Tale of the Spiderweb Wedding
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Our father came with all his wealth and fine furnishings to this place named for those who had lived here for generations-Attakapas. He came to this wild country covered with beautiful mysterious waterways, to grow even richer. He planned to acquire and grow those things which his last world coveted and for which when delivered, they would pay him dearly. He had rich and powerful connections and could freely travel from this new world to the old. So, he grew richer.
He built a beautiful house at the end of a long lane which he planted with oak and pine trees. There was no other house like it anywhere around. He spared no expense. Wealth was not to hoard and save according to our father. He said it was to be enjoyed in the here and now and not in some far distant future. Only the finest was good enough for him and for us. Our carriages were gilded and pulled by matched pairs. We sat on the softest chairs and slept on the best linen. Exotic perfumes were sprayed each morning to awaken us to days filled with dancing and laughter.
In all there were 24 of us. My mother was his first love and he was devoted to her. I was the youngest of 12. My mother did not survive my birth. Father grieved terribly and was often seen at her grave, crying. He swore he would never get over her. It was only about a year later that he remarried.
I have 12 half-siblings. My father said it was only fair. My oldest half-sister and I, being so close in age, were inseparable. We did everything within steps of each other and so upon our coming of age, we became engaged a day apart. Two weddings would have caused great hardship for our friends and relatives traveling from New Orleans and France. It was decided that we would be married at the same ceremony set at the end of that beautiful lane of oak and pine.
Father was determined that everything be perfect. He sent all over the world for china and silver, beautiful cloth for our dresses, and everything that would make our guests comfortable and suitably impressed. Mysterious packages and crates arrived by wagon and riverboat. Days before the wedding, torch lights could be seen at night along the lane. Everyone wondered what Father was up to now.
The morning of the wedding, my sister and I were woken to the smell of roses and wisteria. We bathed in crystal filled water which softened the skin and relaxed nervous stomachs. Our hair was dressed and we were helped into the dresses in which we would be married. As we descended the front steps, we followed a carpet that had been laid on the grass leading to the end of the lane. The trees along the lane sparkled in the sun! They were covered in silver and gold gossamer webs. Father had released hundreds of spiders into the trees and they had covered the branches with their fine webs. The morning of the wedding, bellows were used to dust the webs with silver and gold. It was meant to impress the arriving guests. It did. Ours was the most famous wedding in Louisiana. People remember the wedding even though Father’s fortune and our home place are long gone. But the oak and pine lane still stands. Some swear that on beautiful Louisiana mornings, the lane glitters in the sun as if those silver and gold webs were hanging still.
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