Movie Date: March 1, 1972
There was nothing special about Somerset County. It was a deeply ordinary place. No astonishing thing ever happened there. The people who lived there were just regular people. And the animals... Well, they were just plain old animals. They didn't question the order of things. So, the days passed, one very much like the other. But, one spring, on a small farm, a little girl did something, something that would change everything. What are you doing? Fern, go back to bed. You're not going to kill it, are you? It's a runt. Now, go back to bed. No, it's not fair! It can't help being born small. Careful. If I'd been born small, would you have killed me? Of course not. A little girl is one thing. A runty pig is another. There's no difference! This is unfair and unjust. How could you be so heartless? Come here. I want to show you something. You see that? You see? There's 11 pigs and only 10 teats. Sow can't feed it, honey. Then I will. I'll feed you and take care of you and... ...absolutely will not let you kill him. - Hey! When did Fern get a pig? - Avery, it's rude to point. Give me that. Come, sit, eat your breakfast. The bus will be here any minute. Good morning. Hey, Pop, can I have a pig, too? No. I only give pigs to early risers. Fern was up before dawn, ridding the world of injustice. Fern, put that pig down and get to school. Avery. - See ya. - Bye, Pop. Have a good one, buddy. Says here we're gonna get a lot of rain this month. Fern! Your books! Bye. Class, these are some of the questions that you're likely to be asked in the exam this week. So, please take particular note of every one. You got to be quiet, okay? You're gonna get me in trouble. Drink that. So, it's just a matter of following these questions and learning the answers. Fern, what's going on? Nothing. Fern, what's in your desk? - Nothing. - Open it. Thank you, Mrs. Arable. Fern, you know better. It's a pig, okay? It's not a toy, not a doll, not a baby. A pig. And you need to start treating it like one. This is going too far. I know she loves animals, but you have to tell her. - I know. She's just so happy with it. - I know. Doesrt that feel good? Fern, I'm really sorry, honey, but it's been long enough. What? Look, he's not a baby anymore. I can't have you keeping what will soon be a 300-pound pet around the house. No. Can't he stay in the barn? Please, Dad? - No. - Please? No. Fern, look. You know I've been selling the animals to get the new harvesting equipment. Pretty soon there's gonna be no place in the barn for a pig. I promised I'd take care of him. Well, I'm letting you out of your promise. I didn't promise you. I promised Wilbur. What about Homer? He has animals. Uncle Homer? I'm sure he could make room for a pig. Yeah. He'd be right across the road. Go to sleep, my little one The sun has said goodbye for now The moon shines on your beautiful face My mom used to sing that to me to make me feel safe. Good night, Wilbur. Fern had walked across the road to her uncle's barn hundreds of times before, but it had never felt so far away. It was just a big red barn full of typical stuff. Come to think of it, it couldn't have been more ordinary. But sometimes, when you take two ordinary things and put them together at just the right time, there's a chance they'll become two less ordinary things. That runty pig, for instance, and that big old smelly barn. One sniff, and you knew it was a place full of living things. But that didn't necessarily mean it was full of life. It's okay. It's okay. Nope. For that, this barn needed a pig. This isn't so bad. Only no one knew it yet. Don't be afraid. You'll be okay. I'll come see you every day. I'll be around so much you'll be sick of me. I love you. Avery, the bus is here! - Did you remember your sister's lunch? - Got it! What the hay? - What's he doing? - Probably-obably something smart. - Pigs are smart. - Pigs are not smart! Apparently, they're as intelligent as dolphins. Advantage dolphin. - He's going to knock himself out. - Yeah! That's using your head! How many times is he going to try that? - Pig's out! - I told you pigs are smart. That's going to leave a mark. - Oh, look, Bits. Pig's out. - Sure is out. Out of his mind! Homer! Lurvy! - Pig's out! - Pig's out, pig's out, pig's out! - How about you walk a little faster? - Wait your turn! Wait! Wait! Fern, come back! Just run! Run, pig! Be free! I would if I could. Retreat! - Retreat! - Don't retreat, pig! Giddyup! - Oh, no! Not the smokehouse! - No! Not the smokehouse! - Is he looking? - Yeah, he's seen it. - Think he knows what it is? - Of course not. He's a spring pig. He doesn't know anything. Here, pig, pig, pig! Don't fall for it. You're out. And you're back in. Here you go, piggy. Attaboy. Eat it up. Sold out for slop. I'd have been to the county line by now. He'd have made it if you'd have just let me talk. - Made it to where? He's a pig! - He's a pig. Sorry I made such a fuss. Your suggestions were really good, but I think I'd better stay here. Ferrs going to be back soon, anyway. He's just stupid as a stick, poor thing. - Should we speak to him? - Certainly not! Certainly not. Sweetheart, it sounded-ounded almost like you said you'd run and be free if you could. I meant if I were a pig. You know what happens