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Spider weaves a web of wonder for kids ages 6 to 9, with content uniquely designed for independent readers. Each issue is filled with fun stories, poems, articles and activities for kids who are excited about reading on their own.

In this issue

Greet the New Year with a lucky visitor, build a sled hill with no snow, learn about Indian powder art, and

watch how one young artist tackles the challenge to “draw anything.”

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Published by Read My eBook for FREE!, 2020-02-18 02:58:57

Spider Magazine for Kids (January 2020)

Spider weaves a web of wonder for kids ages 6 to 9, with content uniquely designed for independent readers. Each issue is filled with fun stories, poems, articles and activities for kids who are excited about reading on their own.

In this issue

Greet the New Year with a lucky visitor, build a sled hill with no snow, learn about Indian powder art, and

watch how one young artist tackles the challenge to “draw anything.”


the magazine for children

text and art © 2019 by Edward Shems

Front Cover by Doug Roy January 2020

Volume 27 Number 1

2 An Early Spring! by Ed Shems James M. O’Connor, Director of Editorial
Maria Hlohowskyj, Editor
Emily Cambias, Assistant Editor
4 Doodlebug & Dandelion by Pamela Dell Julie Peterson, Copyeditor
Suzanne Beck, Senior Art Director
9 Thanks, Snow by Beverly McLoughland Shavan Spears, Designer
Michael Chesworth, Artist, SPIDER bugs
10 Tucker’s Hill by Alicia McHugh Adrienne Matzen, Permissions Specialist

14 Snowpeople on Sticks by Heather Tietz
Grateful acknowledgment is given to the following publishers and copyright owners
for permission to reprint selections from their publications. All possible care has been
16 The Draw-Anything Drawing taken to trace ownership and secure permission for each selection: Cover art © 2010
by Doug Roy; “Tucker’s Hill” art © 2006 by Phyllis Pollema-Cahill; “Snowpeople On
Sticks” art © 2007 by Susan Kwas; “Wishes” art © 2014 by Alice Feagan; “The Golden
by Maggie Murphy Rat” text © 2007 by Deepa Agarwal, art © 2007 by Anne Reas.

Photo acknowledgments: 10-13 (BG) arigato/; 10 (LT) nrey/
21 Wishes by Carol R. Gavounas; 22-25 (BG) vata/; 22 (LT) tinta/;
22 (RT) Melting Spot/; 22 (BC) Olana22/; 23 (TC)
melissaenderle/; 23 (RT) gnanistock/; 23-25 (spots)
22 Powder Art by Viji K. Chary Vidya Thotangare/; 24 (LT) Arvind Balaraman/; 24 (RT)
Don Mammoser/; 24 (LB) Tim Gainey/Alamy Stock Photo; 25 (LT) Mazur
Travel/; 25 (RT) Premraj K.P/Alamy Stock Photo; 25 (RB) gnanistock/
26 The Golden Rat by Deepa Agarwal; 26-31 (BG) Attitude/; 26-31 (border) Veronique G/; 26 (CC) Veronique G/; 39 (RB) Tim Gainey/Alamy
Stock Photo; 36-39 (BG) Svaga/; 35 (TC) Texturis/; 35
(BG) Kostenko Maxim/; 35 (spot) Gluiki/; 35 (spot)
31 Bug Adventure by Michael Chesworth nevodka/; 35 (border) Tatiana Kasyanova/; 35 (TC)
Kristin F. Ruhs/
32 Spider’s Corner and Spider’s Mailbox SPIDER, the Magazine for Children (ISSN 1070-2911) is published 9 times a year,
monthly except for combined May/June, July/August, and November/December issues,
by Cricket Media, Inc., 70 East Lake Street, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60601. Additional
34 Ophelia’s Last Word: Salty Puff Paint Editorial Office located at 1751 Pinnacle Drive, Suite 600, McLean, VA 22102.
Periodicals postage paid at McLean, VA, and at additional mailing offices. One-year
subscription (9 issues) $33.95. Canadian subscribers must add $15.00 per year and
35 Buggy Bulletin prepay in U.S. dollars. GST Registration Number 128950334. For address changes, back
issues, subscriptions, customer service, or to renew please visit,
email [email protected], write to SPIDER, P.O. Box 6395, Harlan, IA
51593-1895, or call 1-800-821-0115. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to
SPIDER, P.O. Box 6395, Harlan, IA 51593-1895.
The Fun Zone: Draw Your Own Kolam January 2020, Volume 27, Number 1 © 2019, by Cricket Media, Inc. All rights reserved,
including right of reproduction in whole or in part, in any form. Submit manuscripts
by Shavan Spears online at Not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or
other material. All letters and contest entries are assumed for publication and become the
property of Cricket Media. For information regarding our privacy policy and compliance
with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, please visit
Mind-Buggler: New Year’s Nonsense
1st printing Quad Sussex, Wisconsin December 2019
by Annette LeBlanc Cate
Printed in the United States of America.
From time to time, SPIDER mails to its subscribers advertisements for other SPIDER
products or makes its subscriber list available to other reputable companies for their
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International Reading
Educational Press Paul A. Witty
Association of America Short Story Award 2008
Golden Lamp Award
Distinguished Achievement Award

Doodlebug & Dandelio n

Lucky Birdk d

by Pamela Dell Art by Dom Mansell

“HAPPY NEW YEAR, family!” Dandelion Pinkley called

out as she walked into the Pinkleys’ snug and toasty den.

