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2
Spiders

Spiders


Sam respected the spiders he encountered about the region of the Hill, but wasn’t fearful toward them. Master Frodo was plainly fascinated by them. “Look at their beautiful webs!” he’d say, his eyes sparkling to see them spangled with shining dew in the dawn’s light.

Watching them suck their victims dry, however, made Sam shudder. One day he asked old Mr. Bilbo, “Would them spiders in Mirkwood have done that to the Dwarves if’n you hadn’t of freed them?”

Bilbo was solemn as he admitted, “Yes, I strongly suspect they would have.”

After that Sam never quite trusted the creatures.


***


Sam sobbed as he used Sting’s blade to cut the web from Frodo’s still form. “I knew it!” he moaned. “I knew we shouldn’t trust that slimy villain! Gollum will pay!”

When there was no stirring as he took the Ring, he was certain the spider’s poison had done its work.

But then he heard the orcs discussing finding one of their own, alive, hanging in Shelob’s larder. “I should’ve known!” he whispered. “Oh, yes—that’s how it was with the spiders back home as well! Paralyze them, and hang’em up till they’re really hungry. I ought to’ve known!”

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