E. B. White
"Can I have a pig too, Pop?" asked Avery
"No, I only distribute pigs to early risers," said Mr Arable.
"I'm less than two months old and I'm tired of living."
"What do you mean less than nothing? I don't think there is any such thing as less than nothing. Nothing is absolutely the limit of nothingness. It's the lowest you can go. It's the end of the line. How can something be less than nothing? If there were something that was less than nothing, then nothing would not be nothing, it would be something - even though it's just a very little bit of something. But if nothing is nothing, then nothing has nothing that is less than it is."
"Stop your nonsense, Wilbur! If you have a new friend here, you are probably distubring his rest; and the quickest way to spoil a friendship is to wake somebody up in the morning before he is ready."
"You mean you eat flies?" gasped Wilbur
"Certainly. Flies, bugs, grasshoppers, choice beetles, moths, butterflies, tasty cockroaches, gnats, midgets, daddy-long-legs, centipedes, mosquitoes, crickets - anything that is careless enough to get caught in my web. I have to live, don't I?"
"Why, yes, of course," said Wilbur. "Do they taste good"
"Delicious. Of course, I don't really eat them. I drink them - drink their blood. I love blood."
"I worry about Fern. Did you hear the way she rambled on about the animals, pretending that they talked?"
Mr Arable chuckled. "Maybe they do talk," he said. "I've sometimes wondered."
"I don't think it's normal. You know perfectly well animals don't talk."
"Maybe our ears aren't as sharp as Fern's," he said.
"I can think better when I think alone."
"I called this meeting in order to get suggestions. I need new ideas for the web. People are already getting sick of reading the word "SOME PIG!" If any body can think of another message, or remark, I'll be glad to weave it into the web. Any suggestions for a new slogan?"
How about "Pig Supreme"?" asked one of the lambs.
"No good," said Charlotte. "It sounds like a rich dessert."
"But, Charlotte," said Wilbur, "I'm not terrific."
That doesn't make a particle of difference," replied Charlotte. "Not a particle. People believe almost anything they see in print."
"Wilbur's food is your food; therefore Wilbur's destiny and your destiny are closely linked. If Wilbur is killed and his trough stands empty day after day, you'll grow so thin we can look right through your stomach and see objects on the other side."
"Do you understand how there could be any writing in a spider's web?"
Oh, no," said Dr Dorian. "I don't understand it. But for that matter I don't understand how a spider learned to spin a web in the first place. When the words appeared, everyone said they were a miracle. But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle."
"I don't undestand it, and I don't like what 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."
"Fern says the animals talk to each other. Dr Dorian, do you believe animals talk?"
I never heard one say anything," he replied. "But that proves nothing. It is quite possible that an animal has spoken to me and that I didn't catch the remark because I wasn't paying attention. Children pay better attention than grown-ups... Perhaps if people talked less, animals would talk more."
... friendship is one of the most satisfying things in the world.
"Why did you do all this for me?" he asked. "I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you."
"You have been my friend," replied Charlotte. "That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die... By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heavens knows anyone's life can stand a little of that."
"Who wants to live for ever?"