BUZZ! Buzz! Buzz! Listen to the swarming gnats!
In Lapland when the summer sun burns hot, day and night, the Lapp children have much pain. This is all because of the spider!
In old days there were no mosquitoes in Lapland. But in the pleasant country to the south, the mosquitoes lived, and buzzed, and sucked their suppers.
One day all the mosquitoes began to talk of seeing Lapland, for they had heard so much about it. A spider, that had run about Lapland, had told them of its wonders. How the cuckoos sang sweetly, the berries ripened, and the flowers bloomed! Yes indeed! And the reindeer had such juicy skins, and there were dogs and goats and little animals with no places to hide in; and Lapp children sleeping outside without covers. And there were nice wet bogs waiting for the mosquitoes' eggs. And the sun shone night and day, so that the mosquitoes could always find food.
But that spider did not tell them of the long, freezing night, when the sun never shone for weeks! Nor did the spider say:
"Such fine nets as I spin among the loose stones, where mosquitoes do not see them!"
Oh yes! Those southern mosquitoes longed to be in Lapland. But the Mother of the Mosquitoes said:
"First let us send some scouts there, to find what the land is like."
Six went. A reindeer whisked one of them off his tail and crushed it. Another fell into a milking pail and was drowned. The third was smothered by tent-smoke. A fourth was killed by an old Lapp woman. Only two got safely back to the pleasant southern land.
These two said that Lapland was good in spots.
The Mother of the Mosquitoes then said:
"Let the gnats go to Lapland. We will stay here."
But the two scout mosquitoes said, that everything would be well if all the mosquitoes together, at once, would fly north. So all the mosquitoes in a great swarm flew north to Lapland.
Oh yes! There they are today, when the summer sun burns hot--swarms and swarms of them, like dark clouds. They buzz and bite.
Oh yes! And the spider spins and spins and spins fine nets among the loose stones, where the mosquitoes cannot see them. The mosquitoes fly into the nets, and the spider runs along the threads and eats them!