One day, a spider was sitting high up amongst the beams of a beautiful old hostelry when, all of a sudden, it saw a mass of coloured feathers waiving in the air making its way towards her. “Help!” she thought. “I must escape”.
It was Spring, the landlady was in full flight of a cleaning frenzy and she just loved the power of her giant feather duster to sweep away the cobwebs – and for that matter anything else that stood in its wake.
The spider had managed to abseil down her escape thread and landed right in front of a little mouse, who was also endeavouring to avoid this purge. “Oh! Oh! I want to get away from here as fast as I can. In fact, I am off to the sea, to the beach, there can’t possibly be any Spring cleaning there or mad landladies” squeaked the mouse.
“What a good idea!” said the spider. “I have never been to the sea. Do you know the way?”
“No” said the mouse. “But, my whiskers do.”
So off they set. But after a while the spider became very tired and found it very difficult to keep up with the mouse and his twitching whiskers. “Don’t worry” said the mouse. “Hop onto my back and I will hardly notice your weight. Besides you can whisper stories in my ears to keep me going, especially as I have no idea how long the journey will take.” And in this companionable way they continued their journey.
After many hours, they finally reached the beach. To begin with, the mouse found it easy to walk on the sand for the hard earth was still beneath the surface, but suddenly he began to sink.
“Help!” he squeaked. “What have I done, this is a terrible mistake. We may have escaped the wild feathers but we can’t live here. This is even more frightening!”
“No, don’t worry” said the spider. “It is my turn to help now and my creativity is flowing so much from telling you the stories that I have a wonderful idea. I can weave you a special parachute that can go round your tummy and float above you for there is always a gentle breeze in these places”.
The spider worked very quickly and in no time the mouse’s legs were just kissing the sand. He gently floated to the safer ground and they found a lovely home that they could share amongst the rocks. Every morning, if you get up early enough, you will witness the amazing sight of a little mouse paragliding along the shore with a spider whispering in its ears and sounds of laughter echoing on the waves.
Story by Chlöe Asprey – Illustration by Karen Thornton