The last to get up, she was a bit bleary eyed from the late

New Year’s Eve singing and pot-banging they’d all enjoyed.

“What’re we doing today?”

The family was gathered on comfy couches before a

blazing fire: her parents, her brother Doodlebug, Aunt

Pearl, and her two cousins who had slept over, Rudyard

and Punky. All the pets were there too—their dog Don’t,

their kitty Choo-Choo, and little Kazoo, their pygmy owl.

The only one missing was Aunt Pearl’s humongous bearded

pig, Charles.

It was a cozy scene until Punky, as rude and over the top

This evening we go to Bugtown Square
for the First Flight Festival!


as ever, squealed, “We challenge But before the kids could even

you to a foam-noodle duel, sea hag! move, Aunt Pearl yelled, “Wait!”

Boys against girl!” He raised his long “For what?” Punky asked. “For

blue noodle. stinky old Bacon Bits to move his

“Yeah!” Doodlebug roared, swiping rump out of the doorway?”

the air with an orange noodle. Charles had been snoozing in

“Great!” Dandelion countered, the front hall for hours, blocking the

fully awake now and giving Punky front door and smelling a little bad.

the stink eye. “I’ll beat you in five Doodlebug and Punky were sick of it.

seconds. Gimme one of those!” Clearly insulted but ignoring

Rudyard looked at Dandelion Punky, Pearl said, “No one leaves

like he wanted to be on her side. this house until the First Footer

“Outside!” Mrs. Pinkley demanded. arrives! By tradition, if we go out,

It’s a New Year’s Eve tradition— Flying bugs come
a practice that’s been handed down from everywhere At midnight there are
But what’s It’s the yugest
First Flight from generation to generation. party of the to fill the sky! fireworks, and the
Festival? year! Big Red Ball drops!


we’ll all have bad luck all year long.”

“What’s the First Footer?”

Rudyard asked, really ready to duel

but not wanting any bad luck.

“The Lucky Bird, same thing,”

Pearl chirped, her double chins

waggling. “It’s the tall, dark-haired

stranger who must appear at your

front door on New Year’s Day before

anyone can leave. The First Footer

brings good luck for the whole year!”

Punky whined like a pig himself,

but Dandelion secretly signaled the

other kids with a slight nod toward

the kitchen.

“Teatime while we wait?” she

suggested primly.

Catching her drift, the boys

eagerly followed Dandelion toward

the kitchen, expecting to sneak

out the back way. But immediately

Charles leapt up and sped off, his

lumbering bulk beating them there. “OK, here’s the plan . . .” Dandelion

He planted himself like a gigantic said, the wheels in her head turning.

pork sausage against the back door. The kids gathered in an excited,

No one was getting out. whispery huddle, and she explained

“Charles is such a pig!” Doodlebug her idea. Then she grabbed a trench

fumed. “We gotta escape this prison!” coat and a fedora from the back coat
My tradition is I wear my special
New Year’s hat, tied up priml —in a I wear my
Everybuggy gets proper way— with a bow. sparkly bow tie. I gots me a snazzy
all dressed up.
fedora—this felt hat
with a small brim.


entered the kitchen. Then, while

Rudyard lured Charles away from

the door with two huge handfuls

of Stinky Piggie treats, Dandelion and

Doodlebug got to work as “dressers.”

Finally, all was ready. With

Charles slobbering away in a corner,

Punky stealthily opened the back

door. A very strange looking figure

tottered out and stumbled recklessly

around the corner of the house, gone

from sight. A moment later, Charles

returned, slammed the door shut with

a groan, and resumed his guard-pig

position like the heaving porker

he was.

But who cared? Cackling like

maniacs, the kids rushed through

the house and arrived in the front

hall just as a ratta-tat-tat-tat pecking

sounded against the door.

“The First Footer!” Aunt Pearl

closet. Doodlebug called all their pets. cried, struggling out of her armchair.

“Not bad thinking, even for a sea “May he be tall and dark-haired!”

hag!” Punky said, slapping Dandelion Doodlebug, Dandelion, Rudyard,

too hard on the back. and Punky held their breath, trying

Dandelion bit her tongue and not to giggle as everyone gathered in

gathered in the pets as they eagerly the hall. They watched expectantly

Eet ezz just une Hung from the top of
old crabapple . . . Termite Tower . . . In Old Bugtown And at exactly 12 o’clock it
Big Red Ball? But Square . . . drops to celebrate
what’s that? the new year!


as Mr. Pinkley swung the door wide

open. Immediately he stepped

back, gazing with alarm at the

figure standing there.

