Study Guide

Charlotte's Web Chapter 19

By E. B. White

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Chapter 19

The Egg Sac

  • The next day, Wilbur gets to find out what this "something" is that Charlotte was making. When he looks up into the corner of the pen, he sees a peachy-looking sac next to his spider friend.
  • Charlotte tells Wilbur that this is her greatest work. She's super proud of her egg sac. And why wouldn't she be when there are five hundred and fourteen eggs in there? Yep, 514. That's a lot of spiders.
  • Wilbur is amazed at this jam-packed egg sac. He can't quite believe that Charlotte is going to have five hundred and fourteen little kiddos. She's going to be one busy mama.
  • But according to Charlotte, the spiders won't arrive until next spring. And this is bad news for Charlotte because she doesn't feel too great. Actually, she feels like she might not be around for much longer.
  • This is super sad news, guys.
  • Charlotte doesn't want to focus on that, though. Instead, she points out the nice dewy web that she's woven. This one is another beautiful masterpiece.
  • While Wilbur and Charlotte admire the web, Templeton comes back into the pen to rain on their parade. Templeton has seen a blue ribbon on Uncle's pen, so he figures that Wilbur hasn't won a prize and the Zuckermans will probably kill Wilbur soon.
  • Charlotte tells Templeton to shut his trap, and Wilbur tries to ignore the rat's rudeness. To change subjects, Wilbur points out Charlotte's beautiful egg sac. Even Templeton has the courtesy to congratulate Charlotte on her hundreds of future offspring.
  • Later that morning, the Arables and Zuckermans arrive at the pen. They all love the new writing on the web.
  • Soon, this joy goes down the pipe when Avery points to that blue ribbon on Uncle's pen. They realize that Wilbur didn't win first prize, which is a huge bummer.
  • Mrs. Zuckerman is really upset, but Mr. Zuckerman plucks up pretty quickly. He says it's time for Wilbur's bath, so it's time to whip out the buttermilk.
  • Bath time becomes a pretty popular spectacle at the fair, since more and more people gather to watch the Zuckermans bathe Wilbur.
  • Everyone seems impressed with how clean Wilbur is, even if he isn't as big as his neighbor, Uncle.
  • After a little while, there's an announcement over the loud speaker. Mr. Zuckerman needs to bring Wilbur to the grandstand for a "special award" (19.55). Maybe Wilbur's luck hasn't run out just yet!
  • Everyone is super jazzed about this special prize. Charlotte, invisible to human eyes up in her perch, is happy too because she knows she saved her friend's life. But Charlotte is also feeling weak. We have a bad feeling about the future of this spider.
  • The men load Wilbur into the crate and onto the truck. Templeton sneaks his way onto the crate and Fern perches on top. Everyone is happy about Wilbur's prize.
  • Fern is too, but she's also looking at the Ferris wheel and thinking about that cute boy, Henry Fussy.

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