“Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”
“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.”
“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.”
“What do you mean less than nothing? I don't think there is any such thing as less than nothing. Nothing is absolutely the limit of nothingness. It's the lowest you can go. It's the end of the line. How can something be less than nothing? If there were something that was less than nothing, then nothing would not be nothing, it would be something - even though it's just a very little bit of something. But if nothing is nothing, then nothing has nothing that is less than it is.”
“Trust me, Wilbur. People are very gullible. They'll believe anything they see in print.”
“Do you understand how there could be any writing in a spider's web?"
"Oh, no," said Dr. Dorian. "I don't understand it. But for that matter I don't understand how a spider learned to spin a web in the first place. When the words appeared, everyone said they were a miracle. But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle."
"What's miraculous about a spider's web?" said Mrs. Arable. "I don't see why you say a web is a miracle-it's just a web."
"Ever try to spin one?" asked Dr. Dorian.”
“Children almost always hang onto things tighter than their parents think they will.”
“It is quite possible that an animal has spoken to me and that I didn't catch the remark because I wasn't paying attention.”
“Don't write about Man; write about a man.”
“Fern was up at daylight, trying to rid the world of injustice. As a result, she now has a pig. A small one to be sure, but nevertheless a pig. It just shows what can happen if a person gets out of bed promptly.”
“The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last for ever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year - the days when summer is changing into autumn - the crickets spread the rumour of sadness and change.”
“Wilbur didn't want food, he wanted love.”
“I’ve got a new friend, all right. But what a gamble friendship is! Charlotte is fierce, brutal, scheming, bloodthirsty—everything I don’t like. How can I learn to like her, even though she is pretty and, of course, clever?”
“You have been my friend," replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing...after all, what's a life anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die...By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.”
“Too many things on my mind, said Wilbur.
Well, said the goose, that's not my trouble. I have nothing at all on my mind, but I've too many things under my behind.”
“But we have received a sign, Edith - a mysterious sign. A miracle has happened on this farm... in the middle of the web there were the words 'Some Pig'... we have no ordinary pig."
"Well", said Mrs. Zuckerman, "it seems to me you're a little off. It seems to me we have no ordinary spider.”
“And then, just as Wilbur was settling down for his morning nap, he heard again the thin voice that had addressed him the night before.
"Salutations!" said the voice.
Wilbur jumped to his feet. "Salu-what?" he cried.
"Salutations!" repeated the voice.
"What are they, and where are you?" screamed Wilbur. "Please, please, tell me where you are. And what are salutations?"
"Salutations are greetings," said the voice. "When I say 'salutations,' it's just my fancy way of saying hello or good morning.”
“You have been my friend," replied Charlotte, "That in itself is a tremendous thing.”
“If I can fool a bug... I can surely fool a man. People are not as smart as bugs.”
“I don't understand it, and I don't like what I don't understand.”
“It is deeply satisfying to win a prize in front of a lot of people.”
“Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.”
“Templeton was down there now, rummaging around. When he returned to the barn, he carried in his mouth an advertisement he had torn from a crumpled magazine.
How's this?" he asked, showing the ad to Charlotte.
It says 'Crunchy.' 'Crunchy' would be a good word to write in your web."
Just the wrong idea," replied Charlotte. "Couldn't be worse. We don't want Zuckerman to think Wilbur is crunchy. He might start thinking about crisp, crunchy bacon and tasty ham. That would put ideas into his head. We must advertise Wilbur's noble qualities, not his tastiness.”
“I say it's spinach, and I say the hell with it.”
“The night seemed long. Wilbur's stomach was empty and his mind was full. And when your stomach is empty and your mind is full, it's always hard to sleep.”
“I'm staying right here," grumbled the rat. "I haven't the slightest interest in fairs."
"That's because you've never been to one," remarked the old sheep . "A fair is a rat's paradise. Everybody spills food at a fair. A rat can creep out late at night and have a feast. In the horse barn you will find oats that the trotters and pacers have spilled. In the trampled grass of the infield you will find old discarded lunch boxes containing the foul remains of peanut butter sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, cracker crumbs, bits of doughnuts, and particles of cheese. In the hard-packed dirt of the midway, after the glaring lights are out and the people have gone home to bed, you will find a veritable treasure of popcorn fragments, frozen custard dribblings, candied apples abandoned by tired children, sugar fluff crystals, salted almonds, popsicles,partially gnawed ice cream cones,and the wooden sticks of lollypops. Everywhere is loot for a rat--in tents, in booths, in hay lofts--why, a fair has enough disgusting leftover food to satisfy a whole army of rats."
Templeton's eyes were blazing.
" Is this true?" he asked. "Is this appetizing yarn of yours true? I like high living, and what you say tempts me."
"It is true," said the old sheep. "Go to the Fair Templeton. You will find that the conditions at a fair will surpass your wildest dreams. Buckets with sour mash sticking to them, tin cans containing particles of tuna fish, greasy bags stuffed with rotten..."
"That's enough!" cried Templeton. "Don't tell me anymore I'm going!”
“For what can be more noble than to slay oneself? Not literally. Not with a blade in the guts. But to extinguish the selfish self within, that part which looks only to its own preservation, to save its own skin. That, I saw, was the victory you Spartans had gained over yourselves. That was the glue. It was what you had learned and it made me stay, to learn it too.”
“The simple fact is that he didn’t write what he saw but what he felt and believed, what those all around him felt and believed. That’s how that whole tangled web of false stories and humbug got woven, becoming so intricate that there is now no way to disentangle it.”
“It is the pattern throughout Creation. One child, one man, can swing the balance of the universe.”
“Algaliarept varied its shape, sifting through my mind without me even knowing to choose what scared me the most. Once it had been Ivy. Then Kisten —until I had pinned him in an elevator in a foolish moment of vampire-induced passion. It's hard to be scared of someone after you've French-kissed him.”
“The Devil may take the reckless, but the good will surely die of boredom. Boredom and frustration.”
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