Here’s to imagination, and the world of fiction that can be so good at inspiring it.
Here’s to the first novel ever read to me– before the Little House books, before Lewis’ Narnia.
Here’s to a book about rejects all in polite society: a pig, a rat, a spider.
Here’s to an unflinching look at real life on a farm, from a vivid description of the slop bucket to the turn of the seasons, from the joys of a barn swing to a pig confronted by his own mortality.
Here’s to characters surprisingly real and to believable relationships among them: parent and child, naive newcomer and established resident, child and pet, rat and everyone, farmer and pig, friends.
And while we’re at it, let’s celebrate the writer’s deft management of it all: never heavy-handed, always honest, informed and wise in his informing. Eliciting compassion but not insisting on it, marked by humor but never forcing it.
Here’s to a writer’s joy, talent that loses itself in the telling– the very best kind of writing. Here’s to E.B. White’s wise imagining of a goose’s speech patterns, and his celebration of wonder over genus and species, and his elevation of good manners entirely informed by kindness.
Here’s to E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. My mother read it to me when I didn’t understand how old I was. I did my first book report on it in 4th grade. I read it– more than once– to my children.
Here’s to all of the reasons to love it. You love it too, don’t you? Let’s do ourselves a favor and read it again.
Happy 60th Birthday, Charlotte’s Web!