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Short Stories (Stories for the Youth), book by Father Tadros Yacoub Malaty

441- Discourse between the Gout and the Spider


Nancy returned home to find her daughter Monica very angry for, she had learned that the results for being admitted to join university had been issued and she had not been accepted into the faculty of Pharmacy that she has been dreaming of. Nancy tried to calm her daughter down. After a lot of effort, she said to her, We often desire whats not for our benefit, Lets pray and accept with joy what God has allowed for us.

Ive been dreaming of the faculty of Pharmacy since my childhood, and have worked enormously especially this year to attain my dream, Monica said.

I know that you were faithful in your studies, for this reason we must accept with joy your admission into the faculty of dentistry.

But Im not comforted Mom. Image: An Egyptian spider, photo from Alexandria - Photograph by Michael Ghaly for صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: عنكبوت من العناكب المصرية في الإسكندرية - تصوير مايكل غالي لموقع الأنبا تكلا Image: An Egyptian spider, photo from Alexandria - Photograph by Michael Ghaly for

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: عنكبوت من العناكب المصرية في الإسكندرية - تصوير مايكل غالي لموقع الأنبا تكلا.

Why Monica, havent you heard the dialogue between the Gout (disease of the kings) and the Spider?

No Mom, please tell me the story.

The Mother said, the Gout met with the spider and they began to tell each other where they were heading. The Spider said, I am going to the castles of the rich where the ceilings are so high that I can set my web of fine threads to catch insects and feed on them. No one will be able to reach me. Thus, Ill be like he who wrote a rent or ownership contract forever.

The gout said, You go to the golden castles of the rich and famous for their high ceilings and you can weave your web and set a safe home. As for me, Ill go to the feet of a poor man who doesnt have any money for a doctor or cannot seek care. That way, Ill remain in his feet till the day he dies with no medicine to destroy me and take me away from my place.

The spider went to one of the castles of the rich and began to weave the web in a very high ceiling and thought that he inherited the place and that no one could approach him except the insects, which fall into the trap, die, and become his food.

After a few days, the whole ceiling was cleaned and the Spider lost all his hard work. However, he didnt give up but began to weave a new web thinking that this would only be repeated yearly. To his surprise, it was repeated every month. The Spider decided to leave the castle and relocate in the hut of a poor person who is not bothered by the webs of a spider and doesnt care for cleaning the ceiling.

As for the gout, he went to settle in the feet of a very poor farmer thinking that he would have no means to go to a Doctor and buy medicine for treatment. He soon noticed that the farmer didnt care about the disease but remained constantly moving, walking for many hours on his feet. Therefore, he decided to leave the feet of the farmer and to go to the feet of a king or any rich spoiled man who would not move once he felt the disease and the gout would find rest.

The spider chose the castles of the rich and he didnt find rest but in the hut of a poor person; while, the gout chose the poor farmers feet and he didnt find rest but in the feet of the rich, as they call it the disease of the kings.

→ English translation of the story here at حوار بين مرض النقرس (مرض الملوك) والعنكبوت. Divider

My Lord, lead my life.

 May your Holy Spirit guide me,

 And always lead me,

For I dont really know what is for my benefit.

 But you are the loving capable Father and wise.

 In You, I am comforted and my soul finds rest.

 With You, I pass through this life according to Your will.

 May Your will be done and not mine.


Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding (Prov. 3.5).

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