Study Guide

Charlotte's Web Chapter 10

By E. B. White

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Chapter 10

An Explosion

  • Charlotte has one main task these days, and that's scheming up how to save Wilbur's life. Happily, our girl has hatched a plan: fool Mr. Zuckerman.
  • Around the same time, Avery and Fern head onto the Zuckerman farm. In the kitchen, Aunt Edith (aka Mrs. Zuckerman) offers them some blueberry pie.
  • Being an ungrateful kid, Avery lets the frog he's holding hop all around his aunt's kitchen.
  • But eventually Fern and Avery grab the frog and head outside to play on the rope swing.
  • Here's the thing about this rope swing: it's the best rope swing ever. We repeat, the very best rope swing ever! Kids can stand on the ledge of the hayloft, grab the rope, and go swinging like nobody's business.
  • Parents aren't huge fans of the swing (obvs), but the kids love it.
  • So, Fern and Avery take turns on the rope swing. Then they go berry picking and eat a bunch of raspberries.
  • Besides the fact that Fern bites into a berry with a bug in it (gross!), this sounds like an awesome day on the farm.
  • Once the Arable kids are tuckered out, Fern says she wants to visit Wilbur.
  • And now the lovely day on the farm is about to take a dark turn, because Avery has spotted Charlotte. And do you think Avery is going to leave a beautiful spider specimen like Charlotte alone?
  • Nope, he wants to capture her.
  • Avery starts to reach a stick to knock Charlotte down, when the potential spider-killer trips and falls.
  • The good news is that Charlotte's life is spared. The bad news? Avery falls into Wilbur's trough and apparently that old goose egg is underneath it.
  • When Avery falls, he breaks the egg, and now the whole barn stinks of rotten egg. The smell is seriously disgusting, but at least it forces Avery to jet away from the barn and from Charlotte.
  • Most of the animals had been out of the barn during the egg-exploding debacle, and when they return Wilbur tells each of them about how the rotten egg saved Charlotte's life.
  • The goose and Templeton are both pretty proud of their part in the whole thing. If the rotten egg hadn't been there, Charlotte would have been one unlucky spider.
  • But now Templeton is the unlucky one, because when Lurvy brings some yummy slop for Wilbur's dinner, he discovers Templeton's nest. Lurvy covers Templeton's little home in dirt and turns all the rat's possessions into buried treasure.
  • Charlotte's been super quiet throughout this whole ordeal. Later that night, while everyone sleeps, Charlotte spends her time thinking and working. And this isn't just any work. Charlotte's doing some mysterious things to her web. She's taken out the middle and now is adding something else in.
  • We can't wait to see what it is.

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