The Goblin Spider
Dedicated to Teddy from San Antonio in Texas.
Adapted (slightly) by Bertie.
Read by Richard.
Illustrated for Storynory by Chiara Ghiringhelli.
A Spooky Story From Japan
Hello, this is Richard. And I'm here with a creepy crawly tale from Japan.
Several ancient books tell tales of the goblin-spiders that used to live in Japan. This is one of those stories. It is a little creepy, so if you really don’t like spiders, or scary stories, perhaps this tale is not for you!
Some people say that there are even goblin-spiders around today though they are very rare. During the daytime they look just like common spiders; but very late at night, when everybody is asleep, and there is no sound, they become very, very big, and do awful things.
There was once, in some lonely part of the country, a haunted temple. No one could live in the building because of the goblins that had taken it over. Many brave samurai soldiers went to the temple after taking an oath to fight and kill the goblins. But they were never heard of again.
At last one particular samurai, who was especially famous for his courage went to the temple to watch what happened during the night. Before he went inside, he said to his companions, "If in the morning I am still alive, you shall hear me beat upon the drum of the temple."
Then they left him alone, to watch by the light of a lamp.
As the night came down, he crouched under the altar, which supported a dusty image of Buddha. He saw nothing strange and heard no sound till after midnight. Then there came a goblin, with half a body and one eye. It called out: "Hitokusai!" which means - “There is the smell of a man”.
But the samurai did not move. The goblin went away.
Then there came a priest who played upon a samisen, which is like a guitar with three strings. He played so wonderfully that the samurai felt sure this music was not made by a human being.
“For sure the goblin-spider has taken on the shape of a priest to trick me,” he said to himself.
And he leapt up with his sword drawn. The priest, seeing him, burst out laughing, and said: "So you thought I was a goblin? Oh no! I am only the priest of this temple; but I have to play to keep off the goblins. Does not this samisen sound well? Please play a little."
And he offered the instrument to the samurai who grasped it very cautiously with his left hand. A moment later, the samisen changed into a monstrous spider web, the priest became a goblin, and the warrior found himself caught fast in the web by the left hand. He struggled bravely, and struck at the spider with his sword, and eventually wounded it; but he soon became entangled still more in the net, and could not move.
The wounded spider crawled away, and the sun rose.
His friends were waiting for the beat of the temple drum. Eventually they went into the temple, not expecting to find good news.
Inside they discovered the samurai in the horrible web, hurt, but alive, and they freed him. Then they saw tracks of blood upon the floor, and followed the tracks out of the temple to a hole in the deserted garden. There they found a garden spider and killed it.
But the goblin-spider was never seen or heard of again.
And that was The Goblin Spider.
And we are delighted to dedicate this story to Teddy who likes stories that are a little bit, spooky. Teddy we really hope this did the trick for you. Thank you to Teddy's family for supporting us.
His Dad, Chris tells us, "We have listened to Storynory for the last 6 months or so. We listen to at least one story every night at bed time. It’s always exciting when a new story is released."
For now, from me Richard, at Storynory.com, goodbye!