Recently I was reminded of the famous story of Robert the Bruce and this spider. This story was
first told to me by my Scottish Grandfather and the message that it has is just as strong today as
it was all of the years ago when it was first written.
As many of you remember the story goes, that the Scottish were fighting the English (again) and
losing (again), they were losing so badly that Robert the Bruce who was leading the Scottish
forces has to flee with what remained of his army and hide seeking refuge in a cave. The end
was in sight, the English had all but claimed victory and despondently the Bruce sat in his cave
and stared at the walls. On the wall he noticed a spider trying to build a web, but so smooth and
hard were the rock walls that it couldn’t get the threads to bind on the wall. Every time that it had
almost succeeded the threads failed and the spider plunged to the cave floor, where it would pick
itself up, climb the cave wall again and start from scratch. Time and time again this happened
and the Bruce could not believe that the spider would continue to try to build a web after so many
failures. But it did until eventually it got one of it’s threads to stick, and then another until it was
able to complete its web.
Inspired by what he had witnessed the Bruce fought of his despondent feelings and rallied his
men to fight the English once again for their independence, with a new resolve and his army be-hind him Robert the Bruce fought Edward Army once again at Bannock Burn and his victory led
to him being crowned King of an independent Scotland.
Mike Brosnahan, Principal