In his idle moments he would look up at the sky. And in his contemplative moments he would look out over the creek. No matter how high he jumped he would always come clattering back down to earth. No matter how far he jumped he would always dangle above the water on a silken thread. He wanted to see the world beyond his tiny island. He also wanted to catch that fly that continually escaped his grasp and then poked fun at his lack of aerial ability.
After watching leaves flutter down from the islands solitary tree the intrepid jumping spider set about constructing his own flying device. Aside from some of the insects these were the only things that could be airborne and thus were the best things to base a flying machine on, given that he lacked wings. Finding two small twigs he placed one over the other and tied them together. Then he filled in the gaps with silk. He stood back and admired his work. However rudimentary it was he had constructed a kite and justifiably felt proud of himself. Next came the test flights. He crashed it into the tree first. Then into some rocks. Then it snagged in the grass before he managed to slip it over the edge and got the kite a little bit wet. None of this though put the jumping spider off. Particularly since the fly had been guffawing at him throughout his kite practice.
However after days of practice and the introduction of a tether system the zebra banded hero was ready to do. He hoisted the kite skywards, caught a breeze and was dragged into the ether. The new tether system allowed him to move left and right, control he lacked on his previous attempts. As he drifted over the water way he felt freedom that he had only seen others enjoying. He could now go anywhere he wanted to go. Providing it was windy. He could now fly among the clouds, drift idly by sunsets, find new grasses and trees on which to hunt and jump. And he would have done all of this if not for the fact he spotted that fly.
Moving his kite into position , he steadied himself, readied himself and leapt from the kite, his celestial platform. He fell through the air, arms outstretched and hit the fly, sending them both hurtling towards the island. Luckily the fly broke his fall and ensured his kite had a sharp stop, so that rather than crashing into the ground it simply hung in the air.
While reflecting on his flight and devouring the fly and feeling intensely happy about both things, the jumping spider turned his attention to the creek. He now knew that he could fly, and jump as well. It was like flying over short distances. At least that’s how he thought about it. But he could not swim. But he wanted to. Again, watching leaves he thought up another contraption. He gathered the necessary sticks, tied them together and took his kite and used it as a sail. He had himself a small raft. Again, and rightly so he felt proud of himself and his efforts.
Sailing was a lot easier than flying and his test runs were completed rather quickly and with less incidents than the flying ones.
So one day he said goodbye to the island, pushed his raft from the shore, hopped on board and sailed on clear waters, all wide open radiance.
He can be seen on water ways, drifting by tall grasses, navigating tiny water falls and taking his raft into shore and flying on his kite whenever the urge takes him. Providing he has a breeze.
This was fun to write.
“all wide open radiance” from the Meng Hao Jan poem Up Early at Fish – Creek Lake: http://skyraftwanderer.blogspot.com/2011/07/up-early-at-fish-creek-lake-by-meng-hao.html