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The Children's Book by  Horace E. Scudder
Table of Contents

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THE SPIDER AND HIS WIFE

In a little dark crack, half a yard from the ground,

An honest old spider resided:

So pleasant and snug, and convenient 't was found,

That his friends came to see it for many miles round

It seemed for his pleasure provided.


Of the cares, and fatigues, and distresses of life,

This spider was thoroughly tired:

So leaving those scenes of contention and strife,

(His children all settled) he came with his wife,

To live in this cranny retired.


He thought that the little his wife would consume

'T would be easy for him to provide her,

Forgetting he lived in a gentleman's room,

Where came every morning a maid and a broom,

Those pitiless foes to a spider.


[137]

For when (as sometimes it would chance to befall)

Just when his neat web was completed,

Brush—came the great broom down the side of the wall,

And perhaps carried with it, web, spider, and all,

He thought himself cruelly treated.


One day, when their cupboard was empty and dry,

His wife (Mrs. Hairy-leg Spinner)

Said to him, "Dear, go to the cobweb and try,

If you can't find the leg or the wing of a fly,

As a bit of a relish for dinner."


Directly he went, his long search to resume,

(For nothing he ever denied her)

Alas! little guessing his terrible doom;

Just then came the gentleman into his room,

And saw the unfortunate spider.


So, while the poor fellow, in search of his pelf,

In the cobwebs continued to linger,

The gentleman reached a long cane from the shelf

(For certain good reasons best know to himself

Preferring his stick to his finger)


Then presently poking him down to the floor,

(Not stopping at all to consider)

With one horrid crush the whole business was o'er,

The poor little spider was heard of no more,

To the lasting distress of his widow!

Jane Taylor


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