Melvin the spider lived in a small cottage in the woods. He was certain he had the best corner in the house. He had a great view of the human family and all their recreations. He was close to a window, so he was able to see all the wonderful wildlife with each season. He was even close to the best traffic where food was easy to access. Yes, Melvin felt he had a good life.
Now, Melvin lived with his mother and grandmother who both had a different opinion about his good life. They both feared that he had things way to easy. They feared, by trying to compensate for his father being gone with the Spider Corp to bring supplies to the colony, they may have babied him. This seemed to be making him accustomed to having his way and whatever he wanted. There was no responsibilities or discipline. Some elders thought had grown lazy and soft. They thought Melvin was not progressing in life. He seemed to stand still while all the other spiders his age were swinging, jumping, and climbing. Even web school was sending home notices of how Melvin was not able to spin properly. His Web instructor, Mr. Funnel, stated he was never able to make a round web. Melvin was only able to make unusual designs.
One day Melvin came home from web school and handed his mother a note. She looked at Melvin’s grandmother in despair. Melvin’s grandmother nodded her head and stood up.
“Melvin? Why don’t you go up to your web room and watch the human theater for a while. Your mother and I need to work on dinner?”
“Okay!” Melvin exclaimed. “It is almost what the humans call Christmas, and I love to watch all the beautiful colors this time of season.” Melvin scampered to his room as quickly as he could. Melvin’s mother looked down at the note and shook her head.
“I just cannot bear to read another note that tells me how poorly Melvin is doing.” She handed the note to Melvin’s grandmother. Melvin’s grandmother trembled as she opened the note. As she read a feeling of relief came over her. Melvin’s mother watched as she relaxed, then a huge smile came over her.
“What is it?” Melvin’s mother asked with exasperation.
“It’s just an invitation from Mr. Funnel inviting us to a picnic.”
“Oh, how marvelous!” exclaimed Melvin’s mother. Let’s do go. We could all use some time away from our web.
The picnic was held at the human plant across the room. All the spiders called it the Jungle Park. It had plenty of ground soil for running and jumping contest, the limbs were perfect for swinging and hanging, and the leaves were like huge slides that the brave spider lings could practice their acrobats on.
The picnic was set up great. There were plenty of games to pass by time for the young and old. The food was fresh and served to perfection. There was even a live band called Arachnophobia. Everyone was having a great time. Everyone, that is except for Melvin.
Melvin’s mother and grandmother noticed how he couldn’t quite stay in one group or the other. Melvin was switching places so fast that it was hard for anyone to keep up. It was almost as though Melvin couldn’t find where he belonged.
“Do you see how Melvin is moving about?” asked Melvin’s grandmother.
“Yes, I do.” Said his mother. “Do you see his web?” They both looked from where Melvin was running straight to the plant their humans called a Christmas tree. The design of Melvin’s web looked exactly like the decorations the humans placed on it.
That night after Melvin was tucked safely into his web bed, his mother and grandmother discussed the events that occurred earlier that day.
“What are we going to do?” Melvin’s mother asked frantically. “Melvin will never make his own home, let alone be able to work if he keeps making webs like that. No one will want to hire him because they will all think he is crazy!”
“Just keep calm.” Said Melvin’s grandmother. “Melvin was probably just showing off for the other spider lings. Before we jump to any conclusions, we need to talk to Mr. Funnel.” Melvin’s grandmother was uncertain of what was happening, but she refused to believe Melvin was crazy.