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The spider and the father

On Thursday they raced to the hospital, both of them huffing and puffing but it was a false alarm. Only a warm up to the main event.

The expectant father went outside for a cigarette while the midwife gave the expectant mother one final check over. As he huffed and puffed again he noticed the biggest spider he’d ever seen, at least two inches long with banded legs of black and gold.

Maybe the colouring was a ploy as he had caught a bee.

The web was intricate and impressive, stretching some metres across the path leading to the hospital, and he had planned it well as it was a good foot or so higher than a normal person.

The next day they raced, huffed and puffed again, the real thing.

While he waited the expectant father went outside again, an orderly was clawing at his face as though an alien had latched on.

“Fuck”, said the orderly as he passed by.

Much of the web was still in tact although the front veranda was totally destroyed. The spider was sitting in readiness for more danger, its front legs reared in an impressive display. The father watched for a good 10 minutes and all the while the spider didn’t move, just sat in its defensive position.

An hour later the child was born, the mother was sweating and flushed with a huge grin on her face, the child was offered to the father.

He picked up the little bundle, his child. In his sons face he saw himself reborn.

The father was now the spider, always in readiness, taking the knocks as they came and defending what was his with all his might.

The spider and the father

Michael Douglass

Alexandria, Australia

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