Charlottes-Web-Terrific-Garth-Williams1

Charlotte’s Story: Haiku for Wilbur
by Mary Kendall

“My Words”

my words—
who knew what a story
we’d become?

“First Friend”

a friend—
something my kind
never knew

“The Unexpected”

new friend—
silken parachutes in spring wind
bestow surprises

“Silken Words”

silken words…
hearts woven together
in their own story

“Some Pig”

little did they know
how special you were—
some pig!

“Terrific”

a real friend
who accepted me as I am…
terrific!

“Radiant”

just knowing
you have a good friend…
this radiant heart

“I Told You”

out of nowhere
grows the best thing…
kindness of spirit

“Humble”

humble—
your kindness of heart
my friend

“The Fair”

harvest moon—
who knew how high
we’d fly?

“Templeton”

even a rat
can help a friend..
who knew?

“My Time”

time for rest
my voice a whisper
…alone now

“Good-bye”

no need to worry—
our memories will live on
in your heart

“Death”

inevitable…
even webs blow apart
in the wind

“Sadness”

grief wells up
from the depth of love—
let it flow

“My Children”

they will glide
into your life on tender threads…
new friends

ILLUSTRATION: Drawing by Garth Williams from Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (1952).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Charlotte A. Cavatica, the beloved orb spider wove words on her web and rescued the little pig, Wilbur. Charlotte might have chosen haiku as her literary form. Although brief (and thus easier to weave), haiku has the beauty of simplicity and the starkness necessary to convey much in few words. Charlotte would, naturally, eschew the 5-7-5 form in favor of the modern more sleek and elegant options of this ancient verse form. This story is told in haiku using Charlotte’s own words, “Some Pig,” “Terrific,” “Radiant,”and, lastly, “Humble.” I have used poetic license to add words Charlotte might have also written given her thoughtful and poetic mind. While traditionally haiku are never titled, this haiku string tells a story through the quoted words.

Mary Kendall as 1 of 3 Blind Mice

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Kendall taught reading to children for 34 years. During that time one of her favorite children’s books was Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. This simple story of friendship between Wilbur (the pig) and Charlotte (the spider) has remained a favorite in her heart. Please visit Mary’s website, A Poet in Time: http://www.apoetintime.com.

PHOTO: Mary Kendall dressed as one of the three blind mice along with two other teachers. Being a “blind mouse” for an afternoon taught her some good lessons in humor, humility, and playfulness in teaching.