Spiders and Black Cats and Wolves, Oh My! Vol. 2

‘Tis the week when all the creepy crawly scary creatures come out at night to haunt little boys and girls like yourselves. So let’s have a frighteningly good time with this weekend’s edition of Words for the Weekend, shall we? Don’t fear (the reaper), come closer. Closer. Clo-ser. Oh, don’t worry, I won’t bite you. . . . But I can’t make the same promise for the critters below. Enjoy words by Rainer Maria Rilke, Mary Howitt, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, and more, and be sure to check out the sidebar and footer music playlists for even more spooky pleasure. See you next week! (said the spider to the fly) . . .

~~~

Gonzalez-Tornero, Sergio (Chilean, b. 1927). Wolf. 1973. Aquatint with embossing. Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

Gonzalez-Tornero, Sergio (Chilean, b. 1927). Wolf. 1973. Aquatint with embossing. Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. (INFO)

***

“Stir up the air, in the valley
Looked at the ground below
Oh I was surrounded – there’s nowhere left to go
I heard the wind shout, beneath my feet
I felt the earth shake inside of me
I’ll run forever but I won’t get far
‘Cause if I don’t have you, I will starve

There’s a wolf in my heart
There’s a wolf in my heart
For you!”

“You are the Wilderness” by Voxhaul Broadcast on The Walking Dead (AMC’s Original Soundtrack – Vol. 1) (video)

***

“Sittin’ thinkin’ sinkin’ drinkin’
Wondering what I’d do when I’m through tonight
Smoking, moping, maybe just hoping
Some little girl will pass on by . . .

I said my, my, like the spider to a fly
Jump right ahead in my web”

“Spider to the Fly” by Kenny Wayne Shepherd featuring James Cotton on Michael: Music From The Motion Picture. (video)

***

The Spider and the Fly

by Mary Howitt

“Will you walk into my parlor?” said the spider to the fly;
“‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you may spy.
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show when you are there.”
“Oh no, no,” said the little fly; “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.” . . .

The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly Fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready, to dine upon the Fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,
“Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
Your robes are green and purple – there’s a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!”

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue –
Thinking only of her crested head — poor foolish thing! At last,
Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlour – but she ne’er came out again!

And now dear little children, who may this story read,
To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed:
Unto an evil counselor, close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.

The Spider and the Fly” (full poem) by Mary Howitt from The Spider and the Fly.

***

Bourgeois, Louise. Maman. 1999. Bronze. Qatar National Convention Center, Qatar.

Bourgeois, Louise. Maman. 1999. Bronze. Qatar National Convention Center, Qatar. (Info.)
The Spider is an ode to my mother. She was my best friend. Like a spider, my mother was a weaver. My family was in the business of tapestry restoration, and my mother was in charge of the workshop. Like spiders, my mother was very clever. Spiders are friendly presences that eat mosquitoes. We know that mosquitoes spread diseases and are therefore unwanted. So, spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother. ~ Louise Bourgeois

***

“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.” ~ E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

***

“There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic.” ~ Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale

***

“Literature was not born the day when a boy crying “wolf, wolf” came running out of the Neanderthal valley with a big gray wolf at his heels; literature was born on the day when a boy came crying “wolf, wolf” and there was no wolf behind him.” ~ Vladimir Nabokov, Lectures on Literature

***

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (Image)

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (Image)

“And the wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.”  ~ Maurice Sendak, Where The Wild Things Are

***

“Hold it. You know what I’d like to see? I’d like to see the three bears eat the three little pigs, and then the bears join up with the big bad wolf and eat Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood! Tell me a story like that, OK?” ~ Bill Watterson, The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

***

“The 3 types of terror: The Gross-out: the sight of a severed head tumbling down a flight of stairs, it’s when the lights go out and something green and slimy splatters against your arm. The Horror: the unnatural, spiders the size of bears, the dead waking up and walking around, it’s when the lights go out and something with claws grabs you by the arm. And the last and worse one: Terror, when you come home and notice everything you own had been taken away and replaced by an exact substitute. It’s when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you turn around, there’s nothing there.” ~ Stephen King

***

waterhouse_the_sorceress

Waterhouse, John William. The Sorceress. 1913. Oil on canvas. Peter Nahum Collection. (more info)

***

Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

~ William Shakespeare, MacbethAct 4, Scene 1

***

The baby bat
Screamed out in fright,
‘Turn on the dark,
I’m afraid of the light.’

“Batty” by Shel Silverstein from A Light in the Attic

***

“For these beings, fall is ever the normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They frenzy forth . . . Such are the autumn people.” ~ Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes

***

“Beware of the night, child. All cats are black in the dark.” ~ Jean Genet, The Blacks: A Clown Show

***

Steinlen, Théophile. Tournée du Chat Noir de Rodolphe Salis. 1896. Color lithograph. Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University

Steinlen, Théophile. Tournée du Chat Noir de Rodolphe Salis. 1896. Color lithograph. Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University

***

“If a black cat crosses your path, it signifies that the animal is going somewhere.” ~ Groucho Marx

***

“The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.” ~ Confucius

***

Black Cat

by Rainer Maria Rilke

A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.

She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.

“Black Cat” by Rainer Maria Rilke from The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke.

***

CK Cat

A cat as black, As blackest coal
Is out upon, His midnight stroll,
His steps are soft, His walk is slow,
His eyes are gold, They flash and glow.
~ author unknown
photo: C.K. Hope

***

“Fear isn’t so difficult to understand. After all, weren’t we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It’s just a different wolf. This fright complex is rooted in every individual.” ~ Alfred Hitchcock

***

“The wolf said, “You know, my dear, it isn’t safe for a little girl to walk through these woods alone.”

Red Riding Hood said, “I find your sexist remark offensive in the extreme, but I will ignore it because of your traditional status as an outcast from society, the stress of which has caused you to develop your own, entirely valid, worldview. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must be on my way.”
~ James Finn Garner, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: A Collection of Modern Tales for Our Life and Times

***

The Wolf’s Postscript to ‘Little Red Riding Hood’

by Agha Shahid Ali

First, grant me my sense of history:
I did it for posterity,
for kindergarten teachers
and a clear moral:
Little girls shouldn’t wander off
in search of strange flowers,
and they mustn’t speak to strangers.

And then grant me my generous sense of plot:
Couldn’t I have gobbled her up
right there in the jungle?
Why did I ask her where her grandma lived?
As if I, a forest-dweller,
didn’t know of the cottage
under the three oak trees
and the old woman who lived there
all alone?
As if I couldn’t have swallowed her years before?

And you may call me the Big Bad Wolf,
now my only reputation.
But I was no child-molester
though you’ll agree she was pretty.

And the huntsman:
Was I sleeping while he snipped
my thick black fur
and filled me with garbage and stones?
I ran with that weight and fell down,
simply so children could laugh
at the noise of the stones
cutting through my belly,
at the garbage spilling out
with a perfect sense of timing,
just when the tale
should have come to an end.

“The Wolf’s Postscript to ‘Little Red Riding Hood'” by Agha Shahid Ali from A Walk Through the Yellow Pages

Video reading by Hope Smith here:

