The wind howled louder; the fire had died down. Robert lay still and silent on his mean straw bed, oblivious of the cold and discomfort of his surroundings, troubled and disturbed by his thoughts. Suddenly his eye was caught by a spider - the creature was hanging by a long silvery thread from one of the wooden beams above his head, and trying to swing itself to another beam. The spider tried again and again, failing every time. Six times, counted Robert, the spider tried and failed. 'Six times,' thought Robert to himself, 'have I fought against the English and failed.'
Robert looked at the spider more intently. 'Now if this spider fails again on the seventh attempt, I too shall give up the fight for Scotland. But if it succeeds, I shall try again.' The spider, as though aware of Robert's thought, swung itself again with all its tiny strength - and finally, on the seventh attempt, it succeeded. It swung on to the beam it had been trying to reach, and fastened its thread, thus stretching the first line of the web it was trying to weave.
Robert Bruce smiled, and sat up. He threw off his despair and grief, and determined to set out for Scotland again and continue his fight against the English. He fought against the English for the next eight years, defeating them and finally driving them out of Scotland in 1314, at the Battle of Bannockburn.
Robert Bruce and the Spider