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  • Writer's pictureDenishea Young

The Spider and The Fly: A Short Story

Updated: May 31

A spider hanging on its web.
The Spider

“You’ll never know until you try,” says the Spider to the Fly

“Why would I try?” says the Fly to the Spider. “I don’t want to die. I enjoy my life. I have several thousand wives, and tens of thousands of children, who all look at me as Baba.”

“But,” says the Spider, “Is it enough? Is it truly enough?”

The Fly says nothing, just flutters its wings in nervous agitation before opening its mouth and answering in a high false voice, “Of course it is enough. Who doesn’t want to be the family man. Who doesn't enjoy the tens of millions of eyes watching your every move. Looking to you for answers, for food, water and room. Who doesn't enjoy the constant pressure of their women requisitioning your attention. Ah, I am a lucky Fly. I am. I am. I have no need to try.”

“Are you sure,” whispers the Spider. “How will you ever know if you don’t try? Many have already done so. They stood just as you do, before me, telling me sweet sounding lies. Oh Spider I have no need to try. All in my life is fine. I am the greatest, the bestest, the awesomeness, the happiest I have ever been. So why would I ever try. And yet each and everyone of them did try. I did not cajole them, beg or cry. I simply asked as I do you, how will you ever know unless you try.” Then the Spider stepped back and continued with its work, spinning, and weaving a tapestry of silk that created a pattern all its own. 

The Fly blinked its many eyes and fluttered its wings as it shifted from foot to foot. Watching the Spider and the web it created. It thought of the increasing pressure and anxiety that filled it all waiting like a trap ready to snap the moment he returned home. The Fly shook its head and dared a breathless question, “Spider. Oh Spider tell me the truth... “ The Fly paused as he swallowed and inhaled a long wavering breath as he gathered his courage and continued, “Did. Did others truly go before me?”

“Oh yes,” said the Spider, almost absent mindedly as it continued its weaving. “Many have gone before you and many will go after you. But you need not do so. As you said, you have no need to try, right?” 

A fly standing in a sea of grass
The Fly

The Fly opened its mouth but no sound escaped. He closed it with a quiet click before moistening his mouth and whispered a wondering, “Right?” to himself. Looking down at the grass stem it stood on before looking back at the direction of his home, family and many many responsibilities before shuddering and looking back at the Spider as it danced amongst its tapestry weaving. Swallowing the Fly whispered a little louder so that it would reach the Spiders' listening hairs, “actually I do want to try.” 

The Spider stilled and refused to let its hairs quiver in anticipation as it turned only its head and looked at the Fly with its eight eyes and smiled, “then try,” and the so the Fly did and of course it died and the Spider continued to spin its unique tapestry waiting for the next fly to whom he’d say, “You’ll never know unless you try.”

Originally written on April 7, 2022 during a writing workshop. I remember being sad that I was unable to make it happy. However, looking at it now. It is what it is supposed to be. Sometimes as a writer you may want a story to go someplace but it just won't and you have to adjust. Have you ever had that experience with something? It could be writing, painting, drawing or anything else. Share down in the comments below.

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