Spiderhand and his sinister sidekick, Manus Arthriticus (aka BAD spider), burst on a waiting world in August of 3007, springing to life and to action,their objective a rescue of the whining four year old Little Stuff from Terrible Boredom. Since that time they have appeared many times and had many adventures.
On a sort of sunny day in November, Little Stuff and her entourage arrived Chez Grama and Grandpa G at lunch time. She found Spiderhand and his twin making lunch in the kitchen, captives of Slavedriver Grama, alternately forced to chop and carry, dive into in soapy water or rub themselves roughly dry on a grubby towel.
'Any questions, spider?" said Little Stuff.
'Help' they cried. 'Grama is making us work again!'
They thrust plates and knives and napkins and mustard and the bread plate and milk glasses and lots of other stuff at Little Stuff and she gamely lugged it all into the dining room and set up the table.
Grama was chopping peppers. 'I can do that,' said Little Stuff. 'My Daddy lets me use a knife.'
Little Stuff made a fine job of the peppers, while the spiders hovered nervously above the chopping board, twitching a little.
Then it was lunch time. After lunch the spiders conned Little Stuff into carrying a lot of the dishes and mustard and glasses and stuff back to the kitchen. Evil Grama forced the spiders to load the dishwasher.
Then it was time to play.
'Spiderhand needs to be dressed up,' said Grama. 'Then we will take his picture.'
Little Stuff got out her art supplies and coloured industriously. She made Spiderhand a beautiful red mouth, green hair, red earrings and three colours of shoes. Spiderhand felt very proud. Evil spider tried to take pictures of this but he didn't do too well. Little Stuff took over the photography and took a fine shot of Spiderhand and they all admired it.
Then Little Stuff set up the table for a birthday party for Pretty Barbie. Another doll was invited and so was Roo* and both spiders. The table looked lovely with tea and cupcakes and a Dora cake and some wine glasses and place mats with stars and butterfly and grasshopper stickers on them.
Little Stuff poured the tea. And everyone had a drink. Lurp, lurp, lurp.
Roo demanded a lot of sugar in his tea and shoved his nose right into his cup to lick up the last drop. That was very bad manners. And he got his nose stuck in the cup, too and the spiders had to pull him out. Then he banged his cup on the table and shouted 'MORE TEA!' in a very loud voice. Barbie sat very straight and looked pained.
Little Stuff explained that he had to say 'Can I have some more tea, please' but Roo had a hard time saying it right.
'Can I tea some more please, have?' he said.
'No, no, Roo.'
'Have I can tea more some please!' he shouted.
Patiently Little Stuff corrected him again.
With both spiders helping, he finally got some more tea, but with very little sugar. All the guests had a cupcake and two servings of Birthday Cake. Little Stuff had some Ritz crackers. She gave a piece to Spiderhand but he didn't like it much so he gave it to Grama.
Spiderhand also had a lovely glittery grasshopper sticker, but it was too flat to eat.
They had a very good time except that Roo dropped his cake into Spiderhand's cup and when he dumped it out again it got onto Spiderhand's beautiful pink shoe.
Little Stuff's mother and father and grandfather were stacking furnace wood outside the back door. When Little Stuff wanted to watch her Barbie Swan Lake video, Grandpa had to come inside and turn it on because the spiders had forgotten how and Grama couldn't find her notes on how to do it. Grandpa promised to make her another set.
'Don't lose it this time, Grama!' said Little Stuff.
The spiders were very very glad that all of the furnace wood was stacked. Manus Arthriticus, especially, didn't like stacking furnace wood because it was so heavy. Now it was all done!
Everyone had a snack. Little Stuff's parents had shrimp and Little Stuff had grapes and one of Grandpa's Halloween candy bars with the 'No Nuts' logo on it which Evil Spider found in Grandpa's bedside table.
Then it was time for Little Stuff to go home and the spiders waved goodbye from the porch. And then they cleaned up the tea party.
Now they are dancing on Grama's keyboard, tired but content.
* Apologies to the Milne Estate.