Cornwall & Regional Writer’s Society Gets Buggy! May 18, 2010

Cornwall ON – There are a lot of talented artists in the Cornwall Ontario region.  We share some musical talents on and of course via the Art Court program which Lorna Foreman is going to spear head, but I thought it would be interesting to publish some short works occasionally that pass through the Writer’s Group that meet once per month at the Library.

Each meeting usually has a theme or focus to work on and last night’s was about being an Insect, particularly an insect that lived in a vehicle.   Here are some of the efforts from members of the group.

Annabelle’s Adventure

By Lisa Etherington-Runions

I come from a species that is as old as time.  No I am not a bug or insect, but a member of the Araneae family.  My ancestral name is Annabelle Arachnida.  My ancestors have spun their webs on the thrones of kings, in the quiet recesses of ancient tombs and libraries, on ships spanning the oceans wide, why even my great-great grandmother Charlotte once spun her web in a barn.  My uncle Edward found his niche on the warm sun-filled back dash of a 59 Caddy, making its way across the arid Nevada desert.  For thousands of years, all of us, big or small, have intricately spun webs as a display of our artistic talents.  Each strand so carefully spun, and replicated over and over.

I have two body parts and a narrow waist.  With my eight legs I travel the earth, and every day is a new adventure.  Recently I found a home in the door frame of a car that sits under the shade of an old Maple on Parkhill Rd.  It is a pleasant spot.  Today however I find myself in an awkward position.  My home is suddenly moving.  I scurry behind the left view mirror.  There its shadows give me protection as the breeze fights my gravitational pull. I hang on in hopes that this ride will soon be over.

My life can be a precarious one, with danger lurking around every corner.  Not many mammals like my species, and the human kind are all too ready to annihilate me.  The boy who rides in the back seat, equipped with magnifying glass enjoys his hobby of collecting bugs.  I have luckily escaped his clutches more than once.  He plays with bugs, studies bugs, and sometimes dissects them.  “It’s all in the name of science” he explains as he chases his little sister Jane across the yard, spider in hand.

The car suddenly stops.  I take a peek from behind the mirror in hopes that Tommy won’t notice me.  The sun is reflecting in his eyes.  I am safe.  I slowly creep out not making any majestic movements.  The car is parked under a shady tree.  The wisteria is soothing.  High above me in the tree there is another spider spinning her web.  We are by the ocean, and the breeze is refreshing.  The children spend the day swimming, and building sand castles, and Tommy collects even more specimens for his collection.

By sundown, the family loads into the car and then all is quiet.  I spin a new web inside an old log, which is buried in the sand dunes.  At the breaking of a new day, my web, laboriously spun under the waning crescent of the moon, glistens with dew.  I wonder what adventures I will encounter today.



By Linda Kuno

“Hang on kids, Charlie finally sold this old clunker.”

“Where are we going, Mom,” asked Wiggy.

“I don’t know, but watch your sister don’t fall out.”

“Where are you going? You can’t leave us alone,” said Earma.

“I’m not going far. Your dad was out prowling somewhere last night. I have to see if he made it back inside.”

“Maybe he took a nap along the way. He’s been so tired lately,” said Earma.

“Stay in the corner with me. Mom will be back before you know it.”

“It sure is noisy out there. I’m glad we quit shaking,” said Earma. “Mom is taking a long time.”

“I know but she should be back soon. Here nibble on this leaf I left in the corner yesterday.”

“Thanks Wiggy. I was getting hungry, but what are you and Mom going to eat?”

“Mom will find something. She always does.”

“I’m going to miss living at Charlie’s. Remember all the hours we played in the bicycle frame. A real maze, Mom could never find us,” said Earma.

“I sure do. I will miss it too. The kids were always leaving toys in the yard that we could hide under.”

“Hey we stopped. Most of the noise is gone too,” said Earma.

“Thanks for delivering that old clunker, Bill. It looks to be in bad shape, but it’s still fixable. You won’t know it once I restore it. You don’t see many Dodge Darts anymore. It will be worth a mint when I’m done.”

“I believe you Frank. I saw the mustang you did last year.”

“Earma! You hear that? We have to get out of here,” said Wiggy.

“Not without Mom. What’s taking her so long?”

“Listen! I hear something,” said Wiggy.

“Wiggy! Earma! Are you okay?”

“Yes, Mom we’re fine,” said Earma, all brave now that she was back. “Wiggy even fed me.”

“Mom, you didn’t find dad?” said Wiggy.

“I found him. Earma was right. He stopped to take a nap and never woke up.”

“Mom we have to get out of here Charlie sold this clunker to Frank the restorer. If he rips this door apart we are dead,” said Wiggy.

“I know, I heard them talking. I left a sunflower petal that I was planning on having for lunch beside your Dad. It will make a good travois to carry your dad out of here.”

“We don’t even know what is out there,” said Earma. “The air smells real nice, but I’m not sure, what I’m smelling.”

“It’s is beautiful out there. I took a peek when I heard Frank and Bill talking. Bill parked this clunker next to Frank’s Body Shop. The good news is that his body shop is in a restored barn in the country. There are fields and fields of flowers. There are rocks to sunbath on and an old fallen tree for our new home.”

“Great, Mom! Dad would have loved it here,” said Wiggy.

