Harry Hirsuite, the baboon spider, art by David Bailey

Harry Hirsuite, the baboon spider, art by David Bailey

Blurb: Harry, a baboon spider climbs into a suitcase and when it is opened he finds himself in England. He must get back to Africa. How will his friends help him, hinder him, annoy him and make him fall in love with him and visa versa.

Sabrina was sitting on her back one paw lifted in the air, a perfect position for her nibble, lick, lick, nibble as her washing routine began. She stopped, jerked her head around and stared at the large open suitcase in the bedroom. The humans had just come home from a trip to Africa.

Her paw was poised for the next lick. She pricked her ears but didn’t hear anything. She carried on with her grooming.

Art work by David Bailey

Art work by David Bailey

Zebedee ran helter skelter into the room, slid on the wooden floor, applied brakes too late,   went into a full slide and crashed into the suitcase.
‘Seriously Zebedee. Haven’t you been taught to walk normally?”

‘You’re a grumps,’ said Zebedee. With a quick jerk his head swung back towards the suitcase. He dropped flat onto his belly. He growled.
Sabrina was sitting stock still, her paw in the air.
‘What’s that?’ Asked Zebedee, pointing to what looked like a hairy stick.
‘I don’t know but it moved,’ said Sabrina. ‘Keep still Zebedee. It might be dangerous.’
‘I’m not moving,’ he hissed. They both stared.
‘Holy moly, it’s making a noise,’ said Zebedee.
‘Quiet! You might scare whatever it is.’ Zebedee lay flat until another leg appeared as hairy as the first. This time he growled, a low rumbling sound. Sabrina had moved position and was lying flat and still.
A couple more legs popped out and then a set of eyes, then another, then another! The nightmarish creature had black fangs that were approximately 6mm in length but according to Zebedee, when he related his horrific tale, the fangs were twice as long. This strange creature resembled a spider but couldn’t possibly be one as it was gruesome. It was a hairy and ugly and must have come from out of space.
Sabrina was most indignant that this creature, with absolutely no manners, had the audacity to raise its forelegs up in the air and then aggressively hiss at them. This tale was told boldly to their kitty friends afterwards but at the time both cats rose to a standing position, the hair on their backs raised, ears flattened, eyes big and they both yowled.

Human mum rushed into the room. ‘Goodness,’ she said. ‘What’s all the noise about?’ She picked Zebedee up and stroked his long tabby fur and kissed his furry head. She walked across to Sabrina and pulled the cat onto her wide comfortable lap. Both cats were still rigid and focused on the suitcase. Sabrina’s cry went into a high pitched whine. Mrs Banks got up and walked towards the suitcase. ‘There’s nothing in here,’ she said, rifling through a few items. She didn’t see the crumpled hairy lump hiding in between the creases of her husband’s crisp white shirt.
Come and get some food,’ she said. Food was her answer to any crisis. Both sprung up and ran after her. Food was the response to their problems as well.

The suitcase had been moved to the bedroom for unpacking. Sabrina stayed downstairs.

‘Sabrina, my baby,’ shouted the eight year old human who occupied the house and squeezed Sabrina tightly until the cat growled and then spat. She squashed her a few more times, then yelped and dropped the cat when Sabrina dug in the claws. The white Persian stalked off. She really didn’t like that human child.

Ruby, the last furry sibling in the household was standing in front of the open suitcase. ‘Zebedee said you both saw something move,’ she said.
‘Yup, something with lots of legs that looked like hairy twigs. Ugh,’ shuddered Sabrina.
I’ve been watching for the last hour. I think something is inside but it isn’t showing itself yet.
With a suddenness that had all three spring back, black eyes, more than two popped up and glared at them.

‘What are you?’ Asked Zebedee, his head cocked to one side.
‘I am Harry Hirsuite.’
‘Harry what?’ Asked Sabrina.
‘Hirsuite? Strange name,’ said Zebedee, sitting a distance from the suitcase.
‘Hirsuite is my surname and it means “hairy”.
‘Well the name definitely “suits” you,’ said Zebedee, a silly grin on his furry face.  ‘Do you bite?’
‘I can but only when I’m nervous,’ said Harry.
‘You are seriously ugly,’ said Ruby.
‘Ruby,’ laughed Sabrina. ‘You’re not exactly an oil painting.’
‘And you’re not nice,’ retaliated Ruby.
‘You have funny eyes Harry,’ said Ruby, looking at the spider, her own amber eyes, round and big, staring intently at this apparition before her.
‘You have bugs bunny teeth,’ replied Harry.
‘I do not! I have a slight overbite with two of my bottom teeth.’
‘I’m impressed. This creature knows what a bugs bunny is,’ chuckled Sabrina.’
‘You aren’t at all polite,’ said Harry, all of his eyes narrowed and a peeved look on his face.
‘I don’t have to be nice I’m beautiful,’ said the white Persian licking her paw.

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Art by David Bailey –

http://davidbaileyarts.weebly.com/rochester–medway.html

Although I am from Africa I now reside in the U.K. with my family. I started my career as a teacher and have taught children in Primary and Secondary schools. I had a business, teaching computer skills to students of all ages. My company gave me invaluable experience in dealing with a diverse range of cultures. Our entire aim was that we taught our pupils the necessary skills and literacy but that they had fun learning!

There are 22 comments for this article
  1. Cindy Richardson at 9:45 pm

    The illustrations together with the writing are eye-catching and what looks like an extremely interesting book for kids. I am a teacher and would very much be interested in having this as a reader in our school. Please give me more information.
    Thanks
    Cindy

  2. Choma at 7:46 pm

    I will definitely buy this book for my little boy when finished. Unusual story. Hate spiders but when they are humanised they don’t seem as bad! Good luck

  3. Sharon Quari at 11:36 am

    Now you have peaked my story buds, where do I get hold of the rest of the story. You really do need to send me your book list and where to buy. I want to read Theresa of the hairy spider story

    I love the drawing of the little country town. The pictures are lovely and those of you daughter suit Dear George. Loved that story….cried m Heart out. Go, go, go Mary-Anne

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