Ixi is a black widow spider. Linger is a pygmy mouse.
“…the de-population by cholera and small-pox is ended by drainage and vaccination; and every other pest is not less in the chain of cause and effect, and may be fought off. And, whilst art draws out the venom, it commonly exhorts some benefit from the vanquished enemy.”
Fate – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I am not sure but from the study If and the others did, the germ was broken. I would like to try it on your leg,” said Ixi.
Linger looked up at the spider dangling from her thread. In Ixi’s arms was cradled a small cobweb cup.
“That’s the medicine you want to try on my leg?” asked Linger. Sweat drenched her fur. Her leg, wounded in a fall, dripped with pus.
“Yes,” said Ixi.
Linger nodded. Ixi lowered herself onto Linger’s injured knee and poured three drops of the concoction into Linger’s cut. The drops absorbed into the wound.
“Now willow bark tea,” said the spider, “for pain. And a touch of my toxin for sleep.”
Linger sipped the tea then lay back on her pillow. Her muscles loosened as some of the pain left her. Ixi stepped up Linger’s fur to her left eye.
“Here, this will make you sleep as the healing begins.”
Linger nodded, opening her eyes wide. From Ixi’s fang one drop of formulated venom fell into the corner of Linger’s eye. Linger did not blink. The liquid absorbed.
“Close your eyes now, rest.”
Two days later Linger opened her eyes again. Despite being fed sips of water and broth she was very thirsty. She drank from the cup by her bed. The pain had gone. She looked at her leg. The wound was wrapped in a lace of webbing. Linger, heart beating fast, looked under the web. The pus was gone, the wound, pink with healthy skin, was closing up. Linger lay back on her pillow, sighed.
Ixi had healed, again.