Bruce And The Spider
LEGEND says that an on-the-run Robert the Bruce was inspired to “try, try and try again” by seeing a spider struggling and ultimately succeeding in making a web. It’s a myth, of course; some tellings put Bruce and the determined arachnid in a cave, others in a hut. None ever mention a date so many people assume it “happened” in 1306, after triumphant English forces captured his sister and executed three of his four brothers. Others opt for 1313, a year before Bruce’s decisive victory at Bannockburn.
Nor is it clear where it happened. Today, numerous places in Scotland claim the accolade, although the Bruce family’s preference is for a cave on Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland – at the time owned by Bruce’s mother.
An important question, though, remains unanswered… did Bruce absent-mindedly brush aside that spider’s web when he left to rejoin the fight?