THE BEETLES’ STORY (…continued – Part 16)

“My children are strong.  They’ll know what to do in good time.”

“Never, a week’s too short.  You’ll need our help.  Look, here’s another proposition for you: I’ll spare your life if you keep a couple of your brood to help you out of here and leave the remaining nine with us to do as we please.”

“Sure.  I’ve heard it all before.  You’d be too happy to use them as slaves.  You’d also feed them to fatten them up and then—”

“—Think about it,” Spidey says, unmoved.

A familiar voice interrupts them:

“Dad! Dad!” the voice calls from below, down at the bottom of the tree.

Once again, there’s an unusual sight in the jungle: a young red back spider is standing at the bottom of a large tree.  It doesn’t look like a spider at all if you look at it from where Spidey and Redbeet stand, because it holds a dangling weight securely tied upon its back, a weight that is unable to get back to the ground, with two remaining legs up in the air.

“It’s me, Dad!” says the small red back at the bottom of the tree, carrying Shinybeet on its back.

But no matter how hard Spidey squints his eyes, he can’t recognize his own son from up there.

“And who might you be?” he insists, suspicious.

“Dad, I’m Spidey Jnr no seven, I followed your order and am bringing Shineybeet back.”

“Oh I see.  Is he dead?”

“No, but he sure is a dead weight.”

“Do you need help to carry him up?”

“Yes.”

Five young spiders rush down a tree trunk to help their brother.  At the sight of Shinybeet, Redbeet exclaims:

“You’ll pay for this, coward!”

Shinybeet remains silent, coy and annoyed.

“How did you get caught?  I thought you were ‘smart’.”

To be continued…

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