chapter
8 Pages

Introduction

WithAndrew R. Gottlieb

Though born a runt, Wilbur, the central character in the children’s classic Charlotte’s Web (White, 1980), considered himself one lucky pig. Just moments before young Fern’s father, John Arable, was ready to get rid of him because he would “never amount to anything” (p. 1), Fern pleaded with him to permit Wilbur to live. Reluctant at first, he finally gave in on one condition: that Fern care for Wilbur. And that she did. Nursing him, feeding him, playing with him, and making Wilbur her very own. So well did Fern do her job that Wilbur grew up quickly, and, in no time at all, was ready to be sold. Although it was hard to give him up, Fern felt better knowing that he was going to live on her Uncle Homer’s farm. A loving home for Wilbur was assured.