Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dinner is Served

This tiny crab spider caught this unfortunate syrphid fly and dined on him for supper tonight. It reminded me of one of my favorite poems:

The Spider and the Fly

Will you walk into my parlour?" said the Spider to the Fly,
'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I've a many curious things to shew when you are there."
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said,
They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, " Dear friend what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I 've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome -- will you please to take a slice?"
"Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind Sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

"Sweet creature!" said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
I've a little looking-glass upon my parlour shelf,
If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you 're pleased to say,
And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
"Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple -- there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!"

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue --
Thinking only of her crested head -- poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour -- but she ne'er came out again!

And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed:
Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.
The Spider and the Fly
Mary Howitt 


  1. The poor syrphid fly! Anyhow nice shot and interesting poem. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Today is spider day, the 3rd blog.A picture in Romania looks like a black widow almost.Good poem.

  3. Thank you Prairie, I've always loved this poem and the "message" behind it. Do not trust strangers. Kind of a creepy way to deliver that message, but no doubt effective.

    I will hope over and have a look-see at your spiders

  4. I know what you mean Birdy, it is hard to not feel sorry for the poor innocent victim. Mother Nature is a cruel task master sometimes isn't she?

  5. What an extraordinary photograph! wow. It really feels like you are in their world, at last.

  6. Fantastic shot, Shelly! It's been a long time since I read that poem all the way through, and I enjoyed getting reacquainted. :) Thanks for that.

  7. Thanks Bio, I love action shots. I roam the yard constantly looking for "real life" situations like this

  8. Thank you Meredith, I have always liked that poem, and this photo brought it to mind. You are welcome and I am glad you enjoyed it.