There was once a king of Scot-land whose name was Robert Bruce. He had

need to be both brave and wise, for the times in which he lived were

wild and rude. The King of England was at war with him, and had led a

great army into Scotland to drive him out of the land.

Battle after battle had been fought. Six times had Bruce led his brave

little army against his foes; and six times had his men been beaten,

driven into flight. At last his army was scat-tered, and he was

forced to hide himself in the woods and in lonely places among the


One rainy day, Bruce lay on the ground under a rude shed, lis-ten-ing

to the patter of the drops on the roof above him. He was tired and

sick at heart, and ready to give up all hope. It seemed to him that

there was no use for him to try to do anything more.

As he lay thinking, he saw a spider over his head, making ready to

weave her web. He watched her as she toiled slowly and with great

care. Six times she tried to throw her frail thread from one beam to

another, and six times it fell short.

"Poor thing!" said Bruce: "you, too, know what it is to fail."

But the spider did not lose hope with the sixth failure. With still

more care, she made ready to try for the seventh time. Bruce almost

forgot his own troubles as he watched her swing herself out upon the

slender line. Would she fail again? No! The thread was carried safely

to the beam, and fas-tened there.

"I, too, will try a seventh time!" cried Bruce.

He arose and called his men together. He told them of his plans, and

sent them out with mes-sa-ges of cheer to his dis-heart-ened people.

Soon there was an army of brave Scotch-men around him. Another battle

was fought, and the King of England was glad to go back into his own


I have heard it said, that, after that day, no one by the name of

Bruce would ever hurt a spider. The lesson which the little crea-ture

had taught the king was never for-got-ten.