to pigs around here. Yes, I do. And it should never, ever be spoken of. I'm gonna miss you today. See you when I get back, okay? All right, I gotta go, okay? See you later. Bye. Goodbye, Fern. Hurry back. Hi. My name's Wilbur. Anyone want to play? Anyone? It's raining, you know. And you know what you get with rain? - Lightning. - Typhoons. - Cholera. - Dysentery. - Frizzy hair. - That sad feeling. No, mud! What the heck is he doing now? Hey, come on. You wanna join me? Come on! Let's go! Let's go, let's go, let's go! Let's not. How many times must I tell you? Just because we're sheep, it doesn't mean we have to follow. Think for yourselves. - Yourselves. Quite right! - Look at me! - No, no, no. Yourselves. - Myself? Hey, kid, this is a barn. We don't play, we work. - Some of us, anyway. - "Some of us"? Are you implying, lke, that we don't work? Because we work bloody hard, thank you! Hard? You grow hair! "Grow hair." Good one! Excuse me. And is that your contribution to society, you gassy rib eyes? Filthy hairball! - Rib eyes! - Dirty lintball! Zip it. - They're at it again. - Rib eyes! Rib eyes! It's really slippery. That's the fun part! Little itty-bitty pig, could you come here, please? You said your name is Wilbur, right? That's right. What's your name? - Gussy. - Gussy? - Great name! - Thank you, Wilbur. Now, you're so cute and pink, but you're wasting your time. These animals won't play. - What about you? - Me? Well, I have to stay on my eggs. Oh, wow! Look at that! Otherwise, of course, I'd love to play. So, why can't you play? Because what's good for the goose is good for the gander. What about the rest of you? Don't any of you like to play? Can't play on three empty stomachs. Well, for us there's this whole smell-of-wet-wool business. Ghastly! See? I'm afraid it's just not a play kind of place. But you're all friends, right? Sure. We've been here together our whole lives. I'm not so sure being in the same place is the same as being friends. I'm not hungry. I just wanted someone to play with me. What's that? What is... Could it be? Slops! Oh, joy. It seems the pig slop has brought out the rodent. Moldy cheese. Oh, yeah. Did I have salami last night? Yep. I guess I did. - Oh, charming. - Disgusting creature! Hi, there. Oh, you're a pig. You're a pig. Pig equals slop. The rat is happy. My name's Wilbur. Do you have a name? Or is it just "the rat"? Did you say "just the rat"? For your information, pig, the rat rules. We were here long before your kind, and we'll be here long after. So, you just keep that in mind next time you feel like reducing me to "just the rat." You called yourself "the rat." I can call me that. You can't. So you don't have a name? Of course I do. It's Templeton. Templeton? Great name! - Oh, gee, thanks. - Hey! You want to play, Templeton? For so many reasons, no. See, I don't play. I gnaw, I spy, I eat, I hide. Me in a nutshell. Couldrt you just stay and chat? Chat? Let me see. Gnaw, spy, eat, hide. Nope, "chat" ain't on the list. The rat is handsome. Tonight I dream of slop! Fern, you are not going to see that pig again. It's too late. But he's expecting me! And I'm expecting you to finish your homework and go straight to bed. But, Mom, I always tell him good night! - Not tonight. - He can't sleep if I don't. Good night. Good night. Good night! Good night. Huh? Who said that? Who are you? Where are you? Are you invisible? No, I'm nocturnal, which means I work at night, when you should be sleeping. Now, I need to concentrate, so, good night. But I can't sleep now! Please, tell me who you are. I'm just really lonely. So I've seen. Look, you seem like a very nice pig, so I'll tell you what. If you go to sleep right now and let me work, we can converse tomorrow. - Converse? - I think your word was "chat." Oh. Great! All right. Good night. Good night. Good night. Good night. Okay, he still hasn't moved. We've been here one, wait, two... We've been here a long time, Elwyn, and that guy ain't moving! He's like a freak of nature. I'm dying, man. I've got to get some corn! I know, Brooksie. Just be patient. Come on. Come on. Just a little further. Okay, it's morning! - Hey, Bits, I wasrt drooling, was I? - Suck it up, Bets. Would whoever addressed me last night kindly make yourself known? What luck! An early riser, and he has things he needs to say. Yeah, loud things. I'm speaking to whoever spoke to me last night. I suppose that would be me. Okay. - I can't see you. - Up here, in the corner. The other corner. I'm sorry. I still can't see you. Move a little closer. I'll come down. Hi. You're a... Look, I've got a long day ahead of me and I'm trying to get a little... Spider! Spider! Get it away from me! Get it away! Get it away! All right, keep your distance there. - That thing is creepy. - Golly! You're not being rude, are you? No, no, no. I meant "creepy" in a nice way. You know, creepy good. Disgusting! - They eat their menfolk, you know. - I know! Well? Still want to chat, or are you gonna join them? I've never met a spider before. Did you make that? Is that what you were concentrating on last night? - Yes. - It's amazing. Think you could teach me how to make one of those? Hold that thought, please. - What are you doing? - Making breakfast. - Oh, boy. - Relax. First, I give