The Spider Tower

: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

In Dead Man's Canon--a deep gorge that is lateral to the once populated

valley of the Rio de Chelly, Arizona--stands a stark spire of weathered

sandstone, its top rising eight hundred feet above its base in a sheer

uplift. Centuries ago an inhabitant of one of the cave villages was

surprised by hostiles while hunting in this region, and was chased by

them into this canon. As he ran he looked vainly from side to side in the
/> hope of securing a hiding-place, but succor came from a source that was

least expected, for on approaching this enormous obelisk, with strength

well-nigh exhausted, he saw a silken cord hanging from a notch at its

top. Hastily knotting the end about his waist, that it might not fall

within reach of his pursuers, he climbed up, setting his feet into

roughnesses of the stone, and advancing, hand over hand, until he had

reached the summit, where he stayed, drinking dew and feeding on eagles'

eggs, until his enemies went away, for they could not reach him with

their arrows, defended as he was by points of rock. The foemen having

gone, he safely descended by the cord and reached his home. This help had

come from a friendly spider who saw his plight from her perch at the top

of the spire, and, weaving a web of extra thickness, she made one end

fast to a jag of rock while the other fell within his grasp--for she,

like all other of the brute tribe, liked the gentle cave-dwellers better

than the remorseless hunters. Hence the name of the Spider Tower.