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?
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