“Dad, they’re really furry and have lots of legs,” a young spider insists.
“What’s that about ‘lots of legs’” Dad queries.
“Eight of them. They look a lot like spiders.”
“Come and look, Dad.”
“What have we here?” thunders Spidey, “A cross breed? How repulsive! Who the hell did you mate with, you dirty, disgusting, dysfunctional insect?”
Baby no 5 and 6 come out one straight after the other.
“Please, I beg you, don’t make a meal of them” an exhausted Redbeet begs.
“We don’t eat furry mutant species,” says Spidey, “whatever they are. They resemble some type of spider; I’ll decide what to do with them when you’re finished with this giving birth of yours.”
“How are my babies doing?” Redbeet asks.
But she isn’t finished and she feels the urge to push again. This time, another four youngsters come out almost simultaneously. In all, eleven are born: there are four girls and seven boys.
“They’re cute and friendly, Dad” one of Spidey’s brood ventures.
“Don’t you get attached to them, they’re the enemy. For now, we must satisfy our hunger”.
“Are you feeling better?” Spidey asks Redbeet.
“I might have more coming, I can’t tell.”
“Your time is over,” a ruthless, knowing Spidey says. “Children!” he yells, “on my order, take up ranks.”
Fifteen spiders line up, from smallest to tallest. Amongst the youngest, five are crying.
“No emotions in the rank!” Spidey commands, “are you your father’s top spiders or not?”
To no avail, one spider breaks down and begins to cry its heart out.
“Spidey Jnr. no seven, haven’t you learned anything? Are you sick?”
Spidey Jnr. no seven is unable to answer.
“Wait till I report this to your Mum,” Spidey threatens.
But the young spider has lost control and is inconsolable.
“Get up and look me in the eye!” Spidey blasts.
At last, Spidey Jnr. no seven gets up, tears still streaming, barely able to contain its sorrow.
“Speak or be gone!” Spidey demands.
“I don’t think we should eat Redbeet.”
“Oh, that’s what it is, is it? And who might you think you are? None of my sons and daughters is to give an opinion until it is fully grown and has matured enough to feed itself alone in the wilderness. It’s the rule of nature. I teach, you obey.”
To be continued…