Charlotte’s Web Chapter 6 – Summer Days
Summer arrives at the barn and with it comes warm days, flowers, and the end of school.
When you don’t have to go to school, you discover that you have a fair amount of excess time on your hands. Fern goes to the barn often to quietly sit and visit Wilbur. In fact she goes so often that the barn mates accept her as an equal and lay calmly at her feet.
In July Mr. Zuckeman, along with Avery and Fern harvest the hay. They cut, rake, pitch and load the hay so that it can then be transferred to the barn ensuring a good supply of food year-round for the animals.
Songbirds are plentiful in the summer and you often hear the beautiful calls of white-throated sparrows, phoebe teeters and song sparrows.
There is always a lot for children to do in the summer – eat clover heads, have ice-cold drinks, and even taking apart the spit on a weed stalk to find the worm inside.
On one such idyllic day, the goose’s eggs begin to hatch. Charlotte is the first to see a gosling hatch and she makes an announcement to the barn congratulating the goose on the results of her effort and patience.
After finding out that there are seven eggs, Charlotte tells the goose that seven is a lucky number.
“Luck had nothing to do with this.” Said the goose. “It was good management and hard work.”
It turns out that in the beginning there were eight eggs, but one turned out to be a dud. The goose gives the egg to Templeton the rat with the warning that he could have the egg, but if he ever bothered the baby chicks, he’d be sorry. Even still, the goose parents were concerned about Templeton. “And with good reason. The rat had no morals, no conscience, no scruples, no consideration, no decency, no milk of rodent kindness, no compunctions, no higher feeling, no friendliness, no anything.”
Once the rat is gone with the rotten egg, the mama goose leads her newborns out of the nest and into the world. When Mr. Zuckerman comes to the barn with Wilbur’s super he spots the tiny baby geese. “Now isn’t that lovely!”
Chapter 6 Lessons Learned
Fern goes to the barn each day to quietly sit by Wilbur. After a while the other barn mates begin to accept her.
Lesson Learned – You’ll be more readily accepted if you quietly observe and be respectful to the group you’re with.
In July the farmer harvests the hay for his animals.
Lesson Learned – Remember that old fable about the ant and the grasshopper? This. Do your work now so that you can live off it later.
In the summer there is so much to do right outside your front door, you’d be busy for days on end.
Lesson Learned –Put down the phone and go for a walk.
Summer is the time for birds to be around.
Lesson Learned –Birds are lot more enjoyable when you know what species they are and what songs they sing. Buy a bird field guide and take it on that walk I suggested above.
When Charlotte sees the first goose egg hatch, she immediately makes an announcement to the barn.
Lesson Learned –It’s not easy giving birth. If someone you know has a baby, send them a HAND-WRITTEN card congratulating them on the results of their “efforts and persistence.”
Charlotte tells the goose that seven is a lucky number and the goose replies that the eggs hatching had nothing to do with luck.
Lesson learned – Good fortune often requires lots of dedicated hard work – there’s just no other way around it.
The geese give an eighth “dud” egg to the rat in return for him not bothering the chicks.
Lesson Learned –Sometimes you have to give a little in order to get a little.
Everyone in the barn knows that Templeton “had no morals, no conscience, no scruples, no consideration, no decency, no milk of rodent kindness, no compunctions, no higher feeling, no friendliness, no anything.”
Lesson Learned –Never vote for anyone like that. Please?
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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