The Spider & The Fly – Storytelling for Everyone

Storytelling Poem

“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the spider to the fly;
“’Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy.
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many pretty things to show when you are there.”
“O 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.”
“O 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 shall 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?”
“O 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 have a little looking-glass upon my parlor 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 be 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 parlor; 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 counselor close heart, and ear, and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.


Author: Mary Howitt (née Mary Botham) was from Gloucestershire. She married William Howitt, a fellow writer and Quaker, at 21 years old. The couple were prolific writers, publishing over 180 books together. They moved to London in 1843 and were friends with a number of famous literary figures including Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and William and Dorothy Wordsworth.

Mary Howitt also published many works independently of her husband, the most famous being the 1829 poem The Spider and The Fly. This poem contains one of the most widely-known opening lines in English poetry. In the 1840s she lived in Germany and worked as a translator for Hans Christian Andersen, the famous fairy tale author.

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The Little Drummer Boy – Storytelling for Everyone

Modern Christmas Legend

According to legend, there was once a young boy who was sound asleep. A sudden noise woke him and he was startled to find a parade right outside his house. As a child, this young boy, Zach, was fascinated with parades and always wanted to be a part of them.

He would often dream about dressing up and marching with others in the parade while playing the drum. Zach’s parents gifted him with a drum set for his birthday, and seeing the parade taking place outside his house, Zach realized that it was his only chance to get out, play the drums and be a part of the colorful gala.

He was stunned to see that the people who were parading outside were not ordinary men and women. They looked like wealthy people who were sitting on camels and were richly dressed. There were servants who led these camels, and Zach believed that this parade was headed towards a palace.

Therefore, like any other inquisitive boy, Zack slipped out of his house, making sure not to awaken his parents and took his drum with him. Once he crept out of the door, he began playing the drums as he got in line with the parade, somewhere behind the last camel.

Little did Zack know that the parade was actually headed towards Bethlehem, towards a shed where a baby boy was born.

The people knew right away that the newborn baby was special because there was a single star that shone brightly in the sky above. All the wise men on the camels and the shepherds who were part of the parade carried princely gifts with them. Little Zack had nothing with him, but his drum. Zack noticed that the even the poorest widow at the shed had something to present to the newborn.

After all the other onlookers left, the little drummer boy stood alone in the shed, his presence unnoticed. He was disappointed at not having a single gift with him. Without knowing what to do next, he began playing his drum, slow at first and then louder.

Legend states that Baby Jesus responded to the sound, turned his head towards the drummer boy and smiled; the first response to any gift presented to him on this special day.

The drummer boy was no longer sad, as he believed that he presented Baby Jesus with the greatest gift of all, the gift of love.

The Little Drummer Boy Christmas Song

A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum

Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum

To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum,

rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum,

When we come.

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum

I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum

I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum

That’s fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum,

rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,

on my drum?

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum

The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum

I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum

I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,

rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum

Me and my drum.

The legend of the Drummer Boy is a popular song and marks the significance of the greatest gift one can present to another during Christmas: one’s unique gift of love.