“Mercy!” he cried.

“Well, it’s tall and dark, whatever

it is,” Mrs. Pinkley said, a little

dismay in her voice.

“It’s the Lucky Bird!” Rudyard

doubled over, laughing.

It certainly was. There, under

the trench coat, sat Don’t, almost

grinning. On his head sat Choo-

Choo. And on Choo-Choo’s head

sat Kazoo, her little talons clutching

for dear life, her wings extended

into the trench coat sleeves, and

her huge owl eyes staring out at

them from beneath the fedora. She

chirped a First-Footer-Lucky-Bird


There was no question, 2020

would be a very lucky year indeed!

And it would begin with Dandelion

winning a duel.

I don’t mean to cause dismay— Sam collected money Oh, Pickles!
a feeling of alarm—but did to buy us tickets I forgot!
anyone get tickets? weeks ago. ¡Que pasó! We’ll just have
to buy tickets at the gate.


Thanks, Snow

by Beverly McLoughland

Art by Mary Reaves Uhles

For speckling

and freckling

and filling the air,

and chilling

and spilling

your flakes everywhere,

for falling

and sprawling

and piling up deep,

and burying

school buses

and letting me sleep.

text © 2019 by Beverly McLoughland,
art © 2019 by Mary Reaves Uhles



door and considered the winter sky:

ice blue and not a single cloud. His

breath made steamy circles on the

chilled glass pane.

“I don’t think today’s the day,

Tuck.” His father walked up beside

him and looked outside.

“It has to snow sometime, doesn’t

it, Dad?” asked Tucker.

“Sure, pal.” His father tousled

Tucker’s hair and strode off toward

the basement door.

Tucker looked across the backyard

of his family’s new home. Just beyond

a cluster of prickly pine trees, the racing up its sides. Tucker loved

flat ground pushed upward into a the feel of the cool, smooth plastic

steep and empty hillside. Dad had and the nubbly yellow rope. He was

promised that the hill would be perfect sure it would be superfast. If only

for sledding—much better than it would snow.

anything the city had to offer. Tucker kicked gently at the

Sledding. Tucker’s brand-new sled door, then turned and went back to

rested in the corner of his room, his bedroom. He opened his car

sandwiched between his dresser and case and started rolling miniature

train table. It was perfect: bright hot rods down the long cardboard

blue with red and orange flames carpet tube the movers had left

Spider, are you sure you ’Scuse me, but I’m rocking that
don’t want a hair brush?
tousled—messed up—look.

by Alicia McHugh

Art by Phyllis Pollema-Cahill

response. “I said, ‘Hi!’ ” He tried

speaking louder this time.

“Sorry, Tuck. I’m at level ten.

Later, OK?” Paul’s eyes remained

glued to the screen.

Tucker sighed and got up. “Sure.”

Tucker went down to the

basement and found his father

surrounded by piles of flattened

cardboard boxes.

“Can you play knights with

me, Dad?” Tucker asked.

His father looked over the wall

of boxes. “I promised your mom I’d

get all these boxes broken down

and ready for recycling. In a little

while, pal.”

behind. Zip, crash, zip, crash. The Tucker fished a small, yellow

cars landed in a jumbled heap on convertible from his pants pocket

the wooden floor. After the last and settled down to watch. When

one smashed into the pile, Tucker he pulled aside a box to make a

decided to find Paul. ramp, he got an idea.

Paul was in his usual spot— “Dad, can I have some boxes?”

plopped in the beanbag chair, Tucker asked.

controller in hand, working his “Sure, if you clean up when

way through a video game. you’re done,” answered Dad.

“Hi, Paul.” Tucker sat down “And some duct tape, too?”

beside his older brother. No Tucker continued.

But ’ow is ziss different Hey, ya gotta own Look, gang! At least I remembered to clean up
zann any other hair day? yer look. the old jitney so we can ride to town in style.


His father smiled, grabbed the “Oh, good. I need help cutting

duct tape, and tossed it to Tucker. the duct tape.” Tucker threw the

“Have fun.” sticky silver tape roll to his brother.