~~~

43 comments

  1. So I was going to talk about my favorites, but there are too many. Great post!

    Like

    1. Hi Muggle in Chucks 🙂 Glad you enjoyed! It’s always hard for me to pick a favorite too, but I am partial to Silverstein and Rilke poetry, so I might have to lean toward them. Silverstein for childhood memories, Rilke because of his beautiful words, but also I have a black cat (and one of my all time fave poems is his Der Panther).

      Always feel free to comment/ramble freely, or even to share your own faves.

      Have a great weekend, thanks for coming by! -C

      Like

  2. whiteladyinthehood · ·

    Yeah, these were great and spooky! I really liked the quote by Diane Setterfield (I may have to check out the book!) You’ve got the Wild Things, King and Macbeth…lots of awesome today!

    Like

    1. Oh good! I wasn’t going for gross-out, but maybe a little haunting and creepy… And you, being one of the best storytellers I know, would love Setterfield’s book.

      Another quote from it:

      “You have given nineteen different versions of your life story to journalists in the last two years alone.”
      She [Vida] shrugged. “It’s my profession. I’m a storyteller.”
      “I am a biographer, I work with facts.”

      Thanks for stopping by, have a fun and spooky week! (Things are quieting back down for me, so I’ll be catching up with you soooon.) xoxo, Gringa

      Like

  3. Wow, I love that quote from The 13th Tale about how words are like spider silk. I love that way of seeing it. I am always in awe at how you collect these words and make a cool theme out of them. You deserve some bacon today!

