If you grew up with and loved ‘Charlotte’s Web’ as I did, you will identify with the wonderful teachings on the themes of love, nature and friendship in this childhood classic.
I recently delighted in revisiting the book of Charlotte’s Web and today I watched the 2006 motion picture. Narrated by Sam Shepard and boasting an exceptional cast, including Dakota Fanning as Fern, Julia Roberts (voice) as Charlotte the Spider, Dominic Scott Kay (voice) as Wilbur the Pig, Steve Buscemi (voice) as Templeton the Rat, Robert Redford (voice) as Ike the Horse, John Cleese (voice) as Samuel the Sheep, Oprah Winfrey (voice) as Gussy the Goose, Cedric the Entertainer (voice) as Golly the Gander, Kathy Bates (voice) as Bitsy the Cow and Reba McEntire (voice) as Betsy the Cow.
The story brings to heart that we are all part of something that’s bigger than all of us and every day is indeed a miracle. By living according to our own true nature and appealing to the nature of other’s, we add immense value to our lives and the lives of others.
In the early hours of the morning in the outhouse shed, brave little Fern confronts her Father as he’s about to put an end to the life of the piglet, the little runt of the litter. Fern cries out that it’s unfair and unjust to determine the value of another’s life based on them being small. Fern appeals to her Father and, successful in her plight, is given the piglet to take care of.
In saving the life of another, Fern enters the world of animal nature, temperament and survival instincts and gains insight into human nature and appreciating the differences of each character. It is when we rise above our differences and work together for the good of the whole, that miracles happen.
Wilbur befriends the barnyard spider, Charlotte and in turn, due to his loyalty, more lives are saved. “She was loyal, beautiful, brilliant and she was my friend. I pledge my loyalty to you in her honour”.
E.B. White wrote Charlotte’s Web in 1952 and the first animated feature was produced in 1973. Children’s fiction readily delivers messages of challenge, hope and victory and Charlotte’s Web is no exception.
“In an ordinary barn, an ordinary pig lives an extraordinary life because someone stopped to see the grace, beauty and nobility of the humble creature. That’s the nature of true friendship! It’s not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both”.
This adventure story never fails to bring warmth to my heart and a tear to my eye. I recommend this story to the little tacker in everyone.
© Patricia Herreen 2013