Spiders In the Night: Aly Weaves a Tale

The fall cold always came overnight, in October, when the moon was a spooky thumbnail.

Aly loved October. She loved how the spiders spun ghostly webs to decorate the house for Halloween.

It was always coldest by late October, when her mother’s outside plants began to droop and wither. Thinking about the spiders and how hard they were working, Aly began to worry.

How would they stay warm, when even the flowers that her mother tended so carefully could not survive?

Spider Eye  by Ian Lynch Schuster pastel crayons

Spider Eye
by Ian Lynch Schuster
pastel crayons

 

Aly could not sleep. All she could think about was the spiders, outside and freezing in the silky dark.

She had to help them. She slid out of bed (she was already wearing her fleece jammies!), put on her socks and shoes, found her camping flashlight, then glided down the wooden floor, past her parents’ room to the living room. She grabbed her mother’s box full of old yarn. She went out through a side door.

The dark was scary. But Aly was brave as she walked along the porch and decks of the house.

She opened the yarn box, full of tangled, colorful strands. Gently, she scooped up spiders, all curled into tiny balls for the night, and set them in the box. When it was full, she put the lid back on and crept inside.

Sleepy as could be, she stopped in the kitchen for a glass of milk and chocolate chip cookies. She put the yarnbox on the counter. And then she fell asleep at the kitchen table.

She awoke to her father and mother shouting, “What on earth?!”

Somehow, the spiders had escaped the box and the kitchen was draped with webs of all sizes and shapes. Every corner and nook had a spider web. Even the tea kettle was draped in fine webs, and the coffee pot was nearly unrecognizable.

“Mary Alyson!” her mother said in a voice that meant trouble. “What is going on here?”

Aly shrugged her shoulders.

“At least now they can help inside the house, too, Mommy,” she said.

Her mother sighed. Her father put his shoe back on. It was Halloween, and the day had just begun.

 

Key words: orb weavers, Halloween, spiders, moonlight, creepy, brave girl, knitting, picture book

 

Halloweensie: When Spiders Decorate

Aly loved October, when spiders spun ghostly webs to decorate for Halloween.

Fall turned cold early. The thumbnail moon was spooky. Aly worried about the spiders, freezing in the dark.

Aly knew how to help. That night, she tiptoed outside carrying her mother’s yarn box, full of tangled skeins. She gently gathered sleepy spiders, setting them in the box. Once it was full, she went inside and left it on the kitchen counter.

 

Aly woke to a ruckus in the kitchen: Daddy whacking at scuttling spiders, Mommy waving a broom.

Interior decorating! Halloween would be a wooly tangle!

 

Valentiny: Rose’s Grumpy Chocolate Day

Rose was happy that Christmas was done. That horrid Elf on a Shelf was gone. Rose could stop worrying that someone was always watching her.

Now, it was Valentine’s Day, which was no fun at Rose’s school. The nice teachers might bring Sweethearts or lollipops. Some teachers would wear red, and maybe bring construction paper for classes to make a few cards.

In Rose’s neighborhood, people couldn’t waste money on candy and cards.

“Let’s go!,” Mom said as she grabbed Rose’s backpack. Rose did not  know that the Elf on the Shelf’s cousin, Valentiny, had zipped herself into Rose’s bag while Rose was asleep.

Valentiny was invisible, except to children. Only those with the kindest  hearts ever caught a glimpse of her. She flashed like a star.

Unlike the Elf, Valentiny knew that children were good. And she knew how much children need  TLC, even when they turn 14.

Overnight, Valentiny had swept through Rose’s school, filling each locker with golden chocolate coins–and a few real ones.

When the children opened their lockers that morning, the coins poured out everywhere. It was chaos: joyful disruption. Even the meanest teachers nearly smiled.

And while the children ate chocolate for breakfast and licked their chocolately lips, Valentiny danced away, a shooting star.