I I I An hour later, Tucker and Paul

“Whew.” Tucker wiped his stood on top of the hill under the

mittened hand across his forehead fading January sun.

and gulped the frosty air. Despite the “Do you think it will work?” Paul

cold, he was sweating from carrying asked as he handed Tucker his sled.

a mountain of cardboard into the Tucker shrugged and looked

backyard. down the slope. He and Paul had

“What are you up to?” Paul called lined the flat brown boxes, one

as he walked across the crackly yellow after the other, up the hillside, and

lawn. taped the undersides together until

We’d better get going. All aboard the
It’s a long ride to Bugtown. New Year’s Eve Express!
Okey dokey!


they had a ramp. It ran from the back porch as Paul trudged back

tiptop of the sledding hill, past the up the slope.

pine trees, and down to the middle I I I

of the backyard. When the last of the daylight

Paul held the sled in place. finally faded away, the cardboard

Tucker carefully climbed on, gripped was dirty, crumpled, and ripped

the steering rope, and moved his feet from the boys’ many trips down it.

into position. Paul placed his hands But Tucker didn’t mind. He lay

on Tucker’s back. Tucker took a back in his sled and gazed up at the

deep, frosty breath and waited. darkening sky. Then he stuck out

his tongue to catch the first thick,
“Ready . . . set . . . blastoff!” Paul white flake swirling down from G

called out as he pushed Tucker down

the hill. above. And he smiled. G

“Whooooo!” Tucker screamed as

the sled raced down the slope, faster I

and faster. It came to a sudden stop

in the crunchy grass. Tucker flew
through the air and landed in a

giggly heap. He jumped to his

feet and raced back up the hill
with his sled.

“That was so cool!” Tucker H

collapsed next to Paul, grinning

and breathless. “Your turn!”

Paul grabbed the sled and sped off

down the hill, laughing and yelling.
“Hey, Tuck! Great sledding hill. I I

I want a turn!” Dad waved from the

C’mon, Miro, plenty of

shroom for you.
Zat pun eez not
even zlightly funny,




on Sticks

by Heather Tietz
Art by Susan Kwas


cheer to your holiday table—and they

make delicious gifts!

What You’ll Need:

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 / teaspoon salt
1 / teaspoon baking soda
3 / cup sugar
2 cups flour

1 / sticks butter at room temperature
wooden skewers

For the Icing:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon water

For Decorating:

raisins, candy cane pieces, chocolate

wafers, and other small treats



What to Do:

1. Combine egg, vanilla, salt, and baking

soda in large bowl.

2. Add sugar and flour and mix.
3. Use a fork to mash butter into mixture

and form dough.

4. With clean hands, roll small pieces of
dough into one-inch balls.

5. Place two balls on each skewer, leaving

a space the width of your finger at the

top. Carefully add the third ball, piercing
it only halfway through.

6. Grease cookie sheet. Lay snowpeople

one inch apart on sheet. Refrigerate

for 30 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 350°F* and bake

snowpeople until golden brown,

about 12 minutes.
8. Cool snowpeople on a wire rack.

9. To make icing, combine confectioners’

sugar and water.

10. Ice the front of each snowperson. Use
dried fruit and candy for eyes, noses,

but tons, and hats.

11. Let cookies set for a few hours.

12. Tie a ribbon around each stick and
place in a vase for a party decoration.

Or to give as gifts, put each snowperson

in a clear plastic bag and tie the open
end shut.

P Have an adult help you with the hot oven.


The Draw-Anything Drawing

L AST MONTH, DAD and I walked downtown to

our city’s library. In the children’s room, a librarian

showed me an empty display case. He said, “We’re asking

kids to draw pictures to put in here.”

“I’d like to do that,” I said. “What I should I draw?”

“Anything you want. Can you bring in your artwork

by next Thursday?”

I talked with Dad. We agreed to deliver my draw-anything

drawing on Wednesday.

Making that promise was the easy part. Back home,

staring at a piece of blank paper, I realized I didn’t have

many—or any!—ideas. And this picture’s for the library,

I thought, so it has to be perfect. I sighed and frowned.

Are we there yet, Sam?
Still a ways to go,
by Maggie Murphy

Art by Mikela Prevost
16 text © 2019 by Maggie Murphy, art © 2019 by Mikela Prevost

Finally, I whispered, “Why can’t

I visit a castle filled with good ideas?”

That’s how I started daydreaming about

standing beside a strange castle. It was

built from an enchanted mountain of

things: sea glass, marbles, carved wood,

cobblestones, even a giant’s knit mittens.

Unraveling a doorway, a mitten

admitted me. After I stepped inside, a

crayfish piloting an orange flying saucer

landed nearby. “WELCOME,” she

announced through a loudspeaker,




pressed a button and the saucer’s roof

folded itself up like origami. She switched

off the speaker. “Please scramble in.”

I scrambled! “I’m Marigold,” I said,

plopping onto a cushioned seat. “It’s

nice to meet you, ma’am.”

“It’s nice to meet you, too.” Ms. Claw

pulled on a lever to unfold the roof. “This

thing has lots of neat gadgets,” she said.

“Still, somehow it was made without

doors. That’s OK. The saucer is a good

idea—and fun, too.”

Where the streets are paved in
We have to get to the cobblestones—round stones used
oldest part of Bugtown.
for building paths or walls.