    Like

    1. I like how you think, girlie.

      (Actually I am major procrastinating my run. So I’ll let bacon be my reward for finishing it up… off I go!)

      A weaver of words–isn’t that a nice thought? Thought it fit well with the Maman sculpture quote.

      Have a great weekend, Char!

      Like

    2. Char- I totally earned my bacon yesterday (and my cinnamon roll!) after my 13 mile run.

      I think breakfast for dinner is my favorite meal of the day.

      Here, I even snapped a photo for you. Well, ok, Spot asked me to take it for Ginger. The things we do for our dogs, huh?

      Maple Turkey Bacon… it was so good!

      turkey bacon

      Like

      1. Drool, drool, drool. I’m officially jealous. But you’re right…you deserved that! Good run, girl!

        Like

  4. Perfect Halloween words post! 😀 I do truly love “The Wolf’s Postscript”.

    Like

    1. I love it too — especially how it kind of tied the theme together “hey, you think we’re all creepy and evil, but we have our good qualities about us too.” Which I didn’t realize until I was listening to the Little Red Riding Hood song all from the “wolf’s” perspective and he sings “even bad wolves can be good” and then I saw that as an underlying theme (I love when that happens.)

      And yeah, I know spiders eat mosquitoes, and they are polite and charming and weavers of beautiful silken creations, but I’d prefer spiders keep their distance from me just as well please. Go eat and weave anywhere you’d like, as long as it’s away from me. 🙂

      Loved that YouTube reading too!

      Like

  5. So many of my favorites in here! Can’t wait to come back and indulge again. Thank you for the compilation–perfect!

    Like

    1. You are so welcome, and thanks for visiting.

      The words will be here, captured in this silken web, waiting for you whenever you need a little snack.

      Read and peruse at your leisure, Michelle. Appreciate the comment! – Christy

      Like

      1. Even your replies are magical.Can’t wait to read and learn more from you. Have a sweet, spooky Sunday!
        Michelle

        Like

  6. Diane Setterfield’s thoughts . . a spot on musical spill . . and now, a craving for the next installment of Walking Dead tonight. You have a way, lady. And thanks for it.
    I own a black cat. He doesn’t like children, he’s moody and he tends to be a loner. No wonder we get along so swimmingly.

    Like

    1. What is it with us black cat owners? We’re like seriously awesome people. That was C.K.’s black kitty in the post (do you know C.K.? You should.), I have one too, but he wouldn’t a) get up from the curled up position in my lap or b)step away from his food dish long enough for me to snap a photo of him. Haha. Mine is quite the chatterbox too–we’ll hold endless conversations. About what, who the hell knows, but he’s an engaging conversationalist.

      Walking Dead … Yes. Each time I watch it I wonder what in the world I’m doing, but for some reason, I cannot stay away. Must be the Georgia backdrop scenery I miss so much.

      Like

      1. A Georgia girl…how (forgive me) peachy. My cat- Mr Speaker- is one magnificent bastard. He is the latest in a long line of cat royalty and I must confess, my favorite thus far. He plays fetch, he can catch crumpled up paper balls, of which I always have a surplus. He sat with me during “Exorcist” as if he knew I needed the support.
        And Walking Dead, I do the same thing. I’m waiting for the Governor’s return. Methinks he’s gonna be in a slightly pissy mood when he makes the scene.

        Like

        1. What a perfectly peachy name for a cat. He sounds divine.
          All cats descend from Royalty. And boy do they know it too.
          Can’t say I miss the Guv’nor, but I do kind of expect (hope for) Shane to show up with a wolf in his heart one day.

          Oh you’ll appreciate my current Twitter status. I feel stifled by the character count limit–brevity is not a strength–but had a good time working this one up.

          What’s perfect? What’s good? U’ve gone to the wild side, Sweet Lou. I’m Forever Changed. “Goodnight ladies, I’m so free.” #SadSong #LouReed

          Like

    2. Also… Walking Dead has some of the best music — EVA. I keep my phone and Shazam within reach at all times.

      Like

      1. true stuff, C. true stuff….

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        1. You know what other show has great music? True Blood. Also, I am SO sad about Lou Reed. I always pictured him as a rockin’ centenarian, still way cooler than anyone.

