Vanity’s not fair in this spidery morality tale

Arnicae the vain spider finally falls for the cruel 'Mirror, mirror on the wall' joke

Arnicae the vain spider finally falls for the cruel ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall’ joke

My talented friend Arathi Menon who proved herself first as an accomplished divorcee of letters has now stepped into the Circle of Life as ringmistress with her Wednesday blog Nothing Beastly About It – Tales from the Urban Jungle.

She’s written about the sexual peeves of raccoons, the morbid vanities of snakes and scorpions, the ant’s proletarian dreams of liberty, et cetera. Anthropomorphism on crack, they are. As I told her myself, these animal stories bury Darwin and Dawkins in the same grave. But heck, they’re fun to read. And, guess what, in these glory days when Pope Francis is the darling of the petting zoo, they even have a moral at the end. Teach your children well and all that (except I’d keep the stories out of the reach of very young and impressionable humans lest I invite them unwittingly into a world of precocious carnal knowledge).

Starting this week, I will illustrate her stories (as and when they inspire me to, but she doesn’t know that yet).

Her latest, That Beautiful Truth features a vain protagonist, Arnicae the spider (featured above in all her eight-eyed ravishingness). I shall give away no spoilers, except that vanity’s not fair.

Here’s an excerpt:

Having never seen herself, she had this image of how she looked in her mind – a straight noble nose, beautiful, large almond eyes, high cheekbones and bow-shaped lips all encased in an elegantly oblong head. The surprising part of her conceit was that it actually made her look good. Since she believed with all her heart that she was the most beautiful creature around, somehow that confidence had stolen into her face, making her the best looking spider ever.

Read, enjoy and share.

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