Maps and the Four Spiders

The Mythic Cartographer bundles up his possessions and wanders onto the land, in search of the day’s lessons.

Today the spiders want to teach about mapping.

The Orb Spiders speak up first: ‘Well, my fine sir, notice what we’ve woven…an interlacing of routes, of strands, of paths and ways. Some sticky, some dry, some dangerous, some safe. Look here and notice what we’ve woven. A Map.’

The Trap Door Spiders speak up second. ‘Truly, look down here, at this little hole in the ground…and covering it, see the little flap I’ve made of web and soil. Underneath I lurk. I guard this place. I, hermit and gatekeeper, wait and wait for who stumbles here. I keep the intersections on my brother’s map.’

The Hunting Spiders speak up third. ‘Ah-ha! But who makes the paths that intersect, my friend? I do! I crawl and stalk through an inch-high jungle, I, the wanderer past crystalline boulders, rotting carcasses, gaping crevasses. I find the safe paths, and wait alongside them.’

Then the Jumping Spiders speak up fourth. ‘Safe, indeed! And who will bridge those crevasses, my friends? Who will jump high, and far, and string a line out behind them, for those that come after? I, the ever-searching Scout, the eyes of the spider people. I make connections where others claim it impossible. I make the edges of the map.’

And so the day ended.

Written by Willem