller than houses and strawberries as big as a shoe, there lived a small family with a man and his wife and their two children, a boy and a girl. The boy's name was Hamlin and he loved to tease his sister, Harriet, with the long black spiders that she feared so. Every day, while she would sit in a corner and spin, Hamlin would open a jar with a spider in it and let it crawl upon Harriet's shoe, and he got a great deal of pleasure from the way she shrieked and jumped, her spinning scattering all over the floor.

But as mean as Hamlin was, Harriet was twice as nice, and she loved to spend her summers out in the woods with the animals and pretty jeweled bugs. She would talk to butterflies, sing with crickets, and buzz around with bees, picking lovely flowers for a bouquet to put on the table that evening. If she could, she would spend all day singing and talking and picking outdoors, but, as always, there was spinning to be done, and she went home to spin her yarn.

She soon learned to spin the finest yarns, using flower petals and grass stems in her wool to make the yarn unique and pretty. She even sometimes soaked the wool in strawberry juice to give it fragrance and a pretty pinkish-red color. Soon people from all over town were coming to buy her yarn, and she quickly earned a tidy sum of money.

Hamlin grew jealous of Harriet's good fortune, and even though she shared her money with her family, Hamlin was positive that she was holding the majority of it back for herself. He grew so jealous, in fact, that he went out and caught a giant brown spider, and when Harriet was out in the forest, picking flowers and talking and singing, he let it go in the corner where she spun, and it scuttled up the wall and out of sight. When Harriet got back, Hamlin pretended nothing was different and smirked to himself when she went to go spinning.

Harriet had no idea anything was wrong, and so she continued to spin in her corner that night, and every other night that week.

Then, one night, her mother came to her and asked, "Why do you not use spider silk for your yarn? It will make it soft and it will sparkle as if made of diamonds." And her daughter replied,

Spiders are long and hairy,

they will not be my friend.

Spiders are black and scary,

they must come to an end.

Her mother walked away, shrugging her shoulders. "Suit yourself," she said.

The next night, Harriet's father came over to her corner as she spun, and asked, "Why do you not use spider silk in your yarn? It will make it nicer and more people will come to buy it." And she replied,

Spiders are long and hairy,

they will not be my friend.

Spiders are black and scary,

they must come to an end.

Her father shrugged and walked away, saying "Suit yourself." Harriet just smiled knowingly and continued working.

But what she didn't know was that the giant brown spider in the corner had heard every word she said. His feelings were rather hurt, because in the time he had come here, he had watched the girl spin and sing to herself and grew more and more in love with her every day. She was a beautiful girl, really, with dark hair and bright eyes that always held a smile. But that smile was not for him, because he was a spider, and she hated spiders.

But the next night, as Harriet was singing to herself quietly, the spider made up his mind to meet her, and he slung himself down from his corner by a silken thread.

Harriet, who saw something moving out of the corner of her eye, looked up just as the spider landed on her little spinner. She froze for fear, because the spider must have been at least as big as her father's hand, and she could see its glittering black eyes.

She was about to scream for her father or brother, but before she opened her mouth, the spider spoke to her.

"Don't be afraid, little Harriet," it said. "I am but a poor spider, with nothing to do but spin webs. But you and I are alike in that we can each make beautiful strings, and I will gladly give you some of my silk if you'll but sing for me."

And Harriet, seeing the kindness in the spider's pretty jewel-black eyes, sung as sweet a song about spiders as she could. The spider, true to his word, spun Harriet a skein of spider silk to use in her yarn. She began right away on the most beautiful yarn she had ever spun, and when people heard about it, they came from all over the country to see her yarn, just like her father and mother had told her. She and the spider became fast friends, and everywhere she went, she took the faithful spider with her.

But Harriet's spiteful brother Hamlin grew incredibly angry, and he sought to kill the poor spider that had made Harriet so rich and happy. But little did he know that the spider was really an enchanted Prince, and when he tried to squash it while it was scuttling around behind Harriet, it suddenly grew into a handsome young man. For just as Hamlin had placed his foot upon the spider, Harriet had whirled around and cried out that he mustn't squash her dear friend, and had burst into tears. When one of her pearly tears hit the spider, he turned instantly back into his true form, and Harriet was crying for gladness and joy.

So the Prince took Harriet away and they lived in a beautiful castle where they got married outdoors in the summer. Harriet's parents were invited to the castle to live with them, and her brother was invited too, for even though he had tried to squash her dear friend the spider, she forgave him. It was in her nature. But Hamlin grew twisted with jealousy whenever he looked at the happy couple, and soon his heart became black and ugly.

One day, as the Harriet and her Prince were walking in the gardens, Hamlin hid himself behind a statue ahead of them with a knife. But when he jumped out at the two, he tripped and fell upon his knife, which pierced him through his shriveled, black heart. He turned black all over and started to shrink and sprout more legs. Soon, he became an ugly, hairy, black spider. The new queen shrieked, for she still hadn't gotten over her fear of spiders entirely, and the shock of seeing her brother turn into one frightened her quite a bit, and she said:

Spiders are long and hairy,

they will not be my friend.

Spiders are black and scary,

they must come to an end.

Hamlin was forced to run away and hide in the garden, and lived miserably until one day a gardener accidentally squashed him as he was crossing the path. Harriet and her Prince, however, lived happily in their castle, with Harriet spinning beautiful yarns for the whole kingdom, and her Prince (who soon became a King) ruled the kingdom with her good council.