The book was published 60 years ago. EB White's the writer.
Have you figured it out yet?
This is from the segment on Morning Edition today:
MONTAGNE: To many readers, Charlotte's death at the end of the book is heartbreaking, but perhaps no one was more heartbroken than the author himself.
SIMS: When E.B. White was doing the narration, he, of course, as anyone does when doing an audio book, had to do several takes for various things, just to get it right. But every time he broke down when he got to Charlotte's death. And he would do it and it would mess up and they would say, OK, let's take a break and start over. And he did that again until - he took 17 takes to get through Charlotte's death without his voice cracking or beginning to cry.
WHITE: The fairgrounds were soon deserted. The sheds and buildings were empty and forlorn. The infield was littered with bottles and trash. Nobody of the hundreds of people that had visited the fair knew that a gray spider had played the most important part of all. No one was with her when she died.
Charlotte of Charlotte's Web.
There is at least one movie of the book. I can't see it. I don't want anything to ever spoil the book for me. I still have it on my bookcase. I re-read it every few years.
It's such a tight and concise story.
I've read it so many times, I can quote whole sections.
I love it when the pig Wilbur asks, "Why did you do all this for me? I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you." And Charlotte replies, "You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing." Just typing that right now makes me want to cry.
And how can you not cry at the end when Charlotte dies?
That's probably my favorite passage in the whole book:
Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, 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.
Molly Driscoll (Christian Science Monitor) notes, "The novel, which first appeared in 1962 illustrated by Garth Williams, tells the story of a pig named Wilbur living on a farm, his youthful owner, Fern, and his friend Charlotte the spider, who comes up with an innovative way to save Wilbur from becoming a meal. The book won a Newbery Honor and, with White’s other children’s novel “Stuart Little,” won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal."
Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"