The Spider's Web (Part II of The Escape).

Just a quick note. I don't think this is going to go on much longer than three parts, but we'll see. I'm sort of writing it as I go, and this is all rough draft of a story I'm still kind of making up in my head.  If you like it, let me know by leaving me a comment here or on Twitter, since that's where I pretty much live. Thanks for reading!

The bustle of the city was not one that I expected. I knew that the ghetto was crowded, but I did not expect that the city would be crowded as well.  I pushed through a few crowds, mumbling my apologies in Polish, smiling kindly when one gentleman or another tipped his hat at us as we wandered through the streets. I had the directions in my head, and had repeated them back to Mila several times before we left the ghetto, but my head was so full of fear that I would forget where I was going.
Three right turns, several left turns, and I find myself in a part of Warsaw that I had never heard of before and never seen.  This part of town was dark and the buildings were decaying.  Looking around at it, I was surprised that they had not made this part of the city, this beaten, old part of the city that looked as if was about to crumble into instant decay, the ghetto.  I almost forgot my errand as I looked at this old narrow architecture, the pathways barely large enough for two people to walk abreast of each other. Gustav whined a little bit, clutching on to my skirt and popping his thumb into his mouth the way that he did when he was nervous or scared.  I looked down at him, and his eyes were full of fright and worry.
"My darling, you have to trust me," I leaned down and smiled. "We are having an adventure.  Would I let any harm come to you?"
He shook his head and I smiled at him as his thumb made an audible pop when he removed it from his mouth. "But Mum.. there are spiders." His voice trembled and his eyes scanned the walls up and down the alley.  The dark walls did have a copious amount of spiderwebs on them, twisted among the masonry of the buildings and hanging in doorways and window frames like so much delicate lace placed there by a gentle hand.  
"Oh, those," I said, trying to sound reassuring. "Well, you know about spiders, don't you?"
Gustav's eyes lit up with curiosity, and the fear seemed to drain from his tiny body. "No," he said. "What do spiders do?"
"Well," I replied, trying to put on my best adult knowledge voice and not let the fear that I felt myself creep into my voice. "Well, you see... Spiders eat other bugs. They actually help out a lot because they will eat things like fleas, and baby creepy crawlies and flies and things like that.  They wrap them up in a big warm blanket of spiders web..." I stopped at this point, and checked the spider web in the one of the windows of a shop, making sure that there were no spiders on it before pulling it off carefully, and holding it out to Gustav. "See, they make these webs, and the webs catch the bugs in them, see how it's sticking to my fingers?"
Gustav experimentally pulled out his own finger and placed it in the spider's web and watched as it clung to the very tip of his finger.  He pulled it back a bit and giggled when a strand or two of webbing followed behind it.  His eyes widened in wonder as he began to wave the strands back and forth like a little flag. 
"So," I continued, "The spider wraps up the little bugs to protect them from the big bad world. They wrap them all up in soft bundles and hug them and squeeze them so that they can't get out and hurt humans. They take all the nasty bugs and protect us from them."
"Then why do they bite humans?"  The curiosity had overcome his fear.
"Remember what I told you about bees when we were in the country?" I asked him, thinking about the time that we had gone into the country and there were patches of flowers in a meadow, the bees buzzing warmly in the spring sunlight, fuzzy fat bodies collecting the nectar of the flowers. 
Gustav nodded.
"Well, bees don't sting humans if humans don't bother them.  If you leave them alone, they will go about their day and be a wonderful thing and make honey just for us."
"For our tea?"
"Yes, for our tea.  Well, the spiders don't bite us very often except for the same reason.  They bite us if they are scared or if we bother them."
"Is that what the red sheet means, with the spider on it?  That they are going to help protect us like the spiders protect the us from the other bugs?"
My throat closed up in fear and apprehension and I was uncertain how to answer him, so I merely stood, brushing the cobwebs off of the front of my dress and took his tiny hand in mine. "Yes.  They are here to protect people."
Just not us I thought as I took his hand in mine again and we continued our long journey.

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