Poopy Diapers and Burp Rags

All things Jonathan

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

One of the saddest moments in children's literature...

Everytime I read this I get a little choked up. I'm getting ready to read this story to my class, and I just don't know if I can do it without crying. The first time I ever read this particular part in the story I remember just sobbing. It is a part of E.B. White's book, "Charlotte's Web." Seriously, one of the saddest books I have read:

"Use extreme care!" he said. " I don't want a single one of those eggs harmed."

"Thith thtuff thticks in my mouth," complained the rat. "It'th worth than caramel candy."

But Templeton worked away at the job, and managed to cut the sac adrift and carry it to the ground, where he dropped it in front of Wilbur. Wilbur heaved a great sigh of relief.

"Thank you, Templeton," he said. "I will never forget this as long as I live."

"Neither will I," said the rat, picking his teeth. "I feel as though I'd eaten a spool of thread. Well, home we go!"

"Templeton crept into the crate and buried himself in the straw. He got out of sight just in time. Lurvy and John Arable and Mr. Zuckerman came along at that moment, followed by Mrs. Arable and Mrs. Zuckerman and Avery and Fern. Wilbur had already decided how he would carry the egg sac-there was only one way possible. He carefully took the little bundle in his mouth and held it there on top of his tongue. He remembered what Charlotte had told him-that the sac was waterproof and strong. It felt funny on his tongue and made him drool a bit. And of course he couldn't say anything. But as he was being shoved into the crate, he looked up at Charlotte and gave her a wink. She knew he was saying good-bye in the only way he could. And she knew her children were safe.

"Good-bye!" she whispered. Then she summoned all her strength and waved one of her front legs at him.

She never moved again. Next day, as the ferris wheel was being taken apart and the race horses were being loaded into vans and the entertainers were packing up their belongings and driving away in trailers, Charlotte died. The Fair Grounds 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 grey spider had played the most important part of all. No one was with her when she died."

2 Comments:

  • At 2/16/2005 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Erin, I never read this book, but think I have one -will look it up and read it. Yes, I can see what you are talking about. At first I thought it was referring to the comment I had just made about CSI and the mice; thought you were making fun of me. :) granny

     
  • At 2/16/2005 8:34 PM, Blogger Jessica said…

    I remember reading this when I was about 10, and I too started bawling uncontrollably. I still love the book, and am getting ready to start reading it (and Stuart Little) to my son soon.

     

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