Millie Visits Old Mrs Spider
Chapter 2 from the story
Millie the Harvest Mouse
A children’s fable by Jan Luthman
Every Saturday Millie visits the house of Old Mrs Spider to help her with her housework.
“She’s an old lady,” Millie’s mother had explained to her, and doesn’t have any family to look after her.”
Not having any family seemed a very sad thing to Millie, so she was happy to keep Old Mrs Spider company and help look after some of her things. Besides, she liked going there. Old Mrs Spider told such interesting tales about when she’d been young, all those years ago, and the wonderful parties and dances she’d been to, and the beautiful dresses she and her friends had worn. Millie loved to sit and day-dream over their morning cup of chocolate, while Old Mrs Spider reminisced about the olden days.
The next morning, Millie was sitting at Old Mrs Spider’s kitchen table, quietly polishing a silver candlestick and listening as the old lady prattled on about anything and everything.
“Oh, my Goodness,” Said Old Mrs Spider suddenly, “How the time has flown. It’s time for elevenses already.”
Millie said nothing: her thoughts were far away.
“You’re very quiet this morning, “Observed Old Mrs Spider, opening a tin of biscuits, “Something on your mind?”
“Just thinking.” Said Millie absently, and carried on polishing.
Old Mrs Spider eyed her young companion over her spectacles. She was a kindly old lady, and sensed that something was troubling Millie.
“Got anything special planned for the holidays?” she asked by way of conversation. “The school’s having a party at the end of term,” Said Millie.
“Will you be going?”
“I suppose so.”
“You suppose so?” Old Mrs Spider sounded surprised, “Don’t you want to go?”
All of a sudden, Millie found herself telling Old Mrs Spider all about Matilda, and how spiteful she could be, and how the party would be no fun at all because Matilda would be there in a beautiful new dress and would tease Millie in front of all the other children.
Old Mrs Spider put the tin of biscuits down on the kitchen table with a thump.
“Come,” She beckoned, “there’s something I’d like to show you.”
Old Mrs Spider led the way to a small doorway, tucked away in a corner of the kitchen.
They went through into a small room. Millie had never been there before. It smelt musty, and everything in it was covered in dust. In the far corner stood an enormous wardrobe: it looked really, really old. Long, long ago it had stood on four great big wooden feet, but one of the feet had got lost and now the wardrobe balanced on just three. It had large wooden doors that were curved like an old-fashioned shop window and, in one of the doors, was a huge and ancient key. Old Mrs Spider took hold of the key, turned it firmly, and pulled the doors open: they creaked loudly, as if complaining at being disturbed.
“Take a peek inside,” She said to Millie.
Millie looked inside.
There, hanging on racks, were rows and rows of the most beautiful dresses she’d ever seen. Green ones, gold ones, blue ones, white ones, silver ones all the colours of the rainbow and more. The dresses were woven of a material so light and fine that they seemed to shiver and glow, even in the gloom of the dusty old room.
“Ooohhh,” Breathed Millie. The dresses were so pretty they’d quite taken her breath away.
“Do you like them?” asked Old Mrs Spider.
“Ooohh,” Said Millie again, “They’re so beautiful.”
Old Mrs Spider smiled happily.
“They’re my old party dresses,” She said.
“Your old party dresses?”
Old Mrs Spider nodded.
“I wore them when I was young,” She said.
Millie was lost for words. Although she’d heard Old Mrs Spider tell her tales a hundred times, it was still hard to imagine her actually being young, and going to parties.
“I made them all myself,” Said Old Mrs Spider proudly.
“But … how?”
Old Mrs Spider smiled.
“We spiders don’t just spin webs, you know.”
Millie reached out and felt the sleeve of one of the dresses: it was so soft and lovely.
“I’d like to make one for you,” Said Old Mrs Spider.
“a reward, my dear,” Replied Old Mrs Spider, “For all your kindness and help.”
Millie was overwhelmed: she couldn’t think of anything to say.
Old Mrs Spider closed the door of the wardrobe gently.
“Come,” She took Millie by the hand, “Let’s finish our elevenses.”
Thankyou for reading this chapter entitled Millie Visits Old Mrs Spider
Go to Chapter 3 of this story of
Millie the The Harvest Mouse
Millie Gets a New Party Dress