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In Search of Grandmother Spider’s Eggs


What a wonderful brisk day we had today! The children were enthusiastic about getting to camp this morning to see what adventures lay ahead.

During snack, we heard a story about Stalking Wolf and how he got his name. This is a true story about how he managed to swiftly fox-walk quietly enough to touch a wolf while it was sleeping! Stalking Wolf later became a mentor to Tom Brown and Jon Young, who are some of our teachers’ mentors. This is one of the lineages we carry at Flying Deer and pass on to all the children.

We then practiced our fox-walking skills and played a game where we had to be as still as baby fawns in the forest so that the bears do not find them. Baby fawns have no scent and are very well camouflaged, which is how they protect themselves.

Some of the children were ready to sneak up on the older children, the Cobblers. So we got ourselves camouflaged with charcoal and set off trampling through a lot of barberry bushes. For those of you who know barberry, their sharp thorns make it quite tricky. But, that did not stop this hearty group of Woolly Bears! We got to the Cobblers’ campsite without them seeing us and taught them the sleeping fawn game when we got there. They had a surprise for us, too.

Apparently, Grandmother Spider had come looking for our campsite, but found theirs instead and left a note for us. She had lost her spider eggs and we had to find them. They smelled like lime pie and were green on the outside but black on the inside. Eventually we made our way to a big tree that some of the Woolly Bears knew about from last week (a black walnut) and there we found a bundle full of Grandmother Spider’s eggs. We brought them back to camp and stomped on them to separate the hulls from the nuts. The potion is brewing until next week, when we will be dyeing fabrics!

Some of the Woolly Bears stayed at camp during this adventure and started a fire instead. Kevin brought two different kinds of acorns for us to try raw in the morning. They decided to boil them and taste the difference. They were very sweet and delicious!

—Julie, Kevin, Tucker, and Lila