The Spider’s Wish
Of fevered pitch and dolorous nature,
Cornelia’s screams challenged adventure.
And being a spider, too imposing, quite sable;
“She certainly is vile,” that was the fable.
Across dale and barrow she could be heard;
In Fadenhall village the folks conferred:
“She is driving us crazy. Some thing must be done.”
To a man they kept quiet. Shut was every mun.
This rumour of evil on eight furry legs
Arrived at the ears, over a breakfast of eggs,
Of Sendal the Wayfarer, handy with tools;
To wit, sword, tongue, or soothsaying jewel.
“Will pay her a visit,” he quickly proclaimed.
“Banish this sore from our land so inflamed.”
And thus the brave traveler, armed with the notion
Of protecting himself with anti-venom potion,
Set out on a journey to meet the Arach
And end once for all the sonorous attack.
Two score days passed of inquisition thorough
Before he found shrieking Cornelia’s burrow.
Sendal inspected the deep, pitch-black maw
With keen azure eyes and a sternly set jaw.
Then drank from the bottle, the liquid quite sour;
Readied the blade and all of his power.
“Come out, wretched being, quit now your bawling.
Be swift but be steady. Answer carefully my calling.”
“Lower your steel, child,” finally came
The reply from the Queen of such nefarious fame.
“I just ate a goat and mine belly is full.
Now tell me thy name. Do not be so dull.”
Reluctant and wary he backed up a step.
“Sendal Staghunter I was born in Aldhep.
Sojourner by will, well known in Rin’s Isle.”
He offered credentials, but the sword did not hile.
“And pray tell, young Sendal, how have I thee enraged?
Have I shed man-blood? Have I roared and rampaged?”
Sendal did not cower, but was shocked to see
Four jet globes shine as her head cleared the scree.
“You have wronged the townsfolk and their peace of mind.
Your screams and ubiety they wish to leave behind.”
“Thine wit is as short as a bad candle’s wick,”
She said and came closer, her claws click-a-click.
“My screams bear no rage nor a need for bloodshed.
They are just the tell of a woman unwed.”
That she was no woman he needn’t point out,
But love he understood as universal, no doubt.
“Let us be reasonable and strike a deal.
There must be a way to pacify your zeal.”
Sendal did not care what the solution might be;
His commitment was given to the arachnid’s plea.
Her vast body rose o’er the web-covered den:
A magnificent form beyond human ken.
She inched towards Sendal with a deliberate gait
And, to the little man’s credit, he remained oh-so-straight.
“Kiss me, traveler, touch me with your lips.
Just for this once show me love, how it grips
Tightly and relentlessly two beings that surrender
To it, giving off an otherworldly splendor.”
“To please you is quite easy for I’m a free-loving fellow,
But lady, I must add, I am also quite mellow.
I will kiss you dearly while the day is young,
But though ’tis one of my tools, I shall not use the tongue.”
And so they met fondly, mandible and flesh;
Cornelia’s good humor started afresh.
For minutes they bonded. An unnatural embrace.
And when it ended, they withdrew with grace.
“Such joy have I experienced. Such bliss!
And now as agreed… wait, what’s this?”
Cornelia’s huge paunch bulged, heaved;
Her luminous eyeballs dwindled and grieved.
A last short-lived whimper was all she could muster
Before her existence lost all of its luster.
“Gramell have mercy! What has transpired?
I gave her only what her heart desired!”
He then remembered the pestiferous potion
And his soul was filled with blameful emotion.
“Forgive me, Cornelia, you deserved better:
A mate or a lover, not a poisoning jetter.”
And so ‘twas a kiss that lacked in the equation
For the spider was one of a romantic persuasion.
But as so often happens when one gets what one wants,
Tragedy follows; it seeks and it haunts.
Photo: Cliff Hellis under CC 2.0