Charlotte’s Web By E.B. White

Mr and Mrs Arable owned a farm and wanted to slaughter a young pig because it was smaller than usual for its age. Fern (their daughter) was an 8 year old who was angry by this fact and vowed to take care of the pig. Avery was her brother and had dad’s personality of being very condescending, mean to others. Fern named the pig ‘Wilbur’. The pig was treated with tender loving care. Due to their close relationship, Wilbur also grew attached to Fern.

However, Uncle Homer bought him from Mr Arable and he transferred to another farm. There was a loose plank in the barn and Wilbur seized his chance to escape. The other animals encouraged him to escape. However, the thought of food was overwhelming and Wilbur returned to the barn. The other animals were busy and didn’t want to play with Wilbur. He now realized he longed for love and companionship more than food. There was a rat named Templeton.

One day, a spider called out to him in the barn. She introduced herself as ‘Charlotte A. Cavatica’. Wilbur didn’t have a good impression of Charlotte given the fact that she killed insects for a living. To him, she seemed fierce and brutal. The goose once laid a dud egg and gave it to Templeton as he liked to keep things. Wilbur soon learnt that from the others that he would be slaughtered once he grew up. On hearing this, Charlotte vowed to save him. In the meantime, Mrs Arable ordered a checkup on Fern, suspecting that she had social problems. Charlotte often comforted Wilbur while she thought of a plan to save him. Once, Avery thought of capturing Charlotte in a box. Unfortunately, he stepped on the rotten goose egg. Due to the pungent smell, he fled. Wilbur was thankful for the rat and gave Templeton a portion of his food.

Charlotte weaved the words ‘SOME PIG’ in her web. Soon, Mr and Mrs Homer were convinced that their pig was special. News spread like wildfire. After much persuasion, Templeton reluctantly sought newspaper articles to provide Charlotte with more ideas for her web. Dr Dorian assured Mr and Mrs Arable that it was normal for Fern to talk to animals and love them. Charlotte was planning to build a sac of eggs. During the animal fair, Wilbur, Charlotte and the rat were smuggled into a crate. Now, Charlotte felt weak. Charlotte spun the words ‘RADIANT’ and ‘HUMBLE’ on her web. The next day, Charlotte spun an egg sac but felt even weaker than before. Everyone thought that spiders couldn’t write and that the pig was miraculous in nature.  Wilbur basked in the glory of winning the competition. Charlotte admitted she was dying and wouldn’t make it back to the barn.

On hearing this, Wilbur took the egg sac back to the barn. Templeton was a selfish rat who was only willing to help if he got food in return. Wilbur willingly gave him some food so that he would help transport the egg sac back to the barn. The spiders hatched and many of them were glad to see Wilbur. Almost of them took off after a while. Wilbur told the 3 remaining ones who stayed the story of their mother. Wilbur still missed Charlotte and no spider could every replace her in his heart.

Can you be encouraging and also be fiercely protective of your close friend? Can you remain positive? Can you lift the mood of the surroundings when everyone around you is depressed? Can you do the right thing even if it might be unpopular amongst others? Can you find meaning in what you do? Can you live up to your promises? Can you comfort those in need? Can you offer strength? Can you render your precious time to help others, not expect to claim any credit nor receive anything in return? Can you give unconditional love? Can your action speak louder than your words? Can you shower praise and appreciation to others? Can you not draw attention to oneself? Can you sacrifice yourself if you know that by doing so, it might save someone else? Can you die in peace knowing that your actions have impacted others in a positive way? Charlotte (the spider) was all of that to Wilbur (the pig). Have you found your Charlotte? 😛

 

In the daytime, Wilbur usually felt happy and confident. No pig ever had truer friends, and he realized that friendship is one of the most satisfying things in the world.  E.B. White

 

Wilbur, you have been a friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift me up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anybody’s life can stand a little of that. Charlotte

 

Well, I’m no good at making speeches. I haven’t got your gifts for words. But you saved me, Charlotte, and I would gladly give my life to you – I really would. Wilbur

 

Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both. E.B. White

 

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