Of Orange Peels and Spider Webs

Remember Charlotte and how she had spun webs to save Wilbur, the pig?

I came to know of the existence of Charlotte just a few years back when I watched the movie ‘Charlotte’s Web’. This movie is based on the children’s novel of the same name. The graceful and intelligent spider had made me fall in love with spiders. The story revolves around Charlotte’s friendship with Wilbur in a farmstead. The farmer decides to slaughter Wilbur and Charlotte writes messages by spinning webs in praise of Wilbur to persuade the farmer to let Wilber live.

Back in the real world, I was quick to separate my love for Charlotte from the everyday creepy spiders that drive me crazy. I despise them even more when they attack my potted plants spinning webs and making their homes all around the leaves, leading the plants towards a slow death. As if it isn’t enough to occupy all the nooks and corners of my home.

Surely, nobody wants spiders hanging around unless one is an entomologist studying spiders or if Spiderman was for real, at least making our commute easier.

This post is however not about my disgust for spiders but something closely related.

Winter is here and that means it’s time for oranges. Oranges and winter always make me nostalgic as they obviously remind me of my home, Shillong. The lazy and warm feeling of soaking in the winter sun while peeling and eating oranges is something only a fellow Shillongite can relate.

A favourite pastime of the kids back then was to create spider webs using orange peels. We would take great delight in creating the intricate patterns, comparing the webs with each other, and competing with each other in spider web craftsmanship. Oranges are plenty in Shillong, all we needed were plastic rulers. Almost everyone in school would have one end of their rulers sticky and coated with a thick layer of dried stain. The stain wouldn’t go away and who cared that it interfered with the regular usage of the ruler.

I have no idea if kids today indulge in similar activities. I won’t be surprised if they don’t, though that would be quite a pity. Like many other childhood games we played, possibly this one might have fallen prey to smart toys and virtual games.

I am not sure if such spider webs with orange peels is something specific to our childhood in Shillong or people elsewhere did/do this too. I had totally forgotten about this activity. It resurfaced this weekend over some childhood discussion with my sister.

With oranges readily available now, we just had to relive our joy of creating spider webs. Here’s a sneak peek:



Author: neelstoria

Traveling, Gardening, Trekking, Hiking, Storytelling, Writing, Nature, Outdoors, Yoga, DIY

28 thoughts on “Of Orange Peels and Spider Webs”

  1. Quite a game. I never knew one could have a game out of this activity, but it can definitely be a good game. What we, in our childhood, did with orange peels was just to be naughty and squeeze the juice in each other’s eyes!
    By the way, that reminds me, when I had gone to Shillong, I had lots and lots of oranges over those seven odd days, and lots of pineapples too. Oranges were just about everywhere.


  2. Hi, your blog revived some lovely childhood memories. Was telling my teenage daughter how we used to make spider webs with orange skins in school. It was so long time ago that could not remember the steps. 🙂 So thought of Googling and guess what, I chanced upon your blog. I grew up in New Delhi in the 1980s and like you we would also make the orange skin webs during winters. No idea who introduced us to the trick but it was a cool one. Thanks for your account, now I can show it to my daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so delighted to hear this. I thought it was unique to us in Meghalaya only. Good to know people in cities enjoyed these small things of life too. It’s a pity that such fun activities are forgotten.


  3. How to remove the spider web stain on the ruler though?
    One of my classmates demonstrated the spider webs with my ruler, and it’s gotten dirty with the dried webs.

    Liked by 1 person

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