Charlotte’s Web Chapter 14 – Dr. Dorian
Fern’s mother is upset that Fern spends so much time in the barn with the animals and not with her friends.
When Fern tells her about Charlotte’s relatives making a web that caught a fish and a web that acted like a balloon, Mrs. Arable doubts the story even though she admits that she’d also like to float away. Still, she thinks it not’s normal for Fern to spend so much time with animals so she decides to talk to Dr. Dorian, the family doctor about the situation.
Mrs. Arable tells Dr. Dorian that she’s worried about Fern spending time at the barn.
“How enchanting” he replies. “It must be real nice and quiet down there.”
Mrs. Arable then brings up the mysterious writing in the web. Dr. Dorian tells her that not only is writing in a web a miracle, but that the web itself is a miracle. Unlike knitting and crochet, no one teaches a spider how to weave a web, they just know.
“I suppose,” says Mrs. Arable. “Still I don’t understand how those words got into the web. I don’t understand it and I don’t like anything I can’t understand.”
“None of us do,” said Dr. Dorian, sighing. “I’m a doctor. Doctors are supposed to understand everything. But I don’t understand everything and I don’t intend to let it worry me.”
Mrs. Arable then asks if Dr. Dorian believes that animals can talk. “I have never heard one say anything” he replied. “But that proves nothing. It is quite possible that an animal has spoken civilly to me and that I didn’t catch the remark because I wasn’t paying attention.”
After asking if Fern looks well, has a good appetite, and sleeps well. Dr. Dorian tells Mrs. Arable that she has nothing to worry about. Fern would not always be focused on animals – “it’s amazing how children change from year to year.”
Mrs. Arable leaves the doctor’s office, greatly relieved.
Chapter 14 Lessons Learned
Fern tells her mother the stories that Charlotte had told about her relatives.
Lesson Learned –.You know it’s a good story when the retelling can evoke emotion.
Mrs. Arable decides to check in with Dr. Dorian about Fern’s behavior.
Lesson Learned –.When in doubt, it’s never a bad idea to get a second opinion.
Dr. Dorian imagines that the barn must be nice and quiet.
Lesson Learned – Perspective. Problems are almost always about perspective.
Mrs. Arable admits that she has concerns about the printing in the spider’s web.
Lesson Learned: A work of art is a miracle. Just because you don’t understand it, it doesn’t mean you have to fear it.
Dr. Dorian tells Mrs. Arable that although he hasn’t heard an animal talk it may be because he hasn’t paid close enough attention.
Lessons Learned: In order to hear others, you need to be quiet.
Dr. Dorian ascertains that Fern is well.
Lessons Learned: As long as you look (and feel healthy) have a good appetite and sleep well, you’ll be just fine. Focus on that.
Dr. Dorian assures Mrs. Arable that Fern is fine and that there is nothing to be worried about. When she got older, he assures her, she’ll change her focus from animals to boys.
Lesson Learned: Let your kids enjoy the magic of childhood for as long as they can. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
And then come the boys.
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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