After yesterday’s post about 9 year-old Number 2 son’s attempt to conquer his fear of spiders I thought I would follow it up with another spider post.
On the ceiling of a room in Frederick the Great’s palace in Germany, San Souci*, is a painting of a spider in its web.
This spider was painted in honour of the arachnid whose last (and probably first) bath inadvertently saved His Majesty from a horrible end.
The story goes that every morning King Frederick would partake of a cup of chocolate in a room adjoining his bedchamber.
Once morning, before drinking, the King returned to the bedroom for a forgotten item and on his return he found the spider flailing around in his cup.
Naturally he requested another cup (and possibly the head of the spider-shy maid on a platter) and this request was met with an unexpected pistol shot.
Apparently the cook had poisoned the first cup of chocolate and, after hearing the request for another, thought the jig was up.
I wonder what happened to the bedraggled spider? Was it left to drown in the poisoned chocolate or did some kind servant return it to the garden? I expect that it was probably forgotten in the mayhem of the attempted assassination and suicide, and gasped its last before sinking beneath the deadly, chocolatey waves….
I have no idea if this story has any truth or is just an interesting myth, and my research hasn’t helped clear the waters. You’re an eclectic and well-travelled lot, has anyone been to the palace and noticed a large spider on the ceiling? If you have anything to share please do!
*Sans souci means ‘without concern’ or ‘no worries’ and there is a suburb south of Sydney in New South Wales that also goes by the name Sans Souci.
When I hear that name I can’t help but think of that Aussieism no wuckers‘. I’m not sure King Frederick would be too happy about his palace being thought of as ‘No Wuckers Palace’ though…
Oh, I dunno. “No Wuckers Palace” has a nice ring to it. 😉
I can’t imagine that ‘King Fred of No Wuckers Palace’ would be the kind of desirable address a proper king would be after though! 😀
F%^# hysterical. thanks for sharing.
No worries 😉
lmao – haven’t heard that one in years! Am I allowed to say it online? Thought I’d better ask as you didn’t give the full version. 😉
I restrained myself but you may let loose 😀
‘NO WUCKIN’ FURRIES!’
Thank you, I feel so much better now. 😀
I knew someone would, glad you had a chance to get that off your chest!
Are you guilty of using it at times? I have to admit that I am, and I know I say “no worries” all the time! 😀 (Although thinking about it it is probably more like “naworries”)
Did you read the wikipedia link? It explains to non-Aussies the no wucking furries, no wuckers and no wucks and the mindset behind it. Although serious it is very funny 🙂
Rats, assuming I knew what it was, I didn’t look at the wiki. Now I’ll have to check it out… for educational purposes of course!
I just love hearing it explained to the uninitiated. 🙂
lol – which usually means 99.9999999999% of the world’s population. 😀 It always disconcerts me how little most people know about us.
I agree. It is like we are on another planet not just another country. Oh well, if they knew everything about us I wouldn’t have anything to post about!
lol – there’s that silver lining again!
I haven’t heard no wuckers or the long version since the 80’s I think… hilarious. On a more serious note, maybe the story will incline you to some degree of clemency with your house spiders… 😉
Since the 80’s? Oh god, then I’m showing my age. 😦 Or perhaps you live in a less bogan neighbourhood than me… 😉
If a huntsman dropped into my early morning cuppa I think that I would probably die of a heart attack, the poison wouldn’t have a chance to take effect. Next time I have a chance to kill an house spider I may sweep instead of slam on your behalf 🙂
Hmm, you could be right… the last time I lived in a country town full time was early 1990…
I’m thinking you could be a distant relative of Miss Muffett.
…eating my curds and whey.
Along came a spider and sat down beside ‘er
and got severely smashed by a boot.
Not rhyming but true 🙂
Not sure about sleeping under a giant spider web, even if it is painted on the ceiling!
Bad dreams for all I think. Eating breakfast under it every morning wouldn’t be too good for digestion that’s for sure.
Our “national motto” says Wikipedia — well stone the crows. 🙂
Stone the crows? Crikey, your bloods worth bottling. 😀
Definitely putting the spider mural on the to-be-seen travel list, next time I’m in Germany. (Daydreaming of summer travel on an icy cold day in New York.)
I would love to know if it is still/really there or if the story is even true at all. I wonder if the mural is still there, or if it was painted over by spider-shy decorators later on? (if there is any truth to the story at all that is…)
I can’t find anything concrete on the web or any images of it so I suspect that it might not exist. A pity, it is a great tale.
I would love to hear the report of your travels, I can imagine that a summery holiday feels VERY far away trapped in the midst of NY snow. We are having more summer than I am comfortable with here, I would be happy to send some your way!