For years, Beatrice Bowles, practitioner of the ancient craft of storytelling, has been sharing tales from all over the world.
At first, because Miss Muffet ran away when a spider sat down beside her in the nursery rhyme, I was scared of spiders. Then I read Charlotte’s Web and changed my mind.
Now as a writer, storyteller, and gardener, I’m fascinated by spiders’ crafty, beautiful webs and give thanks for all the good they do…and for the survival secrets they spin. Spiders have survived for more than 360 million years and they exist everywhere on Earth from sea level to cloud level. Spider silk remains the strongest, most flexible fabric of all. And now scientists claim that evolution happens in lateral as well as linear directions–like a web, that is!
Long lasting cultures from Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas respect spiders as witty little teachers of children. In Cherokee, Hopi, and Native California traditions, children learn to listen for Spider Grandmother‘s wise little voice to guide them on the risky road of life. Spider stories connect children to their own inner seeds of goodness and wisdom, seeds that are always ready to sprout.
Since the human race has made such “a queer mess of the planet,” wrote EB White, author of Charlotte’s Web, spiders’ survival wisdom is sorely needed, perhaps more than ever before.