| Fifty Famous Stories Retold|
|by James Baldwin|
|Includes fifty legendary tales depicting certain romantic episodes in the lives of well-known heroes and famous men, or in the history of a people. Children naturally take a deep interest in such stories. The reading of them will not only give pleasure but will lay the foundation for broader literary studies, as nearly all are the subjects of frequent allusions in poetry and prose. Ages 6-9 |
BRUCE AND THE SPIDER
THERE was once a king of Scotland whose name was Robert Bruce.
He had need to be both brave and wise, for the times in
which he lived were wild and rude. The King of England
was at war with him, and had led a great army into
Scotland to drive him out of the land.
Battle after battle had been fought. Six times had Bruce
led his brave little army against his foes;
 and six times had his men been beaten, and driven into
flight. At last his army was scattered, and he was
forced to hide himself in the woods and in lonely places
among the mountains.
One rainy day, Bruce lay on the ground under a rude shed,
listening to the patter of the drops on the roof above
him. He was tired and sick at heart, and ready to give up
all hope. It seemed to him that there was no use for him to
try to do anything more.
As he lay thinking, he saw a spider over his head, making
ready to weave her web. He watched her as she toiled slowly
and with great care. Six times she tried to throw her frail
thread from one beam to another, and six times it fell
"Poor thing!" said Bruce: "you, too, know what it is to
But the spider did not lose hope with the sixth failure.
With still more care, she made ready to try for the seventh
time. Bruce almost forgot his own troubles as he watched her
swing herself out upon the slender line. Would she fail
again? No! The thread was carried safely to the beam, and
"I, too, will try a seventh time!" cried Bruce.
He arose and called his men together. He told
 them of his plans, and sent them out with
messages of cheer to his
disheartened people. Soon
there was an army of brave
Scotchmen around him. Another battle was fought, and the King
of England was glad to go back into his own country.
I have heard it said, that, after that day, no one by the name of
Bruce would ever hurt a spider. The lesson which the little
creature had taught the king was never
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