“Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart. She was in a class by herself. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.” From Charlotte’s Web by E.B. WHITE

Illustration by Garth Williams

Thoughts: Can anyone read Charlotte’s Web and not experience  a full range of emotions? I love this book — it is one of my all-time favorites: a revelation, an inspiration, a wonder, a pleasure, a treasure, an amazement, a classic, a masterpiece!

Once I was bitten by a black widow spider on my inner right arm (my writing hand). My arm swelled up. I had lines of toxic venom traveling down my arm from the bite. My arm was hot and red and scary-looking. And all I could think about was Charlotte!

Yes, I felt I had been visited by my animal writing totem who had given me a gift! (I called poison control and they said if I wasn’t dead already I probably didn’t need the anti-venom. I knew it was a black widow because I found the dead spider on the floor. RIP.)

They say that spiders don’t bite unless you disturb them. In my case, I took some Christmas wrapping paper out of the closet, where it had been stored since the previous Yuletide. Apparently my black widow had been ensconced amid the snowmen and reindeer and I had disturbed the fairyland.