Frederik sensed the seasons changing. He knew he didn’t have much longer before the frosts came and the cooler temperatures brought an end to his life. If he found himself a new hive in time he might stand a chance, but he would have to leave his best friend.
The same best friend who offered him the shelter of her petals when his old hive cast him out. He was just another worker bee who got too old and too slow. The flower didn’t think so. She loved him, and she appreciated all the pollen he’d brought her over the summer. He didn’t know it, but she had saved her sweetest nectar for his daily visits.
She didn’t have much more than a month to go herself before the winter took over and scattered her seeds to the wind. He hugged her close. He would never leave.
The autumn monster has awoken. Hungry after three long seasons of hibernation, she stretches and gets to work without delay. First, she chooses a maple, her favorite, to begin, and puts her lips to the bottom of a leaf where it meets the stem. She takes one last look around to make sure no one is watching and – she sucks out all the green. SLURP!
Sure, she’d gone to seed. It happens. Still, she began to feel a little used, pulled in different directions by the weight of his web. She never signed up for helping him catch his prey. She liked bugs – they pollinated her for goodness sake! The day he decided to move into her seedhead without permission she put her foot down. Well, her metaphorical foot. More of a root, really.
It may have been overkill, but she called in a favor from the local ogre. He obliged by crashing through the undergrowth, colliding with the web, and carrying it away, stuck to his hairy ogre arm.
The spider peeked out from where he napped in the seedhead, grumbling. He should have taken the hint, but he was a bit thick, even for a spider, so he cast out a sticky thread and let the wind carry it where it willed.
The ogre, watching all of this and grinding his teeth in frustration, thundered back, plucked the seedhead from the stalk and shook the spider out. Terrified, the spider ran away. The ogre grinned and turned to his friend, realizing too late he had picked her and now she was gone.
“Oh,” he said. He felt bad but ogres don’t dwell on such things. After all, she’d be back next spring.