Hmm. Doors or no doors, the bringing in new ideas. Lively ideas

saucer really was super. Should I popped up on stages and jumped off

draw it for the library? I decided stagecoaches. They vaulted out of

to decide that later. “How do ideas trunks unlatching, somersaulted from

get to the castle?” I asked, fastening odd eggs hatching. Strong dragon

my seatbelt. sailors unloaded a freighter’s big

“Great question. Let’s take a ideas. Foghorns blared as foggy ideas

look.” Smoothly, Ms. Claw steered filled the air.

the saucer into an arrivals hall. Hmm. The hall was awesome.

“Wow!” I cried. Should I draw it? I decided to decide

The hall held harbors, train that later.

stations, and magic shows, all Crack! Something with hundreds

This is our first time Which way to the Keep goin’ this a’way.

Pardon us, please, visiting Bugtown. First Flight Festival? Look for cobbledy-stones.
little buggy.


of eyes and wings burst through the Musical instruments. Magical trees.

speckled shell of an egg as big as We circled the New Desserts Dome

a basketball. Flapping wildly, the and Design-A-Car Courtyard.

mystery creature flew away. “What’s Hmm. Should I draw desserts or

that?” I asked. cars? I decided to decide that later.

“A wild idea,” said Ms. Claw. Unfortunately, next we came to an

“They usually hatch fast.” ordinary EXIT door, and Ms. Claw

Hmm. Should I draw the wild said, “This ends our tour.” She folded

idea? I decided to decide that later. up the saucer’s roof. “That door leads

On we zoomed. Wearing sun- straight out of your daydream, dear.”

glasses, we zipped through the Bright “Oh, no,” I said. “Well, I had

Ideas Room. In other rooms, we a wonderful time. Thank you very

saw hats, toys, bikes, and keys. much!”

It’s O.K. Thistle
gave perfect Sonya prefers

Don’t you want to directions. hangin’ with
be up with the other the fam!
flyers, Sonya?
Sonya for the win!


“Me, too. You’re welcome!” A week later, Dad and I visited

Ms. Claw waved goodbye. the library again. My picture was

As I made myself march through pinned in the display case’s center.

the door, my daydream faded away. It wasn’t perfect, but other kids told

That didn’t matter: I’d already me how much they liked it. I could

decided to draw the whole tour. I almost hear Ms. Claw say, “Drawing

worked hard, finished my drawing, your daydream was a good idea,

and brought it to the librarian. Marigold—and fun, too!”
Mu-mu-must b-b-be a-a-at the
cob-cob-cobbledystones . . . Ya th-th-think?



Push them

Mush them

Squish them all in

Crowd each wish on the tip of your pen.

Hold them

Fold them

Mold them of clay

Make them real so they won’t go away.

Mind them

Bind them

Stick them with glue

Catch those wishes and make them come true.

by Carol R. Gavounas

Art by Alice Feagan

Powder Art

by Viji K. Chary


India, a street is cleared. Blockades

are set up on both sides. Women

of all ages are ready for the big

competition: the kolam contest.

A kolam is a design that is drawn

every morning on the floor of Hindu

homes, usually at the entrance. The


A grid of dots helps kolam artists turn lines and curves into amazing artwork.
Some patterns are traditional, and some are made up by the artists.

design can be small to fit a compact powder made from a crushed white

space or huge and striking to fill stone. The kolam artist takes a pinch

up a large area. When kolams are of powder between the thumb and

drawn with rice flour, they are food index finger. When the artist rubs her

for ants, birds, and small insects. fingers together, a sprinkle of powder

So drawing a kolam every morning falls to the ground. In this way, she

begins the day with kindness and can make dots, lines, or curves.

generosity. She begins with making a pattern

For the contest, kolams are drawn of dots on which she will make her

with either ground rice or kolam design. This technique takes weeks of

powder. Kolam powder is a special practice to learn and years to perfect.

These are blockades— Eight tickets, please.
What now? the things set up to block

the road. Pay him, Sam.


It’s not a festival without delicious food from street vendors!

Mylapore is home to many delicious treats like paniyaram,
murukku, and fried banana.

Most young girls learn kolam art from their mothers

and grandmothers.

The kolam contest began in 1996 with a

few contestants. Since then, it has grown to be

a part of the four-day Mylapore festival. The

festival has something for everyone. Stalls

of delicious food, plays and puppet shows,

rides, board games, craft classes, music and

dance performances, and more. Sometimes

there is more than one kolam contest. Last

year, there was one for children, too!

In 2018, nearly one hundred contestants

squatted or bent down to draw their most impressive

kolam patterns in a four-by-four foot space. Powder flowed

from their fingers with ease and expertise. This year, a man

You forgot Maybe we can Stand back! I got the expertise—very
You mean that teeny,
the money! see the ball tiny, minúsculo dot way, high skill level—for crashing gates.

PICKLES!!! from here? way out there?



Let’s roll!

Music, dancing, carnival rides, and the kolam contest are all part of a yearly celebration
of Mylapore, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city of Chennai.

and a Japanese family

joined in on the fun, too!

The participants have

forty-five minutes to lay

out their masterpieces.

