Beanery Online Literary Magazine

January 29, 2008


I found this story in my files. A couple of weeks ago I’d spoken to Emily on the phone. She’s grown up now, with a child of her own. I hope her son enjoys this little story written by his mother when she was just a child herself. (This was first posted in Volume I of the Beanery Online Literary Magazine)

To view photo illustration scroll down after clicking on

One morning Miss Emily got up and went to play in her toy bucket.

“YUCH,” said Miss Emily. “There is something in the toy bucket I’m afraid of. It has big legs and it looks SCARY. THROW IT AWAY, ‘cause I’m getting scareder.”

“Emily, It’s only a plastic toy spider. It won’t hurt you.”

“But I’m scared.”

“A toy won’t hurt you,” I told her. “It somebody wants to scare you with a toy spider you don’t want to be afraid, because they would continue to try to scare you. Some kids thing it’s fun to scare other kids this way.”


“Emily, how many legs does this spider have?”

“One, two—three—four,”

“Now count the other side.”

“Five—six, seven—eight legs!”

How many eyes does the spider have?”


What color is it?”


“Emily, count the legs again.”

“One, two, three—four, five—-six—seven—eight!”

“Touch his leg.”

Emily gingerly touched the spider’s leg before quickly moving her hand away.

“Grasp a leg and hold him.”

“I don’t want him to sit on my lap yet,” Emily said.

“Give him a name.”

“Mr. Spider.”

“Make it a more personal name,” I urged.

“Mr. Albert Spider.”

Emily paused to eat her orange, taking pieces of the white skin and setting it in front of Mr. Spider. But he wouldn’t eat it.

“Could he be afraid of the white orange, “ she asked, “Like I’m afraid of him?”

She continued eating and sharing bits of orange peel. Finally she stated excitedly, “Mr. Spider ate his orange too.”

“Wait—how can a pretend spider eat a real orange?”

“Mr. Spider watched me eat mine,” Emily said.

“Maybe he is less fearful of the orange now, like you are less fearful of him,” I suggested.

Emily continued to eat her orange, trimming off white peel as she went, so she could feed Mr. Albert Spider.

And she did it with a smile.

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