One of the most well-known friendships in literature is that between Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider in the popular children’s book Charlotte’s Web. Near the conclusion of the story,Wilbur shares his heart with Charlotte’s babies, who hatch just after their mom’s death. Listen intently as Wilbur speaks to them:
“Welcome to the barn cellar. You have chosen a hallowed doorway from which to string your webs. I think it is only fair to tell you that I wasdevoted to your mother, Charlotte…I shall always treasure her memory. To you, her daughters, I pledge my friendship, forever and ever…”
The story continues, “… A spring pig — a runt, no less — surrounded by friends, was welcoming his second spring. And all because he saw what no one else was able to see: the grace and beauty and remarkable talent of a common gray spider. It is not often that someone like Charlotte comes along who is a true friend.”
In this endearing children’s story, Charlotte, the humble spider, weaves three webs that save Wilbur’s life. Charlotte’s loving but strenuous efforts cause her to die prematurely. They also can serve as a metaphor of Christ, who came to earth and– through his own life, death and resurrection– brought new life to us.