The winners of the kolam

contest receive a gift

basket, a plaque, and a

certificate. But no matter

who is declared winner, a

beautiful carpet of kolams

will be complete for

onlookers to enjoy.

Woah, dude!
No ticket, no entry!



Golden Rat

LONG AGO, A young man named Jaidutt lived in the

ancient city of Ujjain in India. His mother and grandmother

had brought him up because his father had wasted his

inheritance and abandoned the family.

The two women managed as well as they could on the little

money they had. But by the time Jaidutt turned eighteen, they

had not one paisa left. “We have nothing now,” his grandmother

said, tears welling in her eyes. “We have even sold our last piece

of jewelry.”

But his mother said, “Don’t despair, Ma. Thankfully, our

Jaidutt is old enough to earn a living. I hear there is a generous

merchant named Somadev in the next town. He lends money

to hardworking young men. Why don’t you ask him to help

you, son?”

Jaidutt agreed and set off right away. After walking quite

a long way, he arrived at the neighboring town. Somadev was

well known here, and Jaidutt found him easily. The man

was strolling by the river with his daughter.

Jaidutt greeted them and said, “Kind sir, I am an unfortunate

boy whose father left him before his birth. My mother and

grandmother raised me, but now they need my support. My

mother heard of your generosity and suggested I come to you

for help. If you would lend me some money to start a business,

I promise to repay each and every paisa within two years.”

Here, Thistle, maybe You’re the best,
if you climb on my head Sammy!

you can see better.
by Deepa Agarwal

Art by Anne Rees

Somadev gazed at Jaidutt for a Jaidutt felt the challenge in these

while. Then he said, “See that dead words and quickly said, “I respect

rat lying by the side of the road? If your wisdom, sir.” He folded his

you are truly a hardworking and hands and bowed to the merchant.

intelligent boy, you can turn that Then he wrapped up the rat in some

rat into gold.” leaves and left for the market.

Jaidutt’s heart sank. A dead rat Feeling a little foolish, he began

instead of money? to call out, “A rat for sale! A rat for

Noticing his disappointment, the sale!”

merchant smiled. “Even the most People laughed, thinking he was

useless object can become valuable, crazy. But Jaidutt, remembering

in the right hands.” Somadev’s words, kept at it.

Hello again, We flew all the way from With an inheritance—money from
little buggy. India for your festival. our great uncle who died—sadly.

And it was much more
than a paisa—an
Indian coin.


As luck would have it, a man them and seasoned them with spices.

who was trying to train a cat to Then he filled a pot with water and

catch mice heard him. He said, left for the city gates. After finding a

“I won’t spend good money on a shady tree by the side of the road that

dead rat, but I can offer you some led to the city, he set up shop.

chickpeas in exchange.” Now, many woodcutters carrying

Jaidutt agreed at once. Chickpeas loads of wood from the forest to sell in

will certainly be more useful than the city passed this spot. While they

a dead rat, he thought. He took rested under the tree, Jaidutt offered

the dried beans home and soaked them a snack of chickpeas and a

them. The next morning, he boiled drink of cold water. Delighted to find

We could not help You were kind to us, and we wish
Indeed, it is many veerhheeara inn ouru ppprobleme .
rupees—Indian coins a a f o i t Would you?
worth 100 paisas each. Thank you!


refreshment in this faraway place, each

woodcutter rewarded him with a piece

of wood.

By evening, Jaidutt had collected

a large pile of wood in exchange for

the chickpeas. He was able to sell it

at the timber market for two rupees.

Overjoyed, he returned home and

showed his earnings to his mother and

grandmother. They praised him for

his good sense. Greatly encouraged,

Jaidutt decided to save one rupee

to buy more chickpeas.

This became his daily routine. He a a att u u u t a e t

prepared two pounds of chickpeas l k a ndr l l ldd

every morning, sat under the tree nss...

with them and a pot of cold water, e e ettt l .

and exchanged them for wood. He y careful saving and shrewd d
d hhh
f l
then sold enough wood to buy what selling, he soon became an important

his family needed and saved the rest. timber merchant. This allowed him

In two months’ time, he had stocked to put aside enough money to get

up several cartfuls of wood. into the cloth trade. Then he took

It so happened that for the next to dealing in grain. After two years,

twelve days, rain poured down so Jaidutt was known as one of the city’s

heavily that the woodcutters could not leading merchants.

go to the forest. After the fourth day, Now it’s time to pay Somadev back,

there was a serious shortage of firewood he thought. He asked a goldsmith to

in the city. The price for wood rose so make a rat of gold, with ruby eyes and

Barricade: 1, Bill the Pillbug: 0. That was some hard Not very shrewd—clever—
to use his head.


sapphire ears. Then he hired musicians rat into gold. That advice helped

and set off for Somadev’s house. me to prosper beyond all hope. I’ve

Hearing the music, Somadev ran out come to repay my debt with this

to see what was happening. He did not golden rat.”

recognize the young man who stood at “I congratulate you heartily on

his door, surrounded by musicians. your success,” Somadev said, “but

Somadev looked puzzled, but tell me how you did it.”

