Guest writer: Jennie Fitzkee – The Spider Story

“Oh, Sue. I need to tell you “The Spider Story”, one of the ‘Jennie Stories’ for my preschoolers. All true. That’s why children are glued when I say, “It happened like this.” The spider one beats them all, ” wrote Jennie in a recent comment.  As we are all children at heart and still ready for storytime, I asked Jennie to come over and share her Spider Story with us…

Children know when I tell a story, that if it begins with “Once upon a time”, it is pretend.  If it begins with “It happened like this”, it is real- something that happened to Jennie.  During lunchtime at school, children beg “Can you tell a Jennie story?  Please?”  Begging is probably an understatement.  When I begin, fifteen children are glued.  You could hear a pin drop.  I have at least fourteen stories I tell, and this one is a favorite.

It happened like this… Bugs are much bigger in the south.  The farther south you go, the bigger the bugs.  Summers are hot and long, so the bugs really grow and grow.  If you think bugs are big or creepy here in Massachusetts, you haven’t seen anything.  When I was first married, my husband and I lived in Virginia.  That is much farther south.  And the bugs were really big… especially spiders.”

Long pause, and a worried I-don’t-like-spiders face.

“One evening after dinner I cleared the table and went into the kitchen with the dirty dishes.  My kitchen floor was white, and there- right in the middle of the floor- was a spider!  That spider was huge.  The big, black body was the size of a quarter (which I show children with my rounded fingers.)  Then, with the legs, it was THIS BIG (again, I show children with my fingers.)

I was petrified.  The spider didn’t move.  I called for my husband.  “Steve!”, I hollered.  A minute later he came running into the kitchen.  He saw the spider, and he froze.  I mean, he really froze.  He was stiff.  He couldn’t move.  He couldn’t even speak.  I yelled at him to do something.  He was frozen with fear.  And still, the spider did not move.

I had to do something.  I thought about stepping on it.  No, I just couldn’t.  What if I missed, or if it ran away?  The only thing I could think of doing was to kill it with bug spray.  I gave my husband one last plea to help, but it was no use.  Frozen.

I slowly walked over to the kitchen cabinet under the sink.  That’s where we kept the can of bug spray. Raid.”

At this point in the story, I am standing up, copying my frozen husband, sneaking toward the kitchen cabinet, and breathing hard.

“I got the can of bug spray and shook it, never keeping my eyes off the spider.  I was breathing so hard.  I was as brave as I could be.  I leaned over toward the spider, aimed, and sprayed.  Shhhhh… went the bug spray.  Immediately, WOOOOSHH!  A million tiny baby spiders were everywhere!  Everywhere!!! (I make my hands burst apart, like all the baby spiders coming from big mama spider).  OH, NO! NO!!  So, I stepped and stomped on all the millions of tiny spiders running everywhere.  (Of course, I then stomp all over the floor.)

Whew!  The spiders were finally gone.  But, it took a while for my husband to speak or to move.”

-The End-

Storytelling is the root of language and learning.  If I can tell a good story, and a true story, then I am giving young children the foundation for reading.

About Jennie:

Jennie Fitzkee has been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is her passion. She believes that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That’s what she writes about.

She is highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease’s bestselling book, “The Read-Aloud Handbook” because of her reading to children. Her class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.

Follow Jennie on her blog, A Teacher’s Reflections.

wordcloud2If you would like to be my guest, please read the guidelines and get in touch!

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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36 Responses to Guest writer: Jennie Fitzkee – The Spider Story

  1. 😱 I can see why the kids love Jennie Stories 👍😃😄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jennie is an amazing teacher, Sue. A lovely story and it would freak my hubby out too – he hates spiders.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jennie says:

    Thank you, Sue, for sharing my story!


  4. Mary Smith says:

    I’d be frozen like your husband, Jennie. I think I might have spider nightmares – all those baby spiders. Ugh! The Peanut Man might be more up my street!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Jennie says:

    Reblogged this on A Teacher's Reflections and commented:
    I was a guest blogger today sharing one of my infamous “Jennie Stories” on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ritu says:

    What a great story! Love it Jennie! Sometimes the great stories yo tell kids come from within.. . Not from the pages of a book xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  7. beetleypete says:

    I want to go back to that age, and have a teacher like Jennie.
    I had a slate and chalk, spending all my time copying the alphabet, or learning how to use a metal- nib pen,dipped in an inkwell built into the desk to make ‘joined-up’ writing.
    No teacher ever told me a ‘spider story’, nor ever mentioned a husband.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. John Fioravanti says:

    Loved your spider story, Jennie! I hate those things too – especially the big ones, although, here in Canada they don’t get very big either.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Darlene says:

    What a terrific story. Did any of the children feel sorry for the baby spiders I wonder?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Tina Frisco says:

    OMG, I got chills reading this! Your Wonder Woman badge awaits you, Jennie 🙂 Sue, you are very brave to allow spiders on your blog 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Wonderful story telling, but the poor spiders, Jennie! Charlotte and all her little babies stomped on by a preschool teacher. Ha ha. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This is wonderful! I enjoy all of Jennie’s inspiring posts!


  13. reocochran says:

    Jennie is the embodiment of a fantastic teacher. Thanks, Sue for sharing her spider story. Kids love hearing “real” stories, ones about the teacher’s life at home!
    I like and admire Jennie and how she includes serious subjects like patriotism and peace in her classroom.


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