Bruce and the Spider
From True Stories of Wonderful Deeds - Pictures and Stories for Little Folk
Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, sad and weary, lay upon the floor of a lonely cave among the hills. His mind was full of anxious thoughts, for he was hiding from the English soldiers, who sought to take him--alive or dead--to their king. The brave Scots had lost many battles, and Bruce began to fear that he would never make his dear country free.
"I will give up trying," said he.
Just then a spider, hanging from the roof of the cave, by a long thread, swung before the king's eyes, and he left his gloomy thoughts to see what the little creature would do.
The spider began to climb its thread slowly, pulling itself up little by little; but it had gone only a short way, when it slipped and fell to the end once more.
Again and again it started to climb, and again and again it slipped back, until it had fallen six times.
"Surely the silly little creature will now give up trying to climb so fine a thread," thought Bruce. But the spider did no such thing. It started on its upward journey yet a seventh time, and this time it did not fall. Up it went, inch by inch, higher and higher, until at last it reached the roof, and was safely at home.
"Bravo!" cried the king. "The spider has taught me a lesson. I too will try until I win."
Bruce kept his word. He led his brave men to battle, again and again, until at last the English were driven back to their own land, and Scotland was free.
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