Commonplace: Charlotte’s Web

commonplace graphic

I can’t even describe to you how hard it was to narrow it down just to these few quotes!

***

“I only distribute pigs to early risers,” said Mr. Arable. “Fern was up at daylight, trying to rid the world of injustice. As a result, she now has a pig.”

[The barn] smelled of the perspiration of tired horses and the wonderful sweet breath of patient cows. It often had a sort of peaceful smell–as though nothing bad could happen ever again in the world.

[as Mr. Zuckerman is trying to lure Wilbur back into his pigpen]:
“No-no-no!” said the goose. “It’s the old pail trick, Wilbur. Don’t fall for it, don’t fall for it! He’s trying to lure you back into captivity-ivity. He’s appealing to your stomach.”

[Wilbur] hated to break the lovely stillness of dawn by using his voice, but he couldn’t think of any other way to locate the mysterious new friend who was nowhere to be seen. So Wilbur cleared his throat. “Attention, please!” he said in a loud, firm voice. “Will the party who addressed me at bedtime last night kindly make himself or herself known by giving an appropriate sign of signal!”

The quickest way to spoil a friendship is to wake somebody up in the morning before he is ready.

“I bet I can get [Templeton, the rat] to help,” said the old sheep. “I’ll appeal to his baser instincts, of which he has plenty.”

The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last forever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year–the days when summer is changing into fall– the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.

Templeton poked his head up through the straw. “Struggle if you must,” said he, “but kindly remember that I’m hiding down here in this crate and I don’t want to be stepped on, or kicked in the face, or pummeled, or crushed in any way, or squashed, or buffeted about, or bruised, or lacerated, or scarred, or biffed. Just watch what you’re doing, Mr. Radiant, when they get shoving you in!”

“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 but a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”

The old sheep spoke to [Templeton] about his size one day. “You would live longer,” said the old sheep,” if you ate less.”  “Who wants to live forever?” sneered the rat. “I am naturally a heavy eater and I get untold satisfaction from the pleasures of the feast.”

Life in the barn was very good–night and day, winter and summer, spring and fall, dull days and bright days. It was the best place to be, thought Wilbur, this warm delicious cellar, with the garrulous geese, the changing seasons, the heat of the sun, the passage of the swallows, the nearness of rats, the sameness of sheep, the love of spiders, the smell of manure, and the glory of everything.

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One response to “Commonplace: Charlotte’s Web

  1. leslie.caroline

    I love children’s lit.

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