Charlotte’s Web

PrintEvery once in a while, I’m convinced that calling children’s literature by that name means that we forget some of the lessons that it imparted when we were young and reading it for the first time.

Whether you read the book or saw one of the movies, chances are you’ve had some experience with this bittersweet tale about the unlikely friendship between Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider.  He’s unsure at first whether he wants to befriend her at all, given her penchant for trapping and eating living things. But they come to a beautiful understanding, and it’s her gift for words that saves Wilbur from being turned into a plate of bacon in the end.

This is a story that brought me to tears when I was younger, reading about Charlotte’s death and about the 514 children she left behind.  Now, as I look back, I still get a little teary, but I’m also reminded of two things: (1) friendship is one of the most precious, strongest gifts you can give, and (2) every end brings a new beginning.

Charlotte’s life comes to an end, but Wilbur’s will carry on, and he’ll come to know her children and her grandchildren, even if “none of the new spiders ever quite 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.”

In other words: treasure your friendships.  When a friend needs a boost, or someone to stand up for them, be there, and do what you can.  Cherish their place in your life.


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