Study Guide

Charlotte's Web Chapter 11

By E. B. White

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Chapter 11

The Miracle

  • Now it's the next day and it's a foggy one. Everything from the barn to the grass is wet as can be.
  • Luckily for Charlotte, fog is a spider web's best friend. And here's why: "This morning each thin strand was decorated with dozens of tiny beads of water" (11.2). Sounds like a seriously pretty sight to see.
  • Lurvy agrees: the web is a beauty. Actually, it's not just extra beautiful this morning, it's also got some extra writing in it. Inside that hole Charlotte made in the center of the web, now sit the words: "SOME PIG!"
  • Okay, that's maybe the coolest web ever in the history of spider webs.
  • Seeing this web, Lurvy kind of starts to freak out. Is he seeing things? Going crazy? So he fetches Mr. Zuckerman, who is also baffled by the writing in the web.
  • Lurvy and Homer Zuckerman can't make heads or tails of the web, so it's time for a third opinion. They head into the house and talk to Edith Zuckerman, where Homer tells his wife everything that he saw.
  • His conclusion: they have a seriously special pig. But Edith has a different conclusion: they have a seriously special spider. (Maybe they're both right.)
  • The Zuckermans and Lurvy spend some time at the barn analyzing the spider web and admiring their pig.
  • As for Charlotte and Wilbur, they're loving all the attention. The more they look, the more Lurvy and the Zuckermans realize just how special this pig is. In fact, by the time they're walking away, Lurvy is repeating the words on the web: "He's some pig" (11.32).
  • Soon after, Homer heads out to talk to the minister about the miracle on his farm. According to the minister, they should keep this miracle a secret and not tell a soul about it.
  • But it's tough to keep a secret about something as cool as a miracle pig and a literary spider. We don't know who spills the beans, but soon the whole county seems to know about the spider web.
  • This means the Zuckerman farm becomes a bit of a local attraction, with tons of people visiting to see Wilbur and the web. And the consensus is clear: "All said they had never seen such a pig before in their lives" (11.84).
  • All this attention on Wilbur has some pros and some cons.
  • The cons: Well, for starters, when Mrs. Arable finds out that Avery almost killed the spider, he gets sent to his room. No fun for Avery.
  • Plus, everyone on the Zuckerman farm is so distracted by the visitors that the crops are going rotten. On top of that, Charlotte is a little peeved that all the visitors mean the barn is always bustling these days.
  • But there are also some pros: The Zuckerman farm is famous! And, oh yeah, it doesn't look like anyone wants to kill Wilbur. So that's a pretty big pro.

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