A Spider and Robert The Bruce
Illustrated By: Jacob Below
Many years ago there lived a king of Scotland and his name was "Robert the Bruce." If a first name is “Robert” and a last name is “Bruce,” you might think his name would be “Robert Bruce.” Yet this king’s name was “Robert the Bruce." And that is how names were said in Scotland back in those days.
Robert the Bruce was a brave and wise king. He had to be brave and wise because his country was at war with England. England was a much bigger country than Scotland, and had a much bigger army!
Robert the Bruce led his small army of Scotland against England six times. And six times, they had lost. At last, Robert the Bruce and his army felt they had no choice - they must run away. But to where?
Some men ran into the woods. Others found a cave. Here and there they hid. And they waited.
One rainy day, Robert the Bruce lay in a cave. The rain fell hard outside. He felt tired and sick at heart. His army had lost six times! He may as well just give up, he thought. What good was it to try, anyway?
As he lay there, Robert the Bruce saw a spider over his head. The spider was getting ready to weave her web. Six times she tried to throw her thread from one edge of the cave wall to another. And six times, her thread was too short and it fell before it hit the mark.
But the spider did not lose hope. With more care, she made ready to try another time. Robert the Bruce almost forgot his own hard times. He could not take his eyes off the spider. Would she fail again?
No! This time the thread reached the cave wall and stuck.
So the king rose out of his cave.
He called his men together. England thought they won the war, he said. And so their army could be surprised. All they needed was to fight one more time. He knew they could do it!
So Robert the Bruce led his brave men into battle for a seventh time. And now it was the army of England that ran away. They ran right onto their ships and sailed all the way back to England!
England saw that from then on, Scotland would be its own country.
Scotland readied to be its own country from now on. Who would be king? Why, Robert the Bruce of course!
And so he was. To this very day, people in Scotland remember the story of Robert the Bruce. They thank him for bringing his men together a seventh time to fight for Scotland. And they remember the spider in the cave who made inspired him to keep on trying.