Jaidutt greeted him and said, “Good After Jaidutt told the whole

sir, two years ago you told me that story, Somadev said, “Well done!

hard work and intelligence Please keep the golden rat with

could turn even a dead my blessings.”

Our Great Uncle was a He would gladly
very generous moth. repay a kindness. You’re so We all thank you and

kind, too. your Great Uncle.


Jaidutt folded his hands, saying,

“I thank you, noble sir, for your

wisdom and guidance.”

Jaidutt eventually married and

continued to work hard and prosper.

But to remind himself of his humble

beginnings, he hung the golden rat

in front of his shop. He also made

certain that weary woodcutters were

always given chickpeas and cold water

as they returned home from the forest.


School or Homeschool

Jaslene Kwack, age 9 Avery H., age 9 Joseph Haroldson, age 10
Lisle, Illinois Fairfax, Virginia Derby, Kansas

School Open House Day School is fine
Like a castle with an army Who will be my new teacher? I like to rhyme
Big yellow carriages dropping off Will it be Ms. Crazy, Mrs. Magic, I hate history
soldiers at a base or Mr. Preacher? But that’s no mystery
A colossal monument Math is okay
Will they be tall or will they be short? When I still get to play
To some it is a place of dread Will they have stitches, a cape, or a wart? But there’s nothing like a weekend day
Sometimes they do not want to Will they be neat with their books in a stack?
get out of bed I don’t need guesses, I need the facts. Angelique C., age 7
And to some it is a home Mansfield, Texas
Whether you are human or an alien I pace and pace my bedroom floor, School and Hard Homework
Waiting for my mom to yell toward my door: School is tough. It’s really rough.
Examining potions and scrolls “Let’s go find out your new teacher!” It’s hard in every way.
Learning of new worlds and dimensions Is it Ms. Pretty, Mrs. Weird, or Mr. Creature? But we have to keep on going
Bustling crowds in the dining hall and we will all be flowing
Trying to get food Elle Fikkert, age 8 high above our grade.
Mount Vernon, Washington Homework is worse.
As an athlete, a wizard, a princess, a knight Subjects It makes you want to burst.
All united in one building Reading, Writing It’s really hard.
Sometimes as enemies
Science, Reciting It’s like an annoying bard.
I love school But we have to do it anyway.
But allies are always being made
It’s very cool!

Hi, Everybuggy, Dear Spider,
Please adopt my I like the Spider comics at the
puppy, Kiley. Her favorite bottom of the page. Do you like
colors are purple, pink, mythology? My favorite hero is
black, and white, just Odysseus. Can you adopt Herculees
like me! Spider, what is the monkey? He eats bananas andd
your favorite color? Sonya, do you speak any pizza. His mom and dad are Mommy Hera and
language other than English? Daddy Zeus. Take good care of him, please.
Nina Alexander, age 6 Calvin G., age 8
Alexandria, Virginia Richmond, Virginia

I like red! Sonya has learned a few We love mythology and we’ll take good
words of French from Miro. care of Hercules!
Cowabunga! Thistle
Dear Sam,
Dear Spider, I have a joke for you: Where do you buy
I love your magazine so so much! My orange Fanta? In Minnesoda.
favorite character is Spider. Can you adopt My favorite animal is a dog. Say hi to Skye.

Beauty? She is a betta fish. She is a husky. Do not worry—she does not
Here’s a tongue twister: Pat pats pancakes. eat bugs.
Grace Kliebe, age 9 Maya Levine, age 7
Chico, California San Diego, California


Zoey L., age 10 Olivia A., age 9
Palm Harbor, Florida La Mesa, California

Choices I like home school a lot.
Learning everything my way, It is a lot of fun. I like it a ton.
Unlimited pajama days. We learn about China, Rome, and Greece.
Learning wherever I go, There were wars and there was peace.
There are lots of things I know, There was also music, science, and math.
Because when I learn through play, I learn a lot about that. Contest
I really appreciate each day.
I love my teacher, James S., age 10 Here are the only rules:
she understands me. Ackerman, Mississippi Draw a picture of . . . anything!
My mornings are always Oh Homeschool
completely stress-free. Oh Homeschool, 1. Your entry must be signed by a parent or legal
You’ll always find me being oh Homeschool, and address.
myself, because I’m Don’t make me cry— and/or online and saying it’s your own idea.
HOMESCHOOLED. 2. Be sure to include your complete name, age,
Because I know with you
guardian, authorizing its publication in print
I can soon fly! issue of Spider.
Elsie Zahner, age 6
La Mesa, California We will publish our favorites in the April 2020
Oh Homeschool,
I like my school because it is fun. oh Homeschool, Email your entry to [email protected], or
3.Your entry must arrive by January 25, 2020.
We get to play out in the sun. You make my spirit soar—
I like that we can get out there Because I know that you send it to Spider’s Corner, P.O. Box 300, Peru, IL 61354.
And not spread pollution in the air. Are a very open door!

