The small girl hugged the pail of water to her chest, slightly panting. Her humble ribbon was loosening over her unruly hair, and the pail handle was slipping under her sweaty fingers.
She set it down for a moment, wiped her hands on her dress and then tried to tuck her hair under her ribbon.
She waited till the cool breeze cooled her skin, and was about to continue on, when the same breeze brought laughter to her ears.
The rough jeers came from below the slight incline she was on. She took a few steps to the side and saw a group of boys that were, if the girl were to guess, up to no good. Upon walking up to the group, she saw that the beasts had found a spider, and were dangling it by its slender legs, then letting it go, to only trap it again, and by all means torturing it. One of the boys gave a horrid suggestion of " plucking the legs off the thing to see it squirm. " At this, the little girl gave an indignant squeal. The boys turned and shrieked with laughter upon seeing her. " Eeee, eeee, I'm Fayleath the piggy! ". " Eeeeee, eeeee, scared of the spider are you, Fay? "
The girl frowned, " You can't hurt it like that, it's a wicked thing to do! "
" Goody, goody Fay", They mocked.
" Seven years old, and already a preacher! "
" Love spiders so much, do you tiny Fayleath ? Catch then! "
The spider flew in the air for a moment, and the girl instinctively caught it in.
And when she felt it begin to crawl in her cupped palms, she almost ( just as instinctively ) threw it off. However she restrained herself, and using one hand, removed a small, grubby handkerchief from her pocket. She placed the spider in, and pinched the ends closed, leaving just enough room to not smother the delicate thing. The boys meanwhile, jeered at the care with which she did it. They laughed again, when the boy who'd thrown it, disappointed without another squeal as a reaction, settled on imitating the first.
The girl turned her back, and paid no heed. Once she had put sufficient distance between her and the boys, she headed over to a tree and opened her handkerchief on a branch. After the spider scurried up into the leaves, the girl took her handkerchief, and walked back to the pail. She didn't see the spider watching her with a pair of deep brown eyes.
When an act of kindness is done, it is not forgotten.
The little girl, Fayleath, soon forgot the spider. But, the deep -brown- eyed spider, did not forget her.
Even if it was years after their meeting, when Fayleath saw the deep -brown- eyed spider again.
When Fayleath was the little girl who rescued the spider she had witnessed 7 cycles of nature.
At that age, she was happy when the golden sun warmed the bright blue sky, and tickled her skin,
She was happy when the rain poured down, and washed the sky, making the earth smell of life.
She was happy when the wind blew, and the lightning flew, and the thunder crashed.
She was happy when the day was still, and the world was enveloped in a silent mist.
At that age, she woke with an eager smile, and slept with a content one.
At that age she remembered good things, and forgot the bad.
At that age she knew not, the feeling of a weariness that was not cured by sleep.
But in years to come, she would.
The simplest, the happiest, the purest, of people can be prey to the grey shadow that after catching it's victims, does not let go without a battle.
Sometimes, there is a tangible cause, a definite reason for it. There is an event that has a clear before, and after.
Other times, there is no exact cause, reason, or event that gives the dark shadow a victim.
The latter was what happened to Fayleath.
She was a little girl, who spread joy, for she had plenty.
Then, she was older, and tried her best to not let the pain inside her seep out, and drown others with her.
It was at that time when the deep- brown- eyed spider found its way to repay her.
One day, much like the others, Fayleath slept much too long.
After forcing herself to get up, and dress, and eat, she stepped into the kitchen garden.
She weeded for a bit, but then one thought led to another, and she couldn't weed anymore, for her blurry vision made her pull up some rosemary thinking it was crabgrass.
After the time she was kind to it, the deep-brown-eyed spider had found its way to her home, and it stayed there unnoticed over the years.
Today it wasn't going to be unnoticed.
It had observed the ways of humans, and knew that when sadness overflows from their souls, they like to wipe it away.
So it spun, and spun, and spun. And with all that spinning created many layers of silk. A tiny, delicate, almost transparent, soft blanket fit for an elf.
And it dragged the tiny thing to the girl.
Fayleath looked down, and was surprised to see the sight. Surprised enough that her emotion was surprise, not sadness.
She looked down and maybe, it was a drop of magic that caused her to recognize the creature she had forgotten after her encounter with it all those years before.
She looked at the silk that had dewdrops scattered on it from being dragged through the grass, and she saw the rainbows inside each of them.
And with another drop of magic,
she did something she hadn't done in a long time.
She lightly placed her finger on the dewdrops around the silk. She stroked them, and collected them all into one drop.
She held the silk, and placed it on her face. She felt the delicate fiber against her skin.
And she smiled at the spider.
The whole day, she smiled.
It was almost as if the spider who had met her when her heart was so light, had in meeting her again brought her some of that lightness in those strands of silk.
The silk in question was kept in a box that Fayleath had surprised her mother by asking for.
A box that for years she had kept treasures in.
At first shiny pieces of glass, or colorful flowers that caught her eye.
Then as she grew older, poems, that she treasured as signs of a prestigious future. Pressed flowers from her beloved garden
And then after the shadow took her nothing at all.
The shadow balked at this putting of things in the box.
It put up a fight.
There were days where the poison inside the girl would come bubbling out, in the form of venomous words.
And she would try to wash it away with bitter tears of regret.
There were days where she would not want to get up, for she was so burdened, and the day may add to the weight in her heart.
Sometimes she would remember a deep-brown-eyed spider, that would spin its web in a tree that you could see it in, if you knew where to look.
Sometimes she would look at a drop of dew, and remember silk that was made carefully for her.
And she cried less.
And she noticed the love from those who cared for her more.
And she smiled.
For, little girls, and deep-brown-eyed spiders have a certain magic about them.