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called Mrs. Gipsy to see it, too, and Mother Gipsy said:
“Well, I think Mrs. Spider-Brown is very glad that she is n't like the speckled hen that has twelve eggs to take care of instead of one! And I also guess the speckled hen is very glad she does n't have one hundred babies to come out of just one egg, as Mrs. Spider-Brown will have when her egg hatches!”
But Mrs. Spider-Brown did not worry over that fact a single minute-she only wished her egg would hurry up and hatch, so she could have her baby spiders for company. She did n't tell Joe-Boy so, but she said to herself that as soon as her baby spiders did hatch, and were large enough, she was going to turn them all into the garden to live, where they belonged. It was too dangerous to raise a hundred babies in the house with Mother Gipsy — she believed too much in brooms and dusters!
Well, by and by the egg hatched out, and my! I wish you could have seen those hundred babies roll out! Just exactly like their mother - legs and eyes and all! And Mrs. Spider-Brown made them mind, too, from the very beginning! She would not have one bit of foolishness, and those babies knew it, too! She told them they would all have to make their own living, but, of course, she meant to teach them how before she turned them out into the garden. So, every morning, Mrs. Spider-Brown had school with them up over the transom window, and they were all learning very fast. She would first make them get in a long row, and then she would say, "Attention!” That meant for all the little spiders to look at her. And they looked, too, with all of their eight eyes.
“Now,” said Mrs. Spider-Brown, “tell me where you came from?"
“We came out of one egg,” piped all the baby spiders together.
“Don't say “We came out of one egg,' my dears," said their mother, “why that is too long; just say "egg,' and be done with it. I like short answers!”
“Egg, and be done with it,” said the baby spiders, trying their very best. Mrs. Spider-Brown sighed, because that is not exactly what she wanted them to say, but she went on to the next question, anyway.
“Now tell me,” she said, “what do little spiders eat?” “Flies,” said the baby spiders, “flies!”
Good," said Mrs. Spider-Brown, “that's a short answer! Now, how do you catch the flies?”
“Run after them,” chimed the baby spiders.
“Tut, tut,” said Mrs. Spider-Brown, “the idea! Whoever heard of a spider running after a fly! Why, they have wings! We could never catch one that way! Listen, every one. Spiders spin webs to catch flies in and they spin the web from a wonderful silken thread that comes from their bodies. Each one of you spiders has a silken thread in you, too, and you will find the little spinning holes by your hind legs-look for them now.” Then Mrs. Spider-Brown gave them a spinning lesson and they all learned how to spin a short thread.
“Good,” said Mrs. Spider-Brown; "now, where is the best place for spiders to make their webs?”
And all the spiders said, “Down on the barn, in the fence corners, by the side porch, and on the rosebush!”
“Very fine," said Mrs. Spider-Brown, “most especially by the barn, because there will always be plenty of flies near. And don't forget the pattern-round like a wheel. I will show you how pretty mine is by and by. Now, two more questions and school is out for to-day. Why should not spiders build their webs in houses?”
“Brooms and dusters!” said the little spiders— they knew that answer well.
“Yes, to be sure,” said Mrs. Spider-Brown. “Never build your webs in houses, unless you are very sure the people inside will be your friends. Now for the last question: Why should n't spiders build their webs close to the ground?”
“Frogs! frogs! frogs! frogs!” said all the baby spiders. “Frogs!”
“Why, to be sure,” said Mrs. Spider-Brown; “I know you are the very smartest little spiders that ever drew the breath of life! Come, I shall give you all a ride on my back to see my pretty web-pile on!”
Then all the baby spiders that could find room got up on Mrs. Spider-Brown's back and she carried them over to her web, coming back for those which had been left behind.
“Hold tight,” she said, “whatever you do, don't fall on to Mrs. Gipsy's floor-brooms and dusters! Remember the silken thread you've learned to spin-if you should fall, just spin one quickly, fasten it to my body, and
After Mrs. Spider-Brown had taken them all to her web and let them watch her catch a fly, then she took them back to the nest for a rest, and the very next day she turned
them out in the garden to make their living! And do you know, not a single one of those baby spiders forgot what they had learned at school?
From "Little Folks' Land."
Piped (pipt), spoke up in a thin, shrill voice; chimed, spoke in concert; păt'tērn, plan. STUDY HELPS
Why did Mrs. Spider-Brown decide to make her nest in JoeBoy's room? Tell where and how she built it.
How many eggs did she lay? How did she carry it about?
(Select one of the class to play the part of Mrs. Spider-Brown. Let all the rest be little spiders. Read the speeches of the lesson just as they should be spoken.)
THE SPIDER AND THE FLY
“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the Spider to the Fly, “ 'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy; The way into my parlor is up a winding stair, And I've many curious things to show when you are there." “Oh, no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain, For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down
“I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high; Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the Spider to the Fly. “There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are
fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!" “Oh, no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said, They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!”
Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, “Dear friend, what can
I do, To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you? I have within my pantry good store of all that 's nice; I'm sure you 're very welcome — will you please to take a
slice?" “Oh, no, no,” said the little Fly, “kind sir, that cannot be; I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!”
“Sweet creature!” said the Spider, “you 're witty and you 're
wise; How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your
eyes! I've a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf; If you
'11 step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself." “I thank you, gentle sir,” she said, “for what you 're pleased
And bidding you good morning now, I 'll call another day.”
The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den, For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back
again. So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly, And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly. Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing, "Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver