Study Guide

Charlotte's Web Chapter 2

By E. B. White

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Chapter 2


  • Based on this chapter's title, we're thinking Fern's obsession with Wilbur hasn't gone away yet. If anything, she's even more into her adorable pig.
  • Fern loves taking care of Wilbur every chance she gets. She gives him bottles multiple times a day.
  • She even has a bib for him, which, okay, maybe not strictly necessary. But still, a pig with a bib is pretty cute.
  • You know what? We're getting the idea that Fern is someone who's outgrown her dolls—but not quite.
  • The next order of business around the Arable home is to find a place for Wilbur to live. He starts out in his carton in the kitchen. But Mrs. Arable gets fed up with that—pigs in the kitchen doesn't sound super hygienic—so Wilbur moves to the woodshed.
  • Two weeks later, Wilbur moves into his third and coolest (literally) home yet: a small patch of yard under an apple tree. Fern is worried he might be cold outside. But Wilbur shows her just how resourceful he is when he burrows into some straw to keep warm.
  • Now that's a smart pig.
  • Wilbur and Fern get into a nice little routine together. It goes something like this:
  • Morning, before school: Fern gives Wilbur a warm bottle of milk. Then Wilbur waits with Fern until she catches the bus and heads to school.
  • During school hours: Fern is at school, of course. So Wilbur stays in his yard while she's gone.
  • Afternoon, after school: Fern and Wilbur spend every second together. He follows her everywhere. And sometimes she pushes him around in her stroller alongside her doll. There was one afternoon when Fern swam in the brook while Wilbur played in the mud.
  • Sounds like a pretty sweet daily routine. But all of this fun is about to change because Papa has an announcement: he's going to sell Wilbur. Oh no!
  • Fern is super upset at this news. She's had five glorious weeks raising Wilbur and she doesn't want to lose him. But Papa says the pig eats too much now, and all his brother and sister pigs have already been purchased.
  • Thankfully, Mrs. Arable comes up with a solution: Fern should see if her Uncle Homer wants to buy Wilbur. Fern can give her uncle a good deal on the pig, since Wilbur is so small. Plus, Fern can just head up the road to visit her baby.
  • Uncle Homer says he's in, Fern says okay, so everybody wins. Now it's time for Wilbur to move one more time to Uncle Homer Zuckerman's barn.

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