As I picked up the spent flowers from the Marigolds and Bachelor Buttons, this Nursery Web spider dove into the grass and quickly curled her body around her egg sac protecting it from me and the midday sun.
“Yes,” came the answer.
“What is that nifty little thing? Did you make it?”
“I did indeed,” replied Charlotte in a weak voice.
“Is it a plaything?”
“Plaything? I should say not. It is my egg sac, my magnum opus.”
“I don’t know what a magnum opus (masterpiece) is,” said Wilbur.
“What’s inside it?” asked Wilbur. “Eggs?”
“Five hundred and fourteen of them,” she replied.
“Five hundred and fourteen?” said Wilbur. “You’re kidding.”
“No, I’m not. I counted them. I got started counting so I kept on – just to keep my mind occupied.”
From Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
We can only imagine how many eggs this mother Nursery Web spider is gently carrying in hers.
Instinct or love, her work is never done.