“Yes, he would’ve. That’s why we can’t leave him behind in this old clunker. So let’s get moving we have a long ways to go and a heavy load to carry. You know how your dad loved to eat.”

“Wiggy, do you think there is any kids here?”

“I’m sure there is Earma. I’m sure there is.”


And finally.

Personal Log of A.P. Waddlesworth

“New Life of the B.C. Spider”

“Well…I suppose…considering you speak spider…I could spare some time to speak with you… Mr. Um er?”

“Arnus P. Waddlesworth the 373rd at your service Madam Spider!”

“Oh heavens!” she waves four front legs in an ‘oh pishaw’ manner.  “Call me Mama everyone does!”  “May I ask..uhmm…what exactly are you?

“The humans call my type ‘Rmadilla’ I just call myself One of the Family.”

“I understand… they refer to my kind as ‘aaaahhh a spider!’ or ‘eeeek a spider!’ or ‘quick kill it, it’s a spider!’ so its easier to say spider than using the proper name for my kind …but I like that…what you said, I’m just One of the Family too! What can I do for you Arnus?”

“I was wondering if you had any stories in connection with humans’? I know you must have many horrific tales but I am more interested in the type of stories regarding interactions with them other than the killing of family members and the destruction of our nature homes.”

“I do have a tale you may be interested in…”

“You see this isn’t my ‘nature home’ as you call our spaces, oh it is now but I wasn’t hatched here

I was hatched in place of hard sharp ‘man structures and rolling man structures, man structures everywhere! When it was time for me to find a safe place to nest so I could hatch my brood, I chose the security of a cave space (the side view mirror) in a rolling structure. You get used to the moving and stopping, moving and stopping, in all it’s a very safe place from the ones who will eat us.

I had nested up quite well laying my eggs in peace; I patiently spun as my babies grew.

After a bit of commotion my home was on the move again as usual but on this day the stopping and starting seemed to be much less frequent than on other days. The next day was more of the same.

The strangest thing began to happen to me… I was growing hair! I became the furry spider you see before you today! I was concerned as it was becoming colder! I began spinning and spinning my nestlings needed more warmth! I lost track of the days… I finally came out to secure a small catch web…I caught, ate and returned inside to sleep.

When I awoke my nest sack was becoming restless and I knew I would soon have many hungry little mouths to feed. I was very excited as this was my first hatching, a typical brooding new mother to be!

I reluctantly left the cave-nest and went out to spin the biggest, best catching webs I could create to catch juicy morsels’ for my wee ones….

I tell you Arnus I could not believe my eyes! For a bit I was too shocked to weave! I got down to business soon enough but I tell you my eyes were not on my work!

Do you see the treed ‘man structures over there on the far side of meadow?” she points with four legs to some log cabins.

“Yes I see them.”

“Well I didn’t! All I could see was this expansive meadow covered in white surrounded by tree-land!  There was not one single thing I could see that was familiar to me, except my moving home! I wondered if I had died in my sleep… was this is the place we go when we die?

I spun my webs, bundled my catches and took food back to the cave. I was waiting to see if my little ones would hatch or if indeed I had died. I had a long wait. I know now… it’s the cold that slows down the growing and hatching processes you see.

Other spiders, ones hatched here, claim I am not right in my mind…they say growing/hatching times are as they always were. I know better Arnus I remember. You know I’ve lived a very long time much, much longer than other spiders’ I’m sure. Again I believe the cold has something to do with my long life.

I eventually saw the ‘man structures but was shocked to find only those here…no more…

When I brought my hatchlings out the cold-white had gone away in some places… the sun was warmer… my babies jumped right out and into this new world with no hesitation! I knew for sure that I was still living!

Over time I managed to make my way all the way to this wonderful elder tree, deep in this forest. I’ve nested in this hollow for countless generations.

My tale is ended…you can make of it what you will. I know some might say the humans’ destroyed my existence but I believe these humans’ gave my life to me.

The ones living here exist in peace with all of us. They give food out in the cold white times for the four legs to eat. They have taken good care of nature home here. They don’t kill any of us unless it is by accident. I’ve even heard tell they put my kind out of their home place instead of killing us. Its weird I know but that is how it is. I am content and pleased to be at my life here. So tell me Arnus what sort of tale brings you here?”

(Excerpt from The Personal Log of Arnus P. Waddlesworth the 373rd transcribed by the Human W. M. Hackler©1996)

You don’t have to be Margaret Atwood, or Stephen King to enjoy the benefits of creative writing.

If you love to write this group is for you if you’re in the Cornwall area.   From novices to the more experienced there’s nothing like being in a room full of creative people to get you going in the right direction.

Here is a blurb from Lorna Foreman whom you can contact for more info.   I’ll be there myself this coming Monday night.

The Cornwall and Regional Writers Society welcomes new people.

The meetings are held once a month on the third Monday of each month (barring holidays) at 6:15PM at the Cornwall Library.    ( Next meeting is Monday, June 21, 6:15 – 8:15)

A small, informal  and enthusiastic group, monthly topics are allocated, serving to push ourselves out of our our normal writing genre and style.

We encourage writers to read anything  they have written (or parts of) and give feedback when requested.

Whether published, unpublished or wanna be published – all are welcome.

Call Lorna Foreman at (613) 933-5265 for further information.

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