him a little nip to anesthetize him, so he'll be more comfortable. It's a little service I throw in. Then I wrap him up. Then I just say grace because, well, that's always nice, and he'll make a perfectly delicious meal. So, you eat flies? No, no, no. I drink their blood. - Lying down on the job, eh? - Fainted like a girl. That's disgusting. Well, that's easy for you to say. You have all your meals brought to you in a pail. I don't get that kind of royal treatment. I am a trapper. I have to catch my food. Which is why I make my home near you. - Please don't hurt me. - Well, since you said "please." And just imagine how many bugs there would be in this barn, no, actually, in the world, if spiders didn't catch them. Insects would take over the planet! The way I see it, I'm doing everyone a favor. Except for the fly. Yes. Except for the fly. I think now is the time for me to say salutations. What? Salutations. Okay. I'll leave. No, Wilbur. "Salutations" is just a fancy way of saying hello. Oh! Hello. Hey, you know my name! What's yours? My name? My name is Charlotte. Charlotte A. Cavatica. Charlotte. Great name! Thank you. I've always thought so. Hey, since you've said... You know, that word, does that mean we're friends? I suppose it does. Yeah! Golly, go see what's going-oing on over there. What's going-oing... Hey, kid, what's going on over here? Oh, sorry. I just made a new friend, that's all. The spider. Oh, yeah. Good choice. Yeah, perfect. You picked someone even more despised than me. Why would anyone despise Charlotte? She made that amazing web, and she keeps bugs out of the barn. Look at her. I mean, don't you think she's a little... What's the word? I think she's beautiful. I beg your pardon. She is hideous! Are we even seeing the same ruddy creature? I guess not. Hopeless. What a sorry little friendship that's going to be. There's an old expression that says that ignorance is bliss, and I'm inclined to believe it's true, because, on that late spring day, Wilbur was as happy as a pig could be. And those spring days rolled into summer days, days filled with endless conversation between the two unlikeliest of friends. Charlotte, what's a spring pig? A pig who was born in the spring. Oh. And I thought it meant bouncy. That would be a springy pig. "After Mrs. Mallard had laid eight eggs in the nest, "she couldn't go to visit Michael anymore, "because she had to sit on the eggs to keep them warm. "She moved off the nest only to get a drink of water, or to have her lunch, "or to count the eggs and make sure they were all there. "One day, the ducklings hatched out. First came Jack, then Kack..." Yeah! Yeah! This is going to be great! - Wilbur, what on earth are you doing? - You'll see. That feels marvelous! Yes, over to the left a bit. Ah, yes. Is that a breeze I feel? I'm 10 pounds lighter! - I'm next! - I'm next! - I'm next! - I'm next, too! - Looking pretty good, huh? - Sure is. Hi, there. Are you new to the barn? I'm Wilbur. Wilbur, it's me. Me? Great name! No, me. Me! Samuel! The sheep! Wow! What happened to you? The world's first pig web! Ta-da! I think you'd better leave the web-spinning to me. After weeks and weeks, and I'm talking about some long weeks of waiting and expecting, all the hard work has finally paid off. Wow! Look at them! They were eggs, and now they're... They're just... Look at them! Wow, Gussy, you did a really terrific job! They don't call me Mother Goose for nothing. Congratulations. Would you look at that! Yes, thank you, thank you! It wasrt easy, but I managed. You managed? I'm kidding, honey. We managed. Six, seven. Werert there eight eggs? Could this be a dud? Golly! Golly! - Golly! - Whoa! Whoa, there, Father Goose! I'm just trying to help the happy couple. What do you want with a rotten egg, anyway? I want a rotten egg for the simple reason that... You never know. This one didn't make it. I think we have to let it go. Oh, take it! And add it to that nasty-asty collection of yours. Last one out is a rotten egg! - Well, I thought it was funny. - I should have pecked him! Don't you break that egg, rat. A broken rotten egg would make this barn stink to high heaven. That would be a change. Why are you laughing, Bits? He just said we stink. Oh, yeah. This is good. This will come in handy. You really are a handsome devil. Oh, boy. Egg-xactly! Saw a big old spider in the doorway! Gonna go catch it! No, Avery! Come back here! - Here, spidey-spidey. - You can't do that! Stop! - Gotcha! - No, no, Avery! Wilbur, no! Come on, Wilbur, get off! Wilbur, Wilbur, why did you do that? Avery! No! That stinks! Oh, that is gross. Man, is that you? No. I smell a smell, though. Think it's scary guy? - He's trying to stink us away from the... - Corn! Guess the yolk's on me. That is one ripe egg. That stinks good! That is disgusting! - We told you not to break that egg. - Now look what you've done, rat! It saved Charlotte, didn't it? Yeah, ingrates. I saved the leggy lady's life. - You mean that as a good thing, right? - Of course. I do have a few eyes, you know, and I think Wilbur did most of the saving. I know. Ironic, isn't it? He's saving you, and they're saving him for Christmas. Templeton! What's Christmas? The day you'll be cured. But I'm not sick. I didn't say you were sick. - Uh-oh. That was a mistake. - Yep. Typical rat. What? You're going to lie to the future football here? Okay. But it's a sad statement when I'm the most honest guy in the place. Templeton, what are you talking about? Come winter, the farmer will be checking you into the old smokehouse hotel. And the only checking out that happens is when people gather around and say, "Check out that yummy sausage. "Check out that sizzling bacon." So, that's what that is for. Ain't for roasting chestnuts. He wouldn't. Humans love pigs. Well, they love pork. Well, this is awkward, isn't it? Charlotte! Charlotte, is it true? Wilbur, few spring pigs get to see the snows of winter. No! I can't believe this. I won't believe it. - Oh, Wilbur. - It isn't fair! - I want to live! I want to see the snow! - And you will. I'm making you a promise right now. I am not going to let them kill you. You're a spider. You're little. They're huge! How are you going to stop them? I have no idea. But it's a promise, and promises are something I never break. Just don't you worry about it, Wilbur. Besides, it's a long time until Christmas. Okay, Charlotte. If you say so. - Dad? - Yeah. Can I walk home? I promised Wilbur I'd be there right away. - Sure. That's fine with me. - Thanks. Fern, wait! Why don't you go to the Whites' or the Sergeants' today and play? - Or you could have someone over. - Why? Because you're spending too much time in that barn. It isn't good for you to be alone so much. Alone? All my best friends are there. - Except the rat. - The rat? I wouldn't call him my friend, but the rest of them are. They tell the greatest stories. They make me laugh. And I promised them I'd read 'em this book, so I got to go. Bye! Dr. Dorian, it's ridiculous, isn't it? To think that animals can actually talk? I don't know. Maybe an animal said something to me and I didn't hear it because I wasrt paying attention. Maybe children are just better listeners than we are. Well, it worries me to no end. What's got you worried is that her only friends are pigs, sheep, geese and rats. Well, not rats. No. - Does she look well? - Yes. Appetite's good? - Does she sleep well at night? - Yes. I mean, she's right as rain in that way. Well, there is a name for her condition. It's called a childhood phase. And, sadly, it's something she'll grow out of. Charlotte, what are you doing? Thinking. I do my best thinking upside down. Blood goes to my head and perks me up. I've been thinking, too, you know, about Christmas. Don't worry, Wilbur. We'll figure something out. Come on, lke. Come on. Not to be too much trouble, but have you figured something out? Not yet, but it's like a web. You make it, you wait, and something always comes. Good night, Charlotte. Good night, Wilbur. And swing. And stick. And loop. And back up, stick, and... Mr. Zuckerman! Okay, you gotta come see this. Come on, Homer! Come on! - What's a "so me pig"? - It's "some pig." It's a miracle. It's nothing short of a bona fide miracle. Minister Beecher? Homer. Edith. What brings you here? Divinity? We think so. We'd better keep this quiet until I address it in my sermon. You can't tell a soul, but you gotta come up to the barn. Keep it between me and you. - Swing by the farm. - Okay. Goodbye. Now, don't tell nobody. Shouldrt get around. There's a word in a spider web at Zuckermars barn. Charlotte, what does a "some pig" do? This isn't for what you do. It's for what you are. Some pigs might smile a bit. The lifting of the head, nice touch! As ugly as that spider is, we should have known she was smart. So, you don't believe that someone might be smart and pretty? No. Yes! I mean, yes, because you are. Clever little spider, isn't she? Where's the spider who did this? Well, we looked all over and couldn't find one. Looks pretty good. Still ain't gonna change anything. He's a goner. Yeah. Glad nobody eats cows. - Got to admit, that's a fine-looking pig. - Yep, that's some pig, all right. After a few weeks, the phenomenon of the web wore off. Nobody cared anymore, and what was amazing yesterday was suddenly ordinary again today. It looked like Wilbur might not see snow after all. Excuse me, but why are we here? I mean, yes, barn meeting and so on and so forth. I understand that. But must this concern us? And at such an ungodly hour! You know, Wilbur's not the only one who could end up being Christmas dinner with an apple in his mouth. Good point. Yes. Carry on, then. Ike, this involves every one of us. I just have trouble looking at you. That's all. This isn't about me. It's about Wilbur. And, for the record, my view of you is not exactly a treat, either. As we have all seen, humans have very short attention spans, and there's just too much time between now and Christmas. Certainly enough time for Zuckerman to find his affection for a pig losing out to his hunger for ham. - That spider can talk! - Yeah. What did she say, exactly? She said the farmer might possibly still slaughter the pig. Sorry, old chap, but it is a common fate for your ilk. I could just bust through the fence again. No. Once was enough for that. I just have to get the right word written. Something that makes Wilbur so special that Zuckerman will never think about killing him again. You need something snappy, like "pig supreme." That sounds like a dessert. So, what's the point, anyway? It won't work. Could you please, just once, say something-omething positive? Okay. I'm positive it won't work. How about "harmoniously proportioned"? - Harmoniously proportioned, yes! - Stop that! You're following again. Please, all of you! What's the perfect word for Wilbur? How about "delicious"? Or "nutritious"? Or "extra crispy"? How about... - Did you get him? - Yep. Bull's-eye. How about "terrific, terrific, terrific"? Good. Much too long, though. I've only got so much web. But one "terrific" might work. It simply isn't true. The pig is not terrific. Look at him! He's absolutely average. If you wish to be truthful, then that is the word you should write. "Average." Wilbur, this only works if the word I write is true. And only you can tell us which word that is. So look around. We've all gathered around to help you. Now tell everyone how you feel. Look, there's a red one! And a blue one! Avery! You'll never catch me! I'm going to get you! Look at the fireworks, Mom! Avery, come on if you ever want to catch me! This web thing is really paying off. Mr. Zuckerman! There it is, side to side, right in the same place. "Terrific." It was the most amazing thing! Last time we had hundreds of people. This time it's going to be thousands! It says "terrific" just as clear as day. T-E-double-R-l-F-l-C. I mean, can you imagine a spider being able to spell that word? I don't think I could spell that word till the 10th grade. - Fifty cents. - Do you like that one, sir? That's going to be $1. - Wow! - Gather 'round, folks! Remember, you saw it right here at Zuckermars. And, before you leave, don't forget to take some of our berries home with you! - So, you think this might work? - Nope. Dare I say it? He looks "terrific." Look at them all! Yeah. Smile pretty. I wish geese had teeth. Been down here since dawn... What are you suggesting? That Fern has something to do with all this? How else could those words have gotten into that web? I know everyone is saying it's some kind of miracle, but... But what? You don't think it is? Do you? The web itself is a miracle. Wouldrt you agree? Well, can you spin one? - I can crochet a doily. - Because someone taught you how. Nobody teaches a spider. They just know how to spin a web. Don't you think that's a miracle? As summer ended, so did the excitement about the web. Charlotte needed to think of something special. Special enough to change the way people saw the world, or at least one pig in the world, anyway. The truth is, Charlotte feared she would never find a word that could do all that. And she had to hurry. Time was running out for her. But once a promise is made, it needs to be kept. - Still no web, huh? - Nope. I haven't seen one in, I'd say, at least a month. Funny how you get used to all those people being around the place. Kind of quiet without them, isn't it? I noticed the hinge pirs busted on the damper in the smokehouse. Want me to order a new one? Suppose you better. That's a special order. Better get a jump on that if we're going to smoke any ham before the holidays. We may need another cord of wood, too. I'm just going to throw this out here one more time. "Pig supreme." Oh, Golly! Now you're just beating a dead horse. - Hey! - Sorry. Look, I don't come across many words in the field, other than "Hyah!" or "Giddyup!" But that rat's always dragging in trash with writing on it. I agree. It's about time Templeton started pulling his weight around here instead of just eating it. I bet he could bring us some choice words. I've got a choice word for you. A little word called, "Uh-uh." Well, that's two words. And here's a few more. Negative. No way. Nothing doing. I ain't breaking my back to try and save "some pig," no matter how "terrific" you think the little lunch meat is. You'll sing a different tune when he's gone and nobody brings around those scrumptious buckets of slop. And three, two... Cue the rat! Let's get one thing straight. I don't care about the pig. - What I care about is the slop. - Of course. And since I'll be at the dump anyway, and it won't take any extra effort, maybe, maybe I'll pick something up. You're very kind. Don't go spreading it around. What? What do you want? You'll need your strength. Thanks. But, Dad, I heard them. I heard them talking about the smokehouse! He's not your pig anymore. Well, I wouldn't have sold him in the first place if I knew this is what they were gonna do to him. That's what happens to a pig on a farm, Fern. You know that. I'll see about that. I've got maybe two, three years before she can out-argue me. Then I'm doomed. And members of our own 4-H Club will have the opportunity to enter livestock and poultry in the competition. So, in addition to the rides and games, make sure you show them your support, as well. Any questions? Rita. Miss Lewis, can I bring my chickens? Your chickens, I'm sure. Pigs, chickens, horses and cows. You certainly can, and I hope you win first prize. How can he be in every cornfield? It can't be the same guy. It can't be! He's wearing the same hat. I'm telling you, he is following us! I hate that guy. I have got to get some corn, Elwyn! All right! All right! All right! This is crazy. - There's two of us, right? - Yeah. Trust me, there's two of us, and there's only one of him. I don't know, man. He scares me. He really does. - Just think about that corn. Corn. - Yeah. - The corn. - Corn. - All right, let's do it! - Let's do it! Let's do it! - Abort! Abort! Abort! - Abort! Abort! Abort! Man, he is good! I bet he's laughing at us. Don't look at him! Don't even give him the satisfaction. Just think about something else. - Think about something else. - Anything. I think I see a rat. - That's good. - No, really, I see a rat. The rat is stealthy. The rat is nimble. The rat is on the... whoa! The rat is losing his touch. - You want to go mess with him? - Oh, yeah! I've got to peck something. Rat on three. One, two, three! The rat has been spotted! The rat is not enjoying this! All this for slop? The rat is desperate. The rat is trapped. The rat needs to stop calling himself "the rat." "Find some words." Yeah, right, the rat will never find words! Hey, look. Words. - Hey, is he still in the can? - He's in the can? Maybe we should give him some privacy. Always helps me out. No, no, genius, not that can. Where did he go? I can't see him. All I see is that fruit moving. - What fruit? - The fruit with the tail! They'll never get me now. - Let's go get him! - Go get him! The rat rules! - We're pink! - Hey, what the... Pink? But that's all right, isn't it? I mean, black pretty much goes with everything. No, it's not all right. That rat is going to pay! "Radiant." - This might just work. - Might? Oh, for the love of Lucy! Here it comes. It did this yesterday. Look that way, everyone! Right towards that cloud! Good gracious. Has it always done that? No, it can't have. - Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! - Wow! Oh, yes. This word will work quite nicely. Then my work is done. And now for the fruits of my labor. And the vegetables! And the gravy! All right, now. "R." And stick. And loop. And... Come on, Charlotte, you can do this. Don't slow down yet. Welcome to Zuckermars! Thank you all for coming. Well, the web says it better than I ever could. That is some terrific, radiant pig! And for that reason, I've decided to enter Wilbur into the county fair. Did you hear what they said, Charlotte? I'm going to the fair! Going to the fair! Wilbur might just see Christmas after all. Is it good? Did we do it? Yes, Wilbur. It's very good. Now, smile. The fair, Homer? What's gotten into you? I don't know, Sis. It just come to me. He's a runt, Homer. He doesn't stand a chance. Well done! Never had a doubt! That spider did a heck of a job. She's a hard worker. Thank you, Charlotte. You should take a little bow. And have my beauty steal the show? Now, go on and show them what a radiant pig can do. What do you mean you're not going to the fair? I'm going to get a prize. Don't you want to be there? Of course I do, Wilbur, very much. I'm just not up to traveling at the moment. - Why not? - Because I'm expecting. Expecting what? "Expecting" means... I'm expecting you to do fine without me. You're getting to be a big pig, and you'll do just great on your own. Okay. I'll miss you. Come on, Homer, up and at 'em. It's the big day. - Fern? - Mom! I'm not wearing that. What the heck is she doing? Bathed in buttermilk. I've had this dream. I've got to say he really is some pig. That's my buttermilk working. You sure you want to go through with this, Homer? If you lose, you're out your entry fee. He could win, though. Stranger things have been happening around here. If he doesn't win, though? Well, the way I figure it, even if he does lose, I can make it all back on the bacon alone. Wilbur! Wilbur! Do something, Homer. - What happened? - I don't know. He just fainted. It's all right, hon. - Lurvy, get some water! - It's okay, Wilbur. Charlotte, are you feeling-eeling okay? Why is it so hard for that farmer to see what is right in front of his face? Look what Wilbur has done for this farm. Isn't that better than ham? Well, there's only one thing to do, and I have to be there to do it. Charlotte, you have your babies to think about now. Yes, I know. But I made a promise to my friend. A big blue ribbon ought to finally get the point through that farmer's head. - Easy, Lurvy. Easy. - Coming through! Coming through! Here we go! - There we go. - He's up. Okay, let's see if he'll get in the crate. - Buttermilk. - Templeton? I need you to go with me. We'll have to find another word, a really good one. Sorry, lady. Comes a time when the rat's got to ask himself, "What's in it for the rat?" - He's right. We've been to the fair. - We have? Remember? All that garbage there? Oh, yeah! It's littered with hunks of chewed-on funnel cakes... How's that? And dribs of ice cream going sour in the sun. And spitty little cotton candy bits ground into the mud. Popcorn, moldy cheese, half-eaten sandwiches and sticky-icky-icky candy apples. Wait! Go back to the moldy cheese thing. I've never seen so much disgusting trash! Come on, Wilbur. Good boy. Don't hurt him, Dad! Nearly made me gag, the stink of it, especially that deviled egg. You better hurry up, rat. They're gonna leave you! Wait for me! - Nice and easy. - Come on, Wilbur. Good boy. More food than you'll see in a lifetime! - Bye, Aunt Edith! - Bye. Bye, Fern! Bye, Avery! See you at the fair, guys! Hey, it worked! I think we milked it a little there at the end, though. All right. All right, John, I'll see you over there! Charlotte, you're coming with me! I wouldn't miss it for the world. Thank you for coming. - Good luck, Wilbur! Win that ribbon! - Go get 'em, Wilbur! We're going to the fair! Going to the fair! Going to the fair! - I'm going on the bumper cars. - So fun! The sign looks good, Homer. Nice and even. All right, there we go. There you go, Wilbur. Okay, where's the filth? Have you heard that good things come to those who wait? No, good things come to those who find it and shove it in their mouth. Don't think I don't know, Fern, that we're all here because a determined little girl made a promise to a pig. - Wilbur. - Sorry. I mean Wilbur. I'm proud of you, honey. Thanks. Fern? Avery? I'm going to give you each 10 tickets to do as you like out there. And you have to make them last all day, so don't go spending them all at once. Okay? - Wow! - All right! - I'll be right back. Okay. - Come on! You're going to win the prize tomorrow. I know it. - Everything will be all right. - Fern, let's go! Okay. Oh, my. Is that what we're up against? Excuse me. What is your name? When someone wants to get your attention, what is it they call out? Uncle. Tell me, Uncle, what is the date of your birth? Your birthday? For heavers sake, all I want to know is if you're a spring pig. Of course. What did you think I was? A spring chicken? Huge and humorous. Arert we talented! Spring chicken. Charlotte, who are you talking to? - The pig next door. - Should I be worried? Of course not. What good would that do? Whoa! Have you seen the beast next door? I think his mama was part hippo. If I had to name five of the fattest pigs I've ever seen, he'd be three of them. He's a shoo-in. Please. That pig is not nearly as handsome as Wilbur, or as harmoniously proportioned, - and not nearly as clean. - There's a real tiebreaker. We just have to prove that the finest pig is not necessarily the fattest. And you can do your part, Wilbur, by getting some rest. - I'm not tired, Charlotte. - Okay. Well, could you excuse me for just a minute, please? All right, Templeton, you're right. That pig over there is a shoo-in. So, I need words that are even better than that pig is fat. Special words, and lots of them. How about "pushy" and "demanding"? Templeton, please! This is our last chance to save Wilbur's life. You do realize I'm just here for the food, right? Of course. Enjoy the ride. One, please. Must be in the other pocket. Sorry. - One second. - All right. Two, please. Is that Fern up there? Well, I'll be. - She's with a boy. - She is! She's with a boy! Oh, no. She's with a boy. Manna from heaven! I don't know what this is, but I love it! One-stop slopping. All right. Let's go get the spider off my back. How come I'm not in a cornfield, Elwyn? How come? Hey, hey. They got all kinds of corn right here. You got your popcorn, caramel corn, candy corn. Stop torturing me! I'm starving here, and now I'm cross-eyed because of this pink stuff. If I ever see that rat again... Words, words, words. "Pork rinds." That'll draw a crowd. This looks promising. Hey! That rat! I'm going to get me some rat! Oh, not these birdbrains. Let's get rid of them once and for all. ...and everything. Rat on three! Three! Wait up, Brooksie! I'm coming with you! Little flamingoes! Come and get me! - It's scary guy! - Abort! Abort! Peck him! Peck him, Elwyn! Wait a minute. His eyes are buttons, and his hair is straw. This guy ain't real! - He's not? - No! Oh, yeah! The rat rules! Take that! Do you know what this means? - Yeah. - What? We could've had corn! Well, Your Highness, you satisfied or what? 'Cause I've got a spitty hunk of pineapple upside-down cake out there with my name on it. Yes, very satisfied. Be careful. If you keep this up, someone might think you care. Gee, I'm all choked up. Charlotte? If I don't win the prize tomorrow, they're gonna send me to the smokehouse. You're going to win, Wilbur. And you're going to see the snows of winter. I told you, I never break a promise. Mom? Will you put these in for me? You look like a girl! And I still hit like one. Well, what do you think? It's a great word. It's just... Just what? Is it the right word? Is it true? Because I don't really feel like I deserve any of the things you've written about me. Then it is the perfect word. The web! Hey, Wilbur! "Humble." Hey, Wilbur. If that's not a prize-winner, I don't know what is. He's going to win this thing, isn't he? Oh, Homer, I can't go up to that grandstand looking like this. Homer. It's not fair. Why didn't they tell us the judging was going to be so early? We did our best. I'll get the truck and take him home. I really thought we had a shot. It's okay. It'll be okay. I told you. There it is! The web! Mom... What's going on? It looks like it's "humble." Excuse me. Thank you. Coming through. Excuse me. Mr. Zuckerman! Could you come with me, please? Oh, and bring the pig, too. Homer. Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the state of Maine, it gives us great pleasure to present Zuckermars famous pig! Folks! Folks! I think we all remember the start of summer, when the writing appeared on the web in Mr. Zuckermars barn. And now it has happened yet again! Which is why the governors of the fair are honored to present this handsome medal. A token of our amazement and our appreciation. I love you, Wilbur. Well, what can I say about this pig that hasn't already been said? I know a lot of you folks have come out to the farm, and you've seen the words. A lot of you have asked me, "How could this have happened?" I don't know. But it has happened in a time when we really don't see many miraculous things. Or maybe we do. Maybe they're all right there around us, every day, and we just don't know where to look. There's no denying that our own little Wilbur, he's part of something that's bigger than all of us. And life on that farm is just a whole lot better with him in it. He really is some pig. Way to go, Wilbur! Charlotte, look how happy she is! Isn't that great? Yes, it's wonderful. Hey, what's that? This is my magnum opus. What's a magnet opus? Magnum opus. It means "great work." It's a nutrient-filled, waterproof egg sac. Really? There's eggs in there? My babies, 514 of them. Wow! With 514 baby spiders all over the place, it's going to be really radiant in the barn! Wilbur, I'm afraid they're not going to make it back to the barn. What? What are you talking about? You're not going to leave them here alone, are you? I have no choice. I'm languishing. What does that mean? It means I'm dying. What? You can't die! Wilbur, we're born, we live, and, when our time comes, we die. It's just the natural cycle of life. No! No, just climb down. I'll carry you the rest of the way. We'll go back to the barn, and I'll take care of you. No, Wilbur. I don't even have the strength to climb down. You have to. You've done so much for me! And it was my great pleasure. Please come down, Charlotte. Please. There must be something I can do. No, Wilbur. Don't you know what you've already done? You made me your friend, and, in doing so, you made a spider beautiful to everyone in that barn. I didn't do anything, Charlotte. You did it all. No. My webs were no miracle, Wilbur. I was only describing what I saw. The miracle is you. Templeton! Charlotte is very sick. Yeah, and twisted. She's dying! She can't go home with us. So, I need you to help me take her egg sac with us. Did you say eggs? It's an egg sac. And it's right up there, and it has her children in it. And I can't just leave it here. What if something happened to them? Now, I can't reach it, so I need you to get it for me. And I need you to do it now. I don't think I like your tone. Can't you just once in your life think of someone other than yourself? - A little further. Keep coming. - Once? Once? Come on. No, you come on! Who got his hindquarters pecked to make you "radiant," huh? Templeton, that's who. And who interrupted the gorging of a lifetime so you could be "humble"? Why, I think it was Templeton! Templeton! Templeton! Templeton! And do I get thanked? No! Well, has it ever occurred to you that even a rat might like a little appreciation? A little, dare I say, love? Do it and you'll get dibs on my slop for the rest of my life. Done. Hurry! Up in the corner on the ledge. Templeton! Come on! Thank you, Templeton, for everything. It's okay, just drop it. Hurry! Here you go. Here's your medal. - In you go. - Time to go home, Wilbur. All right. Close her up, Lurvy. Okay, easy now. Goodbye, my sweet, sweet Wilbur. Goodbye, Charlotte. I love you. Is that our lovely-ovely-ovely little Wilbur? - And he's got a medal! - Strong work, kid. He looks so grown up. - I always knew he could do it. - Never had a doubt. Welcome home, Wilbur. Wilbur? Where's Charlotte? I got a bad feeling, Bits. Me, too. Now, that isn't to say Charlotte was gone forever. She lived on in the hearts of those that knew her, and even those that didn't. Something had changed in Somerset County. It was as if people knew they lived in a special place now. And, in small ways, they started being special people, a little bit kinder, a bit more understanding. And the animals felt different, too. Closer. The warmth of their friendship carried them through the long, cold months. They showed it in little gestures of kindness, unusual patience, and promises kept. Even the hardest of hearts found themselves rising to the occasion. And, finally, the greatest promise of all, a spring pig saw his first snowfall. It was as though Charlotte herself had shaken it out of the sky. The stillness of winter continued to the first thaw, like it always does. And then, the first buds of spring. And, before you knew it, life had come full circle. They're here! They're here! They're here, everybody! Hey, there. I'm Wilbur. I'm a friend of your mom's. Boy, are we glad to see you! So creepy! And cute! Just like their mother. They're so, so beautiful. I just want to scoop them up and hug them all. Wow, you can fly! Look at you go! Now that is something to follow. Go, little spiders! Be free! I wish I could. I'm kidding, honey. I think I got one inside my beak. - Thanks, baby. - That's my Golly-olly-olly. Wow! I can't believe they're really here. - So pretty. - Yeah, Bits. You doing okay over there, lke? I'm okay with it. I'm okay with it, Bets. I'm okay with it. Spiders are nice. Spiders are my friend. Spiders won't hurt me. Wait! What's happening? What are you doing? - Bye! - Bye! Please don't go. - Goodbye! Bye! