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The Spider Who Came for Christmas

Wendell the Spider lived in the upper corner of Grandma’s ceiling. He had a nice brown web there and a tasty fly that he hoped to unwrap for his Christmas dinner. But the very best thing about Wendell’s web was that he could hide all day and watch down on Grandma.

First, she set up a beautiful tree. She put on colored lights and a shining star. She wrapped all the presents, then set into baking. Oh, there were gingerbread men, pumpkin pies, and big huge sweet potatoes. Wendell could hardly imagine. She set so many plates on the table, he couldn’t count them.

Before she went up to bed she slid a giant turkey in the oven and clasped her hands in delight, “Tomorrow the kids and grandkids will be here. The house will be full to the top.”

Wendell was so excited he couldn’t sleep. He smelled the turkey roasting and looked out to the full wide moon. But in the dead of night there came a raging snow storm. Oh, how it snowed!

Christmas morning Grandma opened her door to a four foot wall of snow. “Oh, no,” she gasped. The cars were covered in white. The houses were covered in white. When the telephone rang, Grandma answered it in her sweet voice, “Of course, you can’t come now.”

But then she sat in her little rocker beside the fire, and while Wendell watched, a tiny tear slid down her cheek. Grandma was crying.

Wendell gathered his tasty fly, spun a zip line over to the fireplace then made a vertical zip straight down in her face. “Don’t cry, Grandma,” he said.

Grandma looked up from her tears and gasped. “Why you’re a spider.”

He extended the delectable fly on his front leg, “I brought you a present.”

“But I haven’t anything for you,” she said as she took it.

“Invite me to Christmas Dinner!” 

So, Grandma sat Wendell in the center of a giant plate and heaped food all around him. Mashed potatoes, and stuffing, then figgy pudding – Wendell ate those with his back legs. She piled on cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes. He ate those with his middle legs. “I have eight legs, Grandma,” he said. So, she piled on green beans and macaroni and cheese. 

Wendell’s stomach swelled out to the size of a walnut and he fell right over. “I need a nap,” he groaned. So, Grandma gathered him up in a little napkin and rocked him to sleep in her chair. Wendell never felt so wonderful in all his life.

And when he woke up Grandma was singing, “I made you a present.” And there was the most incredible web knitted from old grey yarn that Wendell had ever seen. It ran all around the corner of the ceiling. Grandma patted his rounding stomach and smiled, “Now, how about that fly with some cornbread dressing?”

Wendell nodded in total contentment, “With just a sliver of pie.”

***

The Spider Who Came for Christmas is written by Suzanne Mays.

Suzanne Mays is a novelist and short story writer. Her stories are about women in search of land, family, and peace in themselves. Usually set in the mountains, they possess a quiet humor. Her novel, The Man Inside the Mountain is the story of Essie Bell, a woman who believes her son has survived the Civil War and is hiding in the mountain behind her farm.