In Chapter 3 of Charlotte’s Web Wilbur the pig goes to live in the Zuckerman’s barn. At first it is lovely, warm and holds many new experiences. It’s got ladders, pitch forks, monkey wrenches, scythes, lawnmowers, snow shovels, ax handles, milk pails, water buckets, empty grain sacks, and rust rat traps. But soon the barn becomes familiar and Wilbur gets bored with his confinement.
Fern comes to visit Wilbur when she can, but Wilbur wants more. He realizes that he never has any fun – no walks, no rides, no swims. Bored, Wilbur says to himself “There’s never anything to do around here.”
“I’m less than two months old and I’m tired of living,” he adds.
A goose overhears him, tells him about a loose board in the fence and convinces Wilbur to escape. When Wilbur sticks his head through the hole in the fence the goose asks him “how does it feel to be free?”
Wilbur escapes into the yard where Mrs. Zuckerman sees him and alerts Mr. Zuckerman and Lurvy that the pig is loose. They chase Wilbur who gets flustered and confused.
Finally, Mr. Zuckerman holds out a pail of slops toward Wilbur. He smells the warm milk, potato skins, wheat middlings, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, and a popover left from the Zuckerman breakfast.
“”No, no, no, cries the goose. “You’ll miss your freedom.”
But Wilbur follows Mr. Zuckerman back to the barn where he is rewarded with the slops.
“I’m really too young to out into the world alone,” he thought as he lay down.
Chapter 3 Lessons Learned
Look at all the wonderful things in Wilbur’s new home! Some things are used in the summer, some in the winter, and some every day.
Lesson learned –Look around, there are a lot of things about home to love.
Wilbur becomes complacent in his new surroundings and gets bored, but ulatimately if he would just listen to himself, he’d know what to do.
Lesson learned – if you want to have fun– go on a walk, go for a ride or a swim
Wilbur wonders what it would feel like to be free and so he pushes his way through the hole in the fence.
Lesson learned – If you want to know what it feels like to be free, then you need to escape from where you are.
When Wilbur escapes, Mrs. Zuckerman sounds the alarm.
Lesson learned – Be careful, when you try new things, news travels fast.
It takes a bucket of slops to get Wilbur back into his pen.
Lesson learned – never underestimate the power of appealing to someone’s stomach
Having a full tummy and tired from his adventures, Wilbur takes a nap.
Lesson learned – there’s no place like home.
Bonus lesson learned – Remember, all moms have eyes in the back of their heads, if you’re doing something wrong, they’ll catch you.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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