Long, ago the Creator had not yet separated the earth and the sky. They were very close together. The sky almost sat on the earth. Birds flew close to the ground. Animals that could run and jump felt like they were flying.
One morning a moose was drinking water at the lake and saw the reflection of the sky in the water. Something looked wrong. Moose looked up in the air. He saw the sky was moving. It was pulling away from the earth. "I can't let that happen," said Moose. Then he poked his antlers into the bottom of the sky and tried to hold it close to the earth. He called out to the other animals for help. But the sky kept moving, and soon Moose was being lifted off the ground. He pulled his antlers back out of the sky and fell the ground with a thud!
Bear had heard Moose call and came running. He looked up to see the sky pulling away from the earth. "I can't let happen," said Bear. He jumped up and dug his claws into the sky to try to pull it down. But the sky kept moving higher. Soon Bear was being lifted up with it. He pulled out his claws and fell to the ground.
Other animal also came running. They looked up to see the sky pulling away from the earth. They tried jumping up and grabbing it, but that didn't work. They all began to talk together about what to do. As they talked, Grandmother Spider arrived and said, "I have a plan."?
"Grandmother Spider," the animals said, "This is a serious problem. It's too big for you. Even giant Moose and great Bear could not pull the sky back down, and they are much stronger than you are."?
"But, I have a plan that will work." said Grandmother.
"Not now, Grandmother. We don't have time for you."
Grandmother Spider was upset. But she understood that they were worried. She ran out of the village and up the side of the nearest mountain. Grandmother began to spin a long thread. She spun and she spun and she spun. Then she began to weave that thread into a web. When she was done, Grandmother rolled the web up into a ball and tied one end of the web to a tree. She tossed the ball of thread and webbing high into the sky. It went way up. Then it fell to the ground and unraveled. Grandmother Spider had missed the sky.
Grandmother Spider ran and gathered all the webbing and rolled into a giant ball once more. She threw the ball of thread. It went way up. But she missed the sky again. It fell to the ground and became unraveled.
Grandmother spider ran and gathered the webbing and rolled it into a giant ball once more. She threw the ball into the sky for a third time. This time, she caught the edge of the sky. The ball of webbing stuck to the sky. Grandmother climbed that web as fast as she could and ran across that sky. She attached another piece of web to the sky and jumped back to earth. As she fell towards the earth, she spun another web. She spun, and she spun!
When she reached the earth, Grandmother Spider attached that line to the earth and climbed the first thread again. Time after time, she climbed up, attached a new web to the sky and spun a web as she fell back towards the earth.
All the rest of that day and night, Grandmother Spider kept spinning web lines to tie the sky to the earth. Early the next morning, the sky had gone as high as it could go with all Grandmother's webs holding it to the ground. The earth shook as the sky tried one last time to pull away. The animals quit talking and looked into the sky. When they squinted their eyes they could see Grandmother's webs hanging down from the sky to the earth.
The animals ran to Grandmother Spider and said, "We are sorry that we did not listen to your plan, Grandmother Spider. We are even sorrier that we said we did not have time for you. Thank you for keeping the sky from leaving the earth. Because you have done this wonderful thing, you and your descendants may live in any of our homes forever and ever."
Ever since that day, Spiders are found in the homes of all animals and people. Even if people have forgotten the promise made so many years ago, the Spiders and animals have not forgotten.
Now if you look at the sky in the early morning light you can sometimes see Spider webs hanging down from the sky. Some people will tell you that you are seeing the rays of the sun. But, now you know better.
Dr. Mike Lockett is an educator, storyteller and children's author from Normal, IL. Dr. Lockett has given more than 4000 programs across the USA and as far away as eastern Asia. Contact Mike by writing to Mike@mikelockett.com in order to book him for a storytelling program or young authors program or to inquire about purchasing his books and CDs.