The Web of Friendship
“The Web of Friendship” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Saanvi Anupam Shrivastava, Army Public School, Mhow, India.
The Web of Friendship
Once upon a time, there was a big park with lots and lots of grass. Everyone was happy in the park. There were just a few people who were not at all happy in that park. And they were the insects, the grass and the flowers. They would all get really angry when kids came there and squashed them, stamped them mindlessly while playing and running.
“What can we do?” they asked each other. “We can’t even run away from this place, we just have to stay here. And no one will even hear us when we try to tickle them and tell them that we are getting hurt.”
One day, a girl came in the park. Her name was Sabrina. “Aargghh!” groaned one flower. “Get ready for getting squashed and stamped on again!” But the plants, flowers, grass and insects were in for a surprise. Sabrina did not step on them. She was very careful and walked on the soil only. “Tip-Aaahhh-Tooeee, Tipppp-Tooeee-Aaaahhh”, she said trying to balance herself and trying hard not to stamp on any insects or plants.
Suddenly, she saw something in the ground. It was a small spider and it looked hurt. Sabrina forgot about not stepping on the plants and rushed to see the spider. She was very fond of insects and not at all scared of them. She slowly picked up the spider. The spider was squashed completely. “What happened to you?” Sabrina asked patting the spider. “Sabrinaaaaa!” someone shouted, “What are you doing? What did you just pick up?” Sabrina looked behind and saw that it was her father shouting. “Nothing!” Sabrina said and quickly put the spider back in the grass. After her parents weren’t looking, she picked it up back again. Suddenly, she heard a voice, coming from the spider. “I am hurt. A boy wasn’t looking and wasn’t careful like you and he squashed me.”
At first, Sabrina was scared seeing a spider speaking but then she realised that it wasn’t looking harmful. “What is your name?” Sabrina asked him. “I am Webbo” he replied. Suddenly Sabrina heard another voice. She looked down and she saw there was a pink flower. “Webbooo!” the flower shouted, “Your mother is calling you.”
Sabrina almost screamed in fright. “Am I in a dream because I can see a flower and a spider both talking,” she thought to herself. “Just coming Pinky,” Webbo said. “Webbo”, Sabrina said, “will you come and stay with me?”
“But won’t your parents get angry?” Webbo asked. “I will hide you” she replied, “anyways, you make webs, don’t you? And these days, we are running short of tape in our house. So you can help us by giving your web for us to wrap our stuff,” she said. “Good idea!” Webbo said; “I will go and ask my mother if I can stay with you. Anyways, I have eleven siblings, so it will be ok if I go away I guess” he said. “Ok” Sabrina said “I will wait for you here.”
Soon Webbo came back. “Where is your house, let’s go?” he said smilingly. Sabrina was very happy to hear that Webbo was coming to stay with her. Soon they were at Sabrina’s house. After Sabrina had gone to her home with Webbo, she asked him “So, tell me did you have any problems while staying in the park?” “Many!!” said Webbo, “We always have human beings around. Many insects got squashed like me.” Then suddenly, he grinned. “I have an idea. We both might be able to save everyone in the garden.” “What idea?” Sabrina asked him. Webbo looked around as if anyone was spying on them. “I will tell you. Now just listen carefully”, he whispered.
