When Yu Yu was born, he surprised everyone. Especially the doctor and his parents.
Yu Yu was born with ten legs.
Now, that might not be a bad thing if you’re a centipede or a caterpillar, but Yu Yu was a spider and spiders all have eight legs.
Yu Yu had a difficult time.
When he was a baby spider, he always dropped his food on the floor because his two front legs were too close to his face and his next set of legs was too far away. When he was playing with his brothers and sisters, he usually dropped all his toys because he tried to carry ten when everyone else carried eight.
A few years later, when Yu Yu was old enough to go to school, he didn’t know which leg to hold his pencil in. When he had to wash his legs like the other spiders did, he always took longer and used too much soap.
Worst of all, when the other spiders were playing games like Ring Around the Bug, Yu Yu never knew which of his ten legs to use. When he tried to hide in a game of Bug or Go Seek, his long extra legs always stuck out.
Everybody laughed at Yu Yu. Even Yu Yu’s teacher, Ms. Bura the ladybug spider. Ms. Bura had never had such a clumsy spider for a student. Yu Yu simply couldn’t do anything right.
One day Yu Yu’s whole class went on a trip to the beach. Everyone wore their bathing suits. They played in the sand, like spiders do. They had a picnic of insect sandwiches and lemonade, and they splashed in the water. (But they didn’t go too far in because most spiders can’t swim.)
All the spiders’ favorite thing to do at the beach was to take a ride on Old Man Tortoise to Pirate Island, where it was rumored many many spider years ago the evil Captain Mouse had buried all of his gold and treasure under a coconut tree.
And they went.
It was a beautiful day, but you never know what kind of weather you’ll get at the beach. As soon as the little spiders and Ms. Bura got on Old Man Tortoise, a hurricane blew in.
The sky turned black. The wind rumbled and howled. The waves splashed down upon them and Old Man Tortoise bounced up and down until one by one all the little spiders fell off into the cold black water, even Ms. Bura
The only spider who didn’t fall off was Yu Yu.
Even though the old tortoise was being tossed violently about on the storm’s angry waves, Yu Yu had ten legs, which was two more than anyone else. Yu Yu was holding on to Old Man Tortoise’s tail with two of his legs, to his back with four more legs, to his head with another two legs, and finally he used his two extras legs to balance and keep the cold salt water from his eyes.
Because there’s nothing a spider hates more than salty water in his eyes.
Yu Yu got right to work.
Yu Yu reached out and grabbed all of the soaking wet spiders one by one. He even grabbed Ms. Bura, who had called him clumsy and useless.
One by one he put them back on Old Man Tortoise’s shell, and when the storm died down, they all headed back home.
After that day, nothing was the same.
At school Yu Yu found a way to hide when they played Bug and Go Seek. He learned a different way to wash his legs and read books and play with his toys. He even learned how to eat and hold a pencil with ten legs.
Mostly importantly, the other spiders realized that being a little different wasn’t a bad thing at all.
And most most importantly, Yu Yu was a very happy spider with ten legs.