The story can be found several times in books, but strangely there’s never a year or century that mentoines when this story takes place.
We know that the first spinning wheel was invented somewhere around 1035. It was in… China (pure coincidence, really). Leonardo Da Vinci painted a spinning wheel in 1480, but the wheel as we know today was invented in 1520-30 by a German engineer. So we can assume our story doesn’t take place before the 15th century.
The following spring Serena gets a day off to rest from all the hard working, so Serena decides to go for a relaxing walk in the woods with her best friend Arnold. When the young people take a resting moment, spiders descend on the lap of Serena and start walking up and down her lap. Serena doesn’t know what’s happening but notices soon there’s a pattern in the work of the little spiders. Shapes of birds, animals and flowers are seen in the work. The spiders finish their work; Serena and Arnold make a little frame with small branches to carefully take the work back home.
This is the miracle Serena prayed for and she starts to copy the work of the spiders. Soon she get tangled in all the different wires, but Arnold makes little bobbins so it’s easier to work.
The inspiration comes quickly and Serena soon starts to make own designs. Rich people notice the beautiful work and pretty soon the lace is one of the most desired items in the city.
With the growing demand and the high pricing of the lace, more prosperous times come to the family.
However, the friendship between Arnold and Serena grew into more romantic feelings. When Arnold takes up his courage and asks Serena’s hand, and although she says she loves him deeply, Serena tells Arnold she can’t marry him. He doesn’t know about the promise Serena made in her prayers and she doesn’t tell him.
Seeing this, Serena starts crying and Arnold (who was hiding in the bushes close to her) comes out to help her. She tells him about her promise and shows him the new work. Now Arnold understands why she couldn’t accept his proposal, goes down on one knee and asks her again. This time she says ‘yes’ and soon the young couple marries.
This story can be seen on some bas-reliefs in the Steenstraat (the shopping street of the city), number 40. I put these reliefs with this text, enjoy !