A Spyder's Lesson
Lots of people have fears; ghosts, darkness, slime. But
there is one fear that stands out from the others. Do you know what it is? Well,
here's a hint. It has numerous large, unblinking eyes that glint scarlet in the
night. It is black, hairy, and has eight gruesome legs sticking out of its body.
The most common phobia is of spyders, and Alice
definitely had that phobia. She couldn't stand spyders, and squashed the little
vermin at every chance she could. You could say she was crazy - she could only
glance up at you wordlessly before continuing to spray an unhealthy amount of
Spyder-Be-Gone around her room.
But that all changed on one frightful night.
Alice stared into the mirror, and a small blue
Aisha stared back at her. Timid indigo eyes glanced around the room every so
often and small bits of violet hair stuck out from her two ponytails. The young
girl sighed and straightened out her nightgown. Then, after checking under her
bed, dresser, and desk, she concluded that her room was spyder-free. Still,
better safe than sorry, she thought, spraying her room with the Spyder-Be-Gone.
"There," Alice said aloud, reaching out to turn
off the light. Then she saw it: four large, scarlet eyes staring at her, and
eight hairy legs scurrying to the wall. She jumped for the can and began spraying
wildly in every direction. However, she missed every time and the spyder disappeared
into a crack in the wall.
Alice stayed awake for another hour, shaking
and rocking back and forth, until her eyes finally shut and a night of sleep
lay ahead of her.
The small Aisha was awoken thirty minutes later,
to a soft voice whispering her name. "Alice, Aaaaalice," it cooed. Her eyes
opened fearfully and she pulled the string on her lamp. The soft amber glow
engulfed her face and she glanced around the room suspiciously.
"Over here," the tiny voice said. She looked
in the direction of the voice, and there she saw a fat, hairy spyder, waving
to her with one of its many legs.
Alice let out a shriek of fear and grabbed the
can of Spyder-Be-Gone, which was always conveniently placed on her bedside table.
But... the can was empty! She dropped it, hearing the clank being muffled by
the plush carpeting, and grabbed a book. That spyder wouldn't be alive for long!
"Wait!" the voice cried. She stopped. The spyder
was... speaking? Of course, of course, it had been talking moments earlier...
but how? Alice paused, her book raised over her head, as the spyder spoke. "You
tried to eliminate me earlier this night, remember? I'd just like to ask one
question before you do it again... why?"
Alice lowered the book ever so slightly, and
for half a second she actually heard and felt the pity in the spyder's small
voice. "Wh-what do you mean?" she asked after a moment of shock. Before waiting
for an answer, she added, "You don't sc-scare me by the w-way. I'm bigger than
you, and s-so much st-stronger."
The spyder ignored her shaky (and thoroughly
unconvincing) threat, and spoke in more questions. "Why do you try to hurt us?
Why are you so proud when you kill a spyder's mother, or their sister? Wouldn't
you feel horrible if it happened to you? Why don't you feel guilt?"
Alice began to shake harder than ever and fell
into her bed. The creature's words echoed in her head louder and louder, until
her ears were ringing. Tears built up in her eyes as she imagined her mother
and father, who were peacefully asleep two rooms over, being squashed by a giant
book, or sprayed with Aisha-Be-Gone.
Finally, after a single blink, the tears spilled
down Alice's cheeks and she began to sob hysterically. She wasn't sure whether
it was fear or understanding of the spyder's own feelings, but now she knows
that it was the latter.
"Do you now understand?" the spyder asked, stepping
towards her. She shakily nodded and grabbed a tissue to wipe her teary eyes.
"I'm sorry for my actions, little spyder," Alice
murmured. "I'll never harm you or your family again. You... you may leave. I
won't hurt you." But the spyder stayed put, gazing at her with those wistful
Alice squinted at the spyder's eyes - hadn't
they been that creepy shade of red a moment ago? And that was when she realized
that the spyder was growing a neck, and... arms! It was growing arms from delicate
shoulders, followed by a stomach and then legs... not only that, but it was
turning into a creamy-peach color, and long silvery-blonde hair was growing
out of the once-spyder-head. The extra two eyes disappeared and in less than
a minute she was staring at a beautiful young faerie.
Alice was speechless. The faerie giggled and,
in a musical voice, whispered, "Congratulations, Alice. You have passed my test.
No longer shall you only see the outside of people - and spyders! You are a
wonderful girl, and I hope that you have learned your lesson." She began to
slowly flap her wings and flicked her right hand, making the window open.
"Remember," she called as she gracefully swooped
out the window and began to close it. "Beauty is only skin deep!"
And then she was gone.
Alice woke with a start late in the morning.
Shaking her head, she glanced around. All was quiet, except for the twitter-twitter
of a beekadoodle outside. She rose from her bed and stretched, feeling well-rested.
Suddenly, the night came back to her and she
jumped to the window and looked out. No one was there, of course. "Was it all...
a dream?" she asked, her voice barely a whisper. Alice sighed and sat down at
the dresser. It had to have been a dream. Faeries didn't just randomly visit
homes to teach lessons... did they?
It was then that she heard a scuttling noise
and saw a spyder running across the room, away from her. She instinctively reached
for the Spyder-Be-Gone, which was full, thus proving that it was only a dream.
But then, her hand clutching the can, she stopped. The faerie's words came back
She threw the can into the trash.
"Come here," Alice murmured, and the spider stopped.
It turned and, seeing the serene look in her eyes, slowly walked towards her
and onto her outstretched palm. It tickled Alice's paw a little, but didn't
bite or hurt her.
"You're nice," Alice concluded. "You may not
be pretty, but... well... beauty is only skin deep." She looked into the mirror
and saw that her hair was tangled and frizzy and she had dark, frightening circles
under her eyes. She laughed and grinned at the tiny petpet that she had once
Beauty is not something by which to judge another,
as Alice learned from that single dream. It may be nice, but it is nothing compared
to what truly lies within some people's hearts. And, believe it or not, spyders
have wonderful hearts too. They can be just as nice - if not nicer - than some
of the people on the planet of Neopia.
And, had she not been caught up in these peaceful
thoughts, Alice may have noticed that the spyder's eyes flickered blue for a
moment before returning to their former shade of red.