Last Day

I’ve been reading Charlotte’s Web to D at bedtime, a chapter most nights.  I insisted on reading it, in spite of his only moderate interest, because when we saw Cars a month or so ago, I saw the preview for the new movie of Charlotte’s Web coming out this fall.  I really wanted his first experience of the story to be the book, not a movie.  It’s not as much of a hit with him as Captain Underpants, but he’s willing to listen, especially since it gets me sitting in his room reading for much longer than our usual picture books. 

Today we reached the penultimate chapter of the book, Last Day.  I should have realized in advance that I wouldn’t be able to make it through the last paragraph without crying.  I’m hopeless that way.

"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 their 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."

Both boys were pretty perplexed by my crying.  N (who I don’t think has really been following the story, although he likes to look at the drawings) didn’t get it even when I explained that I was sad that Charlotte died, because she was a good friend to Wilbur.  Daniel started crying a few minutes later.

7 Responses to “Last Day”

  1. landismom Says:

    Yeah, I cried when I read this to my daughter too. She was amazed, “Mom, are you crying?” That ‘no one was with her when she died’ line gets me every time.

  2. Sandy Says:

    I choke up every time I read “The Little House” by Virginia Lee Burton, which is about a house. Not even a living thing.

  3. Libby Says:

    I just did a books meme and talked about crying over Charlotte’s Web. It gets me every time; I teach it regularly and often try to read the ending out loud, but I can’t always make it through.

  4. Anjali Says:

    We’ve read that book over and over again to my four-year old. It’s lessons of friendship are timeless.

  5. DaniGirl Says:

    We just finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and I had Charlotte’s Web on our list for the next choice – but I never thought about reading the ending out loud. Hmm, maybe I’ll skip to Stuart Little instead….

  6. Cynical Mom Says:

    I can’t make it through the last part of “Love you forever” without sobbing. It’s unreal. I read it to my son while he’s sitting on the potty trying to pee, not exactly the most emotional setup you’ve ever seen. And yet Every Single Time I read that book, the last bit gets to me and I just start sobbing.

  7. Raising WEG Says:

    The Crickets

    Elizabeth at Half-Changed World has been reading Charlotte’s Web to her sons. We have been re-reading it, and listening to it in the car. I’m only a little embarrassed to confess that the story has grown ever more poignant to

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