I found it weeping in a field, deep inside a hole in the earth. It was hidden like a terrible secret. Though it begged me to leave it alone, I took it and wrapped it in my sweater.
“You’re mine,” I said. “Finders, keepers.”
Following the old fence that bordered the fallow fields, I carried the bundle under my arm. It shivered and sobbed, wriggled and kicked. “Stop it!” I scolded.
Then, annoyed, I squeezed it, crushing its spongy, bulbous body.
And then it bit me.
It fell to the ground and scurried away, hiding inside a thicket of lilacs. I rushed through the purple and pink boughs and found my bundle, no longer weeping, but whistling.
The tune was enchanting.
Spellbound, I sat inside the thicket and listened. Hours passed in a moment, and from the high branches of the lilac trees, small white spiders descended and landed on my shoulders.
They crawled down my back, threading silk under my arms, through my fingers, and down, around my legs. All the while I sat mesmerized by the song, allowing the spiders time to work, to weave.
Soon I was swaddled like a baby, wrapped in a cocoon.
When darkness fell, I noticed the silence; the whistling had stopped, and the spiders had returned to their branches.
I lay there all night with a curious feeling; for the cocoon was growing smaller, and I was too.
In the morning I awoke to the sound of whistling. Then I heard rustling and snapping as someone entered the thicket. High above me, a face appeared.
I tried to move, but couldn’t. I wriggled and kicked, shivered and sobbed. Hands gripped my spongy body, squeezing until it hurt.
Then the one with my face carried me out of the thicket, far beyond the fence that bordered the fallow fields, where I was placed deep inside a hole in the earth.
I sat there, unable to move, and wept, waiting for someone to find me.