Whenever I’m asked to name my favorite book, I always give the same answer – Charlotte’s Web. Published 60 years ago, E.B. White’s novel does everything right. It tells a good story. It’s beautifully written. It conveys universal truths. It enriches the reader’s life.
This past Sunday, two things happened. Arnie, our dog, died and there was an article about Charlotte’s Web in the New York Times Book Review. The two events were not unrelated. The article was written by Michael Sims, the author of The Story of Charlotte’s Web, a book I bought and read this past summer. Reading Sims’ article was a reminder of all the reasons I keep returning to White’s novel.
Later on Sunday, I opened my copy of Charlotte’s Web and re-read the final pages. On a day when I couldn’t put words to how I was feeling, White gave them to me:
“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
Arnie was our friend. He made us laugh, comforted us when we were sad, and was a good listener. I will miss him, but I can always find him on Zuckerman’s farm.
The link to the New York Times article: