“Charlotte’s Web” is the first “real” book my mother read to me. When I was 6 years old, we moved from California to Texas, which meant a three-day drive. She read the book aloud to my brother and me in the car. When we got to Texas, we weren’t done, so she continued reading it to me before bed. I remember feeling really secure, with her sitting beside me, her familiar voice filling the room.
When we got to the part where Charlotte dies, I immediately went into denial. How could she be dead? Why did she have to die? It couldn’t be true. Maybe she’ll come back to life in the next chapter.
I do have one very clear memory that, I’m pretty sure, occurred a few days after we finished the book.
I was sitting on this old green armchair, and I was thinking about “Charlotte’s Web.” All of a sudden, I felt a surge of grief for Charlotte, and I started to cry. I turned my head and scrunched my body up so my face was pressed down on the arm of the chair, my tears soaking the icky green upholstery. The reason why I’d turned away was so that my mom wouldn’t see me. Even at that young age, I was self-conscious about why I was crying.
It didn’t take long for Mom to notice me. “What’s wrong?” she asked.
What should I say? How could I explain? This was stupid, I knew it. Charlotte wasn’t real. I had no idea how to express myself.
“Charlotte’s dead!” I blurted in a strangled voice.
Mom — probably very relieved that it wasn’t anything more serious — exhaled, smiled, and put her arms around me so I could cry it out.
“Charlotte’s Web” was the first book to touch my heart. Even though Charlotte was an ordinary gray spider, she was something special. Even though I never made a conscious decision to do so, I knew I wanted to be intelligent and generous, too, just like her.
So, in honor of my childhood, today’s ColLINKtion is dedicated to “Charlotte’s Web.”
I tried to choose ami doll patterns that, together, could form a sort of “Charlotte’s Web” play set — like I mentioned in Wednesday’s post. All the dolls, I think, are relatively proportionate in size, and you can always use a larger hook and yarn to increase the size and vice versa. These dolls along with a copy of the book would make an excellent gift for a 6 or 7-year-old.
Since there are hundreds of barnyard-type crochet patterns, I decided to limit myself to just the FREE ones!
1. Wednesday the Pig by Dawn Toussaint
What Toussaint didn’t tell you was that Wednesday’s male alter ego is named Wilbur!
2. Sheep(ish) Spiders by Allison Hoffman
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I bow to Allison Hoffman. Just remember to crochet your Charlotte in gray.
3. Crochet Lamb by Sarah Zimmerman
Remember the barnyard sheep? Here ya go!
4. A Very Chickie Crochet Pattern by Ana Paula Rimoli
I thought this one makes a great stand-in for the judgmental goose.
5. Baby Rats or Mice by Gail Hovanec
Here’s that rascal Templeton!
7. Doll in Bear Hoodie by Tracey MacIntyre
There weren’t a lot of great country-style or farm-style ami girl dolls (hint, hint to you designers out there), but I think this adorable one could totally pass for Fern. Just omit the bear hat.
I already started my Charlotte’s Web play set with this dynamic duo.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
What was the first book that made you cry?