by Katrina DeLallo -
Araynee the spider lived in the hidden corner of earth that was still inhabited by fairy tale creatures such as unicorns, centaurs, pixies, goblins, fairies and griffins. She lived in an enchanted part of a magic forest where there was a unicorn pool, a fairy circle, and a griffin den. It was a beautiful forest, full of all kinds of trees and overgrown with huge leafy bushes, drooping leaves and illuminated with filtered green sunlight.
Araynee was dreadfully unhappy.
She was sometimes so unhappy she’d sit on her tuffet and cry little pearl tears. The unicorns would try to cheer her up, but they never could. Araynee was too self-conscious to accept their efforts. She was shy, because out of all the spiders in Enchanted Corner, she was the only one who was different.
All the other spiders did normal spider things, like spinning webs and having babies. All the other spiders also looked like normal spiders. Araynee’s body was as clear as glass and shone like a soap bubble in sunlight. Her legs were slender, covered with delicate silver fuzz as soft as peach fuzz and her eyes glowed with rainbow colours. She was beautiful. But she was the only spider in the Corner who looked the way she did. Worse, she couldn’t spin a web, and that made Araynee feel even stranger than ever.
She wasn’t very old. She remembered when she first woke up and realized she was alive. She remembered that happy moment when she took her first breath. But that was before she realized she was different.
One day, when the sun above the Corner was particularly bright and the light filtering in was especially green, Araynee was so unhappy she sat and cried until the ground was wet.
“Don’t cry,” the trees begged her, leaning close and reaching down with their leaves to touch her, but Araynee couldn’t stop crying.
“Don’t cry,” the sun pleaded, sending its brightest, happiest beams through the leaves to caress her, but Araynee couldn’t stop crying. She shook with sobs.
Suddenly, she thought she heard someone make a wish, and a fiery spark zipped through her blood like electricity, making her hiccup. Without even thinking about it, she spun out a web, a little crystalline web that glittered for just a second before disappearing into threads of mist. Araynee howled at the loss of such a beautiful web and stamped her silver legs upon the ground.
“Don’t cry,” another voice said all of a sudden, and Araynee’s tears disappeared in a gulp of surprise, for when she looked up she saw a human child standing before her. The child was short and skinny as a twig, her braided hair as bright as the sun that slipped through the trees and her eyes blue as the shirt she wore.
“Who are you?” Araynee asked. “Humans can’t find their way to the Corner. How did you get here?”
“I’m Jacinta,” the girl said. “I don’t know how I got here. I heard you crying. It made me so sad, I wished I could find you to cheer you up, and all of a sudden I was here. Why are you crying?”
With one of her slender legs Araynee delicately wiped away the tears that diamonded her eyes.
“I’m crying because I’m lonely. I’m lonely because I’m different, and I don’t know how to make friends. I don’t have the words. I’m too different, I think. None of the other spiders are like me. They are all normal colors, black and brown, red and green. They all have children, and they can spin webs. I can’t spin webs.”