“Now, what was that plan which Pinky told me? Yes, now I remember”, Webbo said to himself. Then he looked at Sabrina. “Now look, I want you to do a small task for me. You remember Pinky, the pink flower who called me in the park. Now, you have to take me where Pinky was tomorrow evening at 7.30 pm because that’s when the park closes. And then you will see my magic,” Webbo said to her. “But how am I going to take you to the park if it is closed. I am not an insect to go crawling under the gates, nor have I got the wings to fly. I just have these, these, these feet!” Sabrina replied. “Hmmmm!” Webbo said. “Difficult! Yes, how will you drop me there?” Suddenly, he had an idea. “Look you don’t need to come inside the park, I can do the plan alone. I will go inside the gate and you stand outside. And if the guards ask you anything, you can say you are, you are, you are….ummm…you are just seeing how the closed gates look,” Webbo said excitedly. “But I am not really allowed to go out of the house after 7 pm”, Sabrina said. “Great!!!” Webbo said, a little angrily; “so now you only suggest a plan as to what should we do, if you have so many rules in the house.” They both thought, and thought and thought. Finally, Sabrina spoke, “Well, actually it won’t take more than ten minutes for you to execute your plan, will it? I can sneak out of the window and come to drop you. And then I will just act like I am looking around one of the shops or I will just stand next to the gate. You can come out when you are done.” “Hmmm, ok, looks pretty ok to me. But I just hope that your parents won’t find out that you have gone out without telling them” Webbo said, a little concerned this time. “No, they won’t” Sabrina said. “Fine” Webbo said. Then he looked at the clock on the wall. He gasped. “It’s already 9.30 pm. Don’t you think we should sleep now? I hope you ate your dinner,” he said. Just as he said the word “dinner”, Sabrina’s mother called her. Sabrina went to the dining room with Webbo and hid him behind her glass of water. They ate peacefully and when no one was looking, Sabrina would give tiny pieces of food to Webbo too. Soon, it was time to sleep. Sabrina went to her room and looked around for a place for Webbo to sleep in. She found a small teeny tiny bed which was actually a painted walnut shell. She saw a teeny tiny piece of cotton lying and she took that and stuffed it in the walnut shell. Then she saw a piece of her old frock lying in the corner. Her grandmother had visited them a few days ago and wanted to stitch a dress for Sabrina’s doll. But her granny had come for a short time, and in all the excitement they forgot about stitching that dress. Sabrina took that piece of cloth and folded it to make a blanket. She picked up Webbo who was on her dressing table making a web for himself. “What did you do?” she shouted seeing a huge web on her favourite bottle of perfume. “You better remove it now. I have made a nice bed for you and you do not need this yucky thing.” Webbo felt sad and said “But how will I catch my food if I don’t make my web?” “Look, there are lots of ants in this house, so every day I will take you for a walk for you to eat them” she told him. “Ok, sounds good,” Webbo said. Sabrina said “Good night, sleep now.. I have to get up early for school tomorrow”.“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed-bugs fight” Webbo sang to her. “We don’t have any bed bugs here”, Sabrina said sleepily.
The next day Sabrina woke up for school. She checked if Webbo was still asleep and saw that he was snoring and snoring and snoring. “I better do not disturb him” she said to herself and got ready for school. She went to school and soon came back. Webbo was awake till then and was looking around for her. The minute she entered the room, Webbo shouted at her “Where were you? I was looking for you. You went away without telling me.” Sabrina put her school bag down and said.”Don’t shout first of all. Secondly, I had gone to school and if you don’t know what school is, it’s a place where you learn. And remember that I had told you last night, that I was going to school tomorrow!!” she said. Webo calmed down. Soon it was 7.30 pm. Webbo screamed that it was time for them to go to the park. Sabrina jumped out of her bed where she was reading a book and quickly picked up Webbo. “Anything we need to take over there?” she asked him. “I don’t think so, “Webbo said “we just need to take ourselves”.
Sabrina jumped out of the window and ran to the park. She slid Webbo under the gate of the park. Suddenly a guard shouted “Hey, did you just throw a toffee wrapper down there? What are you trying to do exactly?” “Nothing” Sabrina said “I was just bending to see if I can see any pebbles because I like to do stone painting”. “Fine, but don’t try any mischief!” he warned her. Sabrina acted as if she was picking up some stones and put her hand in the pocket. Then she went to a nearby coconut stall and got herself a nice coconut to drink.
Now, you must be wondering what Webbo was doing in the park. Well, he was acting out his plan. He had decided to make a huge web to cover all the grass and flowers. Now, you must be saying to yourself “But why a web?” This was because Webbo wanted to protect the plants and flowers from getting stamped upon. Even the insects will be protected by the web. At the same time, Webbo’s web will also allow water and sunlight to pass to the plants. Wasn’t this a brilliant idea Webbo had?
After about ten minutes, Webbo finished his job. All his friends in the park were happy to see the web and thanked him from the bottom of their hearts. Webbo came out of the gate and slowly whistled. A soft whistle that only Sabrina could hear. She looked around and saw Webbo. He signalled to her that he had done his job and that they should head home as soon as possible. Sabrina quickly finished her coconut and ran off to pick him up. They soon returned home and Webbo told Sabrina what he had done.
“Great! “Sabrina said. “Your friends must be so happy with you”. “Oh yes, they were” Webbo said proudly. “Don’t you want to go to the park and see my web there? I have made large holes in the places where children play so that there won’t be cobwebs in their shoes”
The next evening Sabrina went to the park with Webbo. She saw that all the grass and flowers were well covered with the web and all the insects were smiling. The children had their own place to play with no hassle of the cobweb. She smiled at Webbo and Webbo smiled back. They hugged each other. And all of them lived happily ever after in the park!!
And yes, I forgot to tell you one more thing. Webbo decided to go back and live in the park with his family as it was now a safe place. And Sabrina promised him that she would visit him every day. And she kept her word, the good girl that she was!!