I did not believe in God, but I believed in Native Americans and I believed in the magic golden threads of nephilas, spider silk so sturdy that one could, if they had enough, weave a sail of it.

We made rings out of it. Gathering the strands at the edge of the web, careful not to wreck the construction strung between yaupon and pine, woven so often at eye level. The female spiders, as big as our small hands, never rushed toward us, they never leapt out. They were patient with the disruption of their webs and my brother and I wore the spider silk rings as gifts from the empire that edged every pasture.

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