Dear Spider, Dear Miro, Dear Spider,
I like your magazine! Here I really like mushrooms! What kind I love your magazine. Will you adopt
is a joke: What is a baby’s motto? If at first of mushroom are you? Do you like my Xióngmao (panda) named Bamboo?
you don’t succeed, cry, cry, cry! cross-country skiing? I do. What is She likes to chew on bamboo
Will you adopt my octocorns Billy and your favorite candy? Mine is M&M’S. shoots. She eats the bamboo
Ben? They eat fish and they like jokes! Alanna B., age 9 and only bamboo. I hope you
Daniel, age 9 Boxborough, Massachusetts do adopt her.
Hayward, California Steffi L., age 7
P.S. They have magic! I am zee French cooking mushroom, Seattle, Washington
and I love skiing. And anytheeng chocolat
Dear Thistle, eez tres magnifique! Dear Spider,
Will you adopt Nightlight? Amour, Your magazines are cool. Please adopt these
She only eats pasta and Little Miro pets: Mara, Mitten, Butey, Flippy, and Hops.
Bites . She will be a little shy aat Knock, knock. Who’s there? Innterruptiingpting cowcow.
first. She will sleep in your bed at night. She Dear Spider, Interrupting cow—moo!
also has wings. Make sure you take her on What does cowabunga mean? And how Mya, age 7 and
adventures every day. was the night at the airport (April 2019)? Hey, Charlotte, age 5C
Magdalena G., age 6 Sam, what did everybuggy else do to you? Gig Harbor, WashingtG tono
Washington, District of Columbia Peter A. Stratton, age 9
Garland, Texas
Dear Spider, Send your letters to

I love the projects and reading your books Cowabunga means YAHOO! The night at Spider’s Mailbox
and to read arts and crafts. Thank you for the airport was pretty uncomfortable. Sam felt P.O. Box 300
giving me them. so bad about booking the wrong flight that we Peru, IL 61354
Eleanor Oates let him serve us breakfast in the morning.
Please write your complete name, age, and address
Weed, California Ciao, on your letter! You can also send us mail
Spider at [email protected]


DRAW ANYTHING WITH this homemade puff paint. You can even mix up

a few batches in your favorite colors and create a 3-D rainbow masterpiece!

What You'll Need:
1/4 cup
mixing salt
bowl scissors

1/4 cup baggies

1/4 cup
large spoon
or spatula

paper food coloring

or paint

What to Do:

1. In a bowl, mix salt, flour, water, and a few drops of
food coloring or paint.

2. Spoon mixture into a sandwich baggie and seal it. Snip

a small hole in one corner of the baggie. For multiple

colors, repeat steps 1 and 2 (optional).

3. To draw, gently squeeze the “paint” onto a piece of paper.
You may need to practice. Let your art dry flat overnight.




Bu Bulle

Fabulous Facts:
Answer to Holidays in India
New Year’s Nonsense Q During Holi, Hindu people celebrate spring

Mind-Buggler by spraying each other with colorful powders.

1.“Happy New Ear” 14. cake drum Q Basant is the kite festival, another spring
2. backwards clock 15. cat in flowers
holiday celebrated by people of all faiths.
3. mouse theater 16. hot air balloon Q The five days of Diwali are celebrated
under table in balloons with lots of lights, candles, and oil lamps.
4. shark in punchbowl 17. elephant hat rack

5. baseball cupcake 18. chicken on head
6. snail on tray 19. dog waiter . What is an artist’s
20. dancer with ice skates
7. bat bowtie 21. ice cream cone on head
8. snake hair i racket guit
k t
9. banana dress 22. t ten is r ra
i g

Save 25% off your subscription at


Draw Your What You’ll Need:

Own Kolam glitter glue or Salty Puff Paint (page 34)

tracing paper or copy machine (optional)

KOLAMS ARE A beloved tradition

in many Hindu Indian homes. What to Do:

They’re also fun and beautiful 1. Before you start, you might want to

works of art! Read about them make copies of these designs. Trace them

in “Powder Art” (pages 22-25), on tracing paper or ask an adult to copy

then draw your own. them on a copy machine.

2. Start with the design we’ve drawn

for you. Starting at the center, trace

the pattern with glitter glue or your

homemade puff paint. White is

traditional, but you can use as

many colors as you like.

3. Now try designing your own

kolam. Use the grid of dots to

guide you.

SON a ’ s



ear’s Nonse
l asillycele
Well thisiscertainlyasillycelebration!Canyou in
E epar
22 strangethingsaboutthisNewYear’sEveparty?
January 2020 Volume 27 Number 1 $6.95

Art by Annette LeBlanc Cate Answers on page 35
art © 2019 by Annette LeBlanc Cate

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