“Help! Help!” yelled Amy from the basement.
Her brother Caleb ran down the steps. “What’s the matter?”
“A spider! See him there in the corner?” Amy shook with fear. “Kill it! Kill it! Spiders have poison!” Her voice turned into a shriek.
Caleb put his hands in his pockets and stepped near the corner. Cobwebs hung from wall to wall, draping the area in wispy, dusty curves. The spider scurried to the protection of a crack in one of the walls. Caleb smiled.
“He’s just a little spider. He can live here too,” he said.
“Oh, no, he can’t!” said Amy, and she ran upstairs. “Mom, Mom…”
Caleb heard the footsteps of his sister searching for Mom in the rooms above him, but he stayed to watch the little creature as it came out of hiding.
“Yep, you have eight legs,” he said, “and I can even see your eyes.” Caleb shook his head. “I don’t know why Amy is so afraid of you. You’re not that scary looking.”
The spider grabbed hold of its web and spun some more sticky strands for his trap. Caleb scratched his forehead and put his hand on his chin. “You’ve got a nice web, but I don’t know how many insects live down here for you to catch.”
“Oh, you’d be surprised,” Mom said as she stepped off the stairs with a broom in her hand. “Now, where is that pesky spider?”
Caleb frowned. He couldn’t hide the webs. In moments his mother swept the corner clean.
Caleb looked to see if the spider might still be safe in the crack of the wall, but he couldn’t find it. The spider was gone.
“But Mom, I wanted to watch him.”
Mother took the broom to the rest of the corners of the basement as well. “Don’t worry, Caleb,” she said, “there’ll be more. We live in quite a palace you know. I guess that makes you a king! Or at least a prince,” she laughed.
Caleb cocked his head to one side and silently muttered, “What is she talking about?”
He shook his head and went upstairs. He started looking in the corners of other rooms. Whatever Mom meant, he knew she was right—there’d be more spiders to watch.