Once upon a time, there lived a spider in an attic. He spun and spun until his web covered all the windows. “There, I have made every window secure,” he said to himself. “I am a very powerful creature. No one can break into this room through the windows. Now, I should spin a web over the lock on the door and secure that too. I am the lord of the attic. No one can enter unless I allow it.”
As time went by, the spider grew proud of his ability to secure things in his web. He decided to bind all the old furniture in the room as well. He spun a web over an old mirror, entangling the chairs and winding around the legs of the table. There was nothing he didn’t have bound tight.
“Now, I need to find a place to live where I can watch and see what happens if anyone tries to break into the room or move any of the furniture,” said the spider.
He searched the entire attic and eventually settled on an old clock in one corner of the room. “This is the perfect spot,” said the spider. “I will spin a web over the face of the clock, binding the hands with my strong web. From here, I can watch and wait, ready to laugh at those who try to break in or take away my power. Of course, they cannot succeed, and it will be great fun to see them try.”
So, the spider spun his web over the clock’s face and sat down to wait. Every time the wind rattled the windows and door, the spider would swell with pride. “They cannot get in,” he would say, thinking someone was attempting to enter. “I am the lord of the attic, and no one can break through my stronghold.”
Finally, one day, the door opened, and the spider saw a maid enter with a broom. She swept away every cobweb in the room, opened the windows, and destroyed all his carefully constructed webs. However, she didn’t notice the web on the clock’s face.
“I have made this web even stronger than the others,” said the foolish spider. “No one can break free from this web. I have the clock securely bound.”
One day, the attic door opened again, and a man came in and picked up the large clock from the corner. “He will soon discover that he cannot move your hands,” said the spider to the clock. “I have spun a double web over your face.”
But the clock remained silent. “It is afraid of me,” said the spider. “I had everything in that attic afraid too.”
The old clock was placed in the downstairs hall, and soon it began to tick. “You cannot frighten me,” said the spider. “You cannot move. I have you securely bound.”
“Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock,” went the clock, and the spider witnessed his web snap on one side. Gradually, another slender thread snapped. Over time, the hands moved around the clock’s face, and the spider’s web was destroyed. This time, he didn’t boast about his strength. Slowly, he lowered himself to the bottom of the clock and crawled out through a crack in the back of the case.
The clock continued ticking, and once it was free from the boastful spider, it said to itself, “That spider is like some people. They are so content with themselves that they believe everything they do is the best that can be done, until someone comes along and proves them wrong. I knew all along that when I started to tick, Mr. Spider would realize his web wasn’t as strong as he thought. But there was no point in telling him. So, I waited until I could demonstrate it. I have always found it to be true that ‘actions speak louder than words.'”