Ms. Redshed Spider came from a long line of distinguished Redshed spiders, so named because they had lived for generations in a red shed behind Leanne and Harry Tallicker’s house on Seawind Lane.
The Redshed Spider family had been the first to lay claim to the shed after its creation three years previous, but they were not the sole inhabitants for long. The Yellowbellies, the Strongwebs and the Longlegs families moved in shortly after, and the Red Shed became a veritable spider metropolis.
The Red Shed had everything a spider might want, it was dark, dusty, rarely used by the Tallickers, who were getting on in age, and above everything, filled with plump, buzzing flies- more than enough to go around.
Like many of her one hundred and two brothers and sisters, Ms. Redshed had made the decision early on to weave her web in the Red Shed and spend her days there, living happily amongst her family and the Yellowbellies, Strongwebs and Longlegs. She was the type of spider who didn’t see the point in change unless it was absolutely necessary, and had never once set foot outside the shed.
So Ms. Redshed, at exactly five days of age, set about weaving her masterpiece. She was a quick worker and her home was finished that same evening. It was exactly how she had dreamed it would be. Perfect in every single way.
She hung upside down happily, and went to sleep, envisioning inviting a few of her sisters and brothers over the next day, providing she caught some good flies during the night for them to eat.
But what she woke up to the next morning was not an array of delicious, buzzing flies stuck in her web, ready for parceling. It was a human child, and as human children are generally not very fond of getting caught in spider webs, it was thrashing about violently, tearing apart all her hard work and making a deafening squalling noise. Ms. Redshed had no choice but to jump web, or risk being crushed by the child’s gigantic flailing arms.
To her relief, and the relief of the general population of the Red Shed, the child ran out of the Red Shed only seconds later. Ms. Redshed Spider climbed up the wall, preparing to begin building anew, when Mrs. Leanne Tallicker came in to the Red Shed for the first time in a full year. Ms. Redshed had never seen her before, but she recognized her from the stories her mother had passed on to them as babies in the nest. Tall, bedecked in multi-colored scarves, sporting the reddest lipstick you would ever see and smelling noxiously of lilac. Yes, that was Mrs. Tallicker alright.
Mrs. Leanne Tallicker stood in the door, brandishing a large broom. Ms. Redshed had heard of The Broom before, as well. It was a weapon humans used to sweep away homes.
She scurried in to a crack in the wall as quickly as she could, before Mrs. Tallicker began brushing away the homes of nearly every spider in Red Shed.
“I’m sorry,” she sang out brightly as she swept, “it’s nothing personal! My grandson is just a little afraid of spiders, that’s all.”
Once she had finished, grabbing a box of sandbox toys that held a large congregation of Longlegs on her way out, the place was a disaster. Nearly everyone’s web had been demolished and Ms. Redshed could hear the sorrowful voices of her friends and family overlapping each other in woe.
“What are you going to do?” Ms. Redshed asked one of her sisters.
“Well, rebuild of course,” said her sister, jettisoning off to the ceiling to begin.
“But aren’t you fed up?” Ms. Redshed called after her.
“Of course I am, but there’s no use fussing over something that can’t be changed,” said her sister, already weaving away.
Ms. Redshed didn’t share her sister’s, or the other spiders’, resilient attitude about the incident. Especially not after the first child and a bevy of new accomplices continued to raid the Red Shed of its belongings throughout the next hour.
“I’m going to take a day off,” she announced to the residents of the shed.
There was a stunned silence in reply.
“So long,” she said, putting on her hat and heading out the door.