Monday, November 12, 2012

The Spider and the Chief

  As I have said in the past, my writing sometimes comes in the form of dreams.  I dreamt of a fable, so bear with me.  I have never written a fable before, but the dream was clearly one.  I am no Aesop, just a tiny warning.

The Spider and the Chief

In a tiny village there lived a great Chief and his loyal tribe.  They were a peaceful race, full of love and happiness.  Despite their shortage of food, they thrived with smiles on their faces and minds filled with stories of the Great Spirits.  They had only one enemy, the Queen spider and her army of workers.  One bite would take the life of his precious kinsmen, and send them on a journey to meet with the Old Ones.

Summer was nearly over and it was time for the tribe to start storing food.  The scarce supply they had would last only a week, maybe two.  It was time to go out in to the deep forest to see if they could reach the berries. 

The purple and blue berries carried a magnificent perfume and their taste was other-worldly.  The Chief said they were the "ambrosia of the Great Spirits".   They were high in the tree tops and it was very rare when one would drop and be retrieved by a tribe member, for the forest they were in was spider territory.  The Queen was not one to share her special treasure of the berries, they were hers and hers alone.  She would send her army out to bite any human that dare attempt to steal her fruit. 

One day, as the spiders were gathering the berries, they were attacked.  High in the canopies of the trees lived the Great Bird.  He had been watching the spiders for weeks and decided he would now make his move.  He picked off several of her little soldiers and happily snacked on them, screeching out his pride to his flock.  They too, moved in to feast with him, smiling as they devoured their prey.

The Queen was outraged!  They were too fast to bite, too strong to fight and could fly away so very easily.  She had to think of something to save her family.

As the moon opened it's eyes upon the land, the Chief heard a very small voice.  "Oh, wise Chief, please hear and honor my request."   The chief looked around and could not see what was speaking to him.  "Down here, on the floor before you!"  The chief looked down and before him were 20 spiders, with the Queen in the front.  "Dear Chief, I feel we have been wrong to your clan.  My army has bitten many of your men and I have come to ask for forgiveness."  The chief gazed down upon the tiny spiders, unsure of the menacing creatures.  The medicine man would not be fooled by such trickery.  "Do not listen to evil tongues, Mighty Chief!  She is surely lying!"  The chief held his hand out to the medicine man and looked at the Queen and spoke, "What is it you want from us, tiny ruler?"

The Queen stepped aside as part of her army brought forth three very small pies.  "Dear Chief, I have brought you lovely pies of berries as a peace offering.  I only ask that you help rid us of our enemies, the Great Bird and his people."

"Do not eat these pies, Mighty Chief!" spoke the medicine man.  "She has obviously put her venom in them and is trying to send us to the Old Ones!"  The chief picked up a pie and took a small bite.  A smile crossed his lips, "These are very delicious.  I once had a berry when I was a child and I had forgotten how wonderful they were."  The medicine man cried out "NO! What have you done?  You have now just committed yourself to a life with the Old Ones!" 

"Old friend", said the chief, "The Queen is a wise one.  If she were to poison me, no doubt you and the other men would have stepped on her and her army, killing them instantly.  I have no fear of poison being in these pies.  She is truthful.  How may we be of service, tiny ruler?"

"I have a proposition, Dear Chief, bring your men to the forest so that they may protect my workers as we gather berries.  You will have plenty to eat as the Great Bird and his people are large and juicy.  You will not only have the tender meat of the birds, but we can never eat the amount of berries we harvest before the next bloom, so we will share those with you also."  The Mighty Chief pondered this request of the Queen. "You will no longer bite my people?"  "Oh no, Dear Chief, your people and my people will work in harmony from this day forward, so that we may also thrive as well as you."

The chief nodded in agreement.  The very next day, the tribesmen were off to the deep part of the forest.  The Great Bird and his family were no match for the skill in which the natives used their arrows.  They fell easily and the spiders rejoiced.  They were able to work at such a great speed without having to worry about being gobbled up, that they gathered much more berries than they could carry.  Berries were raining down upon the chief's tribe like the Great Spirits were blessing them.  The spiders happily crawled home and the tribe gathered up the birds and berries and were prepared for the winter, both having achieved their goals.  They lived in harmony together for many, many years, each giving and taking to make life pleasurable.

Even mortal enemies can come together, for the greater good of all.

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