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The Legend of the Spider


What are your thoughts when you see a spider weaving? Fun little creatures aren't they?

Spiders are eight-legged creatures and they can be found on every part of the world. They come in many colors too. Where did their webs come from? Their silk spinning organ called spinnerets extrude the spider's silk from the arachnids abdomen.

It's just fun coming across into a busy spider weaving its web, specially when it's a young one. Writing this, I remember a childhood song about the spider, and it has its English version, you probably know, the "Itsy Bitsy Spider." A fun kiddie song back in my grade school where we imitate the spider's weaving with our little hands. Still is a much favorite kiddie song 'till these days I believed.

But as a child with a wide imagination and a lot of questions, have you ever asked your parents why do spiders make their webs and where did the webs come from? Here is a Philippine legend on how the spider keeps on weaving any time of the day.

Off we go to the spider legend

There was the most skillful weaver who lives in a town a long time ago. Her name was Gamba. Her skill on weaving is popular in the whole town.

She was the best, and she knows that. And that is why she wears pride with it, she would held her head high when she's out, giving attention to no one.

"Ate, can I borrow your embroidery needle?" asked her younger sister.

(Ate: Filipino term used to call an elder sister to show respect. It could be used alone or before the name.Pronounced as ah-teh)

"Get away from me!" snarled Gamba angrily. "Don't even think of borrowing my embroidery stuff. You will just break it and you don't even have money to pay for it. Leave!" she yelled at her younger sister.

The poor younger sister. She wept on how her older sister had treated her. She feels as if she doesn't consider her as a sister. It's hard to get along with her. She wished that she would be nicer not just to her but to everyone.

After few minutes, it was her younger brother who asked her a favor.

"Ate, could you mend my worn out shirt please? I have nothing else to wear so I might just wear this one," her younger brother asked Gamba.

"Get away from here! You all are bothering me," she told him. "Go to mom and ask her instead to mend your shirt. That old lady has nothing else to do. Leave."

Gamba's mother is flooded with anger when she heard her daughter's arrogant manner. She just wanted to lay a hand on her daughter to teach her a lesson to respect others but she got a hold of herself not to.

"This is too much Gamba," their mother told Gamba. "It's your obligation to show good manners to your siblings. If they want to borrow something, let them and if they are asking for your help, help them," she scolded her daughter. "Not only them, you should be kind and lend hand to anyone who's in need," she added.

But Gamba pretended she didn't hear anything her mother had just said. Instead, she continued weaving.

One night when it is time for dinner, Gamba's mother called her to eat.

"What? You all are bothering me again. Didn't you see I'm not yet done on my weaving?" she answered back.

"It worries me that you might get sick if you pass the meal my dear," her caring mother said.

"Well, it's not your business!" Gamba rudely answered her mother.

"It is a sin to the Creator to reject this grace you know that."

"What sin? Sin or not, I don't care. I'm saying this again, leave me alone and let me do what I'm doing," said Gamba angrily.

"I hope God would forgive you," her mother said crying and then left to get back to the dining table.

Both Gamba's siblings heard the way she treated their mother. "I wish that you would just spend most of your time weaving," her annoyed younger sister mumbled and wished.

"Yes, I agree. I wish too that you could just weave and weave and weave," added her younger brother.

And then, to their surprised, the Great Creator heard their wish. On His powerful voice, they all heard his anger.

"You have been so arrogant with the little talent I had given you. You didn't show love and kindness to your siblings that needs you help. You disrespect your mother and she doesn't have a place in your heart!" He said furiously.

"To add to it, even the grace I had given on the dining table, was being declined. As a punishment, you are going to be weaving everyday, every hours and every minute."

Since then, Gamba had became the first spider, continuously weaving just like she used to when she was an arrogant young woman.

Since then, Gamba had became the first spider, continuously weaving just like she used to when she was an arrogant young woman.

After saying this, Gamba suddenly vanished on where she was sitting. An odd creature, weaving cobweb was spotted instead on the chair where Gamba was sitting.

The mother's heart ached for her daughter's fate. And she wept for her daughter. If only she learned to be loving and respectful, this wouldn't happen. Now, all she could do was caress the small thing while calling her daughter's name, "Gamba, Gamba."

From then on, people called this creature "gagamba," the Tagalog word for the spider. Night and day, the spider keeps on weaving, continuously weaving. But this time, not with a thread but with a cobweb from its own body.

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