          Like

          1. True Blood, yes indeed! You know, that used to be one of my favorite shows, but after the first two seasons it just went down-hill. But I continue to watch for Vampire Eric, errrr, I mean the excellent music. No. Scratch that. Rigorous honesty and all… I tune in for Alexander Skarsgård AND the music.

            Sad, sad, sad about Lou. I added a couple “Lou Reed-y” songs in the bottom right footer. What’s good? Life’s good. But fair at all. Sigh…

            Like

  7. Reblogged this on Running On Sober and commented:

    This is the last time that I’ll “bug” you guys by reblogging Words. If you’re already following, thanks! If you’re not, that’s totally okay, but if you want to, now would be the time. Come check out this week’s spooky theme and hang around for exciting news next week. Enjoy! -christy

    Like

  8. Love the little snippet from Macbeth 🙂

    Like

    1. Oh good! Isn’t it wicked? Loved pairing it with that Waterhouse painting “The Sorceress”
      Appreciate you stopping by, Kat!
      xo, Christy

      Like

  9. So many good ones! Too many to point out which! But I did truel like the one from Groucho Marx about the black cat.
    But still, so many. Thanks so much for this :).

    Like

    1. Well hello there Tiny Dancer! Haha, isn’t Groucho funny? As an owner of a black cat, I loved that quote too! And the Batty one–“turn on the dark, I’m afraid of the light!” makes me giggle. Does Belgium celebrate Halloween or something similarly spooky this week? If I lived in Belgium, I would hand out Belgium waffles and Belgium chocolate to everyone who came by–or maybe Belgium waffles with melted Belgium chocolate syrup. Yummmmm.

      ((off to check airline ticket prices to visit…))

      🙂

      Like

      1. Yeah, the bat one is so great too! I wish I could hang them on my wall or something :).
        Belgium doesn’t really have this Halloween tradition, no. I mean, you see the decoration everywhere, and there are more than enough options in case you want to celebrate it, but we don’t do the trick or treat thing.

        Which of course doesn’t mean you can’t come and hand out Belgian waffles and chocolate! I’d be the first one to accept those ;).

        Like

  10. Ooh, timely post! As a web designer, I’m rather fond of spiders — but if one decides to drop down from the ceiling, he’d better look out! Thanks for such a smattering of selections relative to the season at hand.

    Like

    1. Hahaha, me too Debbie! It’s like I said to CK above in the comments, I don’t necessarily mind spiders, but I’d prefer they do their spidery business plenty of distance from me. And I noticed the name of your company on your about page–yes you ARE fond of spiders, huh? 🙂

      Thanks so much for dropping by to say hi, it’s always so fun to meet new friends, yay! Have a wonderfully spooky week,
      Christy

      Like

  11. Oh, I do love creepy, crawly, scary. Magnificent collection, Christy. My favorites this weekend: The Voxhaul Broadcast tune, the Rilke poem, and the Theophile Chat Noir poster – there is something so deliciously evil about that cat. And Rilke’s poetry often gives me the feeling that he understood what madness was about.

    I am following Words, but the way you have it set I have to remember to check my Reader page to find it. You wouldn’t want to add the suscribe button so I can have it delivered to my email, would you?

    Glad you got your run in and had bacon. Sounds like you did have a good weekend!

    Like

    1. Mary, is the blog subscribe showing on the main home page sidebar?

      This theme doesn’t show sidebars on the post page (like when you click on the title to open up the post to see comments), only on the main page , or the about or artwork page. That’s my only misgiving about it, but I like the larger sized header it offers. I’m still on the fence about keeping this theme, but I’m sitting with it for a while. Maybe I’ll look at some of the premium theme options.

      Edited again to add: Mary, I went ahead and added another “Follow by email” widget to the footer too. I figure if it didn’t show for you, others may be having the same question. It’s a band-aid fix, but should work until we find the perfect “theme.” Thanks for the heads-up, my friend!

      Like

      1. Found it! Subscribed. Thank you. I guess I wasn’t going to the Home page, just from the link on ROS. I still have so much to learn about the workings of WP. I chose the simplest layout for my blog and haven’t explored much since. I should go check Cayman’s blog to see if his is set up similarly.

        Like

        1. If you need help subbing to his (or any), let me know, Mary. There’s a work around in the WordPress Reader that will allow you to subscribe by email to any blog you follow (access by going to Reader, select blogs I follow-edit, then each blog you follow will show up and you can set your preferences for each blog there). Sounds confusing, but it’s quite simple. I don’t have all the answers, lol, but I generally know somebody who knows somebody, know what I mean? :). Happy Monday!

          Sent from my iPhone

          >

          Like

          1. You (or somebody who knows the somebody) are brilliant!! Now I’ll get his sent to my email. Life is good. Happy Monday right back at ya! 🙂

            Like

    2. Oooh you picked out some nice ones, Mary, I’m glad you liked! My aunt had a framed print of the Theophile Chat Noir poster, and I adored it as a child. She was iconic to me–such a symbol of style and grace, and that print makes me think of her. Come to think of it, she too had a black cat–it was long haired and was the most spoiled rotten cat I’ve ever known, but how they loved each other.

      The bacon was delish (can’t believe I posted a foodie pic, LOL) but I’m paying the price from my run yesterday. I’ve been limping around (granted, as little as possible) and bemoaning that I did not get to train as much as I’d have liked the past few weeks due to a chest bug. My “race” is next Saturday though, so I needed the confidence booster of knowing I could tackle the distance. As wacky as that sounds.

      Oh, that version of “She’s Not There” is from a very badass movie…
      She wears yellow.
      She wields a handcrafted sword.
      She doesn’t like snakes.
      She does a mean Twist (though in a different movie)
      And she’s a bride out for revenge…..

      The answer:
      Kill Bill

      Quentin Tarantino has mad talent for picking the perfect songs for his movies. So does Cameron Crowe.

      Would love to see where your thought train takes you from the Malcolm song. I can see a very cool story resulting. Maybe I’ll write one too if I get some time. Enjoy your Sunday night, hope you get some sleep. xo

      Like

      1. Ah, Kill Bill. Haven’t seen it. On purpose. Too much gore for me. Quentin Tarantino has mad talent, period. Always too much gore for my taste in all his movies, but sometimes the subject is too compelling to pass up, i.e., Inglourious Basterds, and Django Unchained. Pulp Fiction.

        As for my thought train, it’s not so much a story forming as an explanation of the way my senses work. I’m wondering if other people feel the same way.

        Like

  12. P.S. I still love Blue Oyster Cult and Don’t Fear the Reaper, but just now when I was listening to it, all I could think of was – “Needs more cowbell.” 🙂 Also, I love the Malcolm McLaren version of She’s Not There so much (ooh, I was going to add something more to this thought, which then reminded me of a thought I had yesterday about something else, but similar, so I think I’ll save and do a blog post about my train of thought. And THIS. This is why I can’t sleep at night, brain won’t stop going. . .)

    Like

    1. I think you and Cayman must be related. He’s a big “Blue Oyster Cult” fan too.

      “Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!”

      http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/628756/

      Like

      1. Exactly!! I haven’t seen that skit in years, and I only saw it the once, and yet, it tucked itself away in a locker somewhere inside my head. Funny the things that stick. . . .though I had forgotten about Ferrel’s belly hanging out of the shirt. It’s Christopher Walken. He’s so deliciously weird. He’s one of the people I’d invite to my imaginary dinner party!

        Like

  13. I read this days ago and meant to reply then, but you know how reading on phones goes, plus maybe replying on Halloween is like being fashionably late to a party? (as if) I love so many of these quotes and poems. I want to snip the one from the spider to the fly to save for my girls. I want to frame the one from calvin and hobbes and don’t know if I’m sad or perfectly pleased he ended that comic so early in its brilliance. The poem from the BBWolf is also brilliant. So much fun and good thinking to be found here. Happy Halloween!!

    Like

    1. Hey K! Perfect, fashionable timing. Loved your comment. That Spider and Fly poem is longer–click in the citation for the full read, you can even get it in illustrated book form via amazon.

      Loved that ending poem too. CK Hope actually found that one for us–and will get a kick out of your comment.

      I do 90+% of my blog reading on my phone, so yep, I understand perfectly! Hope you are feeling better. Happy Halloween!

      >

      Like

  14. Great music, excellent set!
    But you left out the best wolf literature – the Amazon Wolf t-shirt reviews!
    Read and enjoy!
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Mountain-Three-Short-Sleeve/dp/B002HJ377A

    Like

    1. DOH! How could I forget that?!? Perfect.

      Hope you had a great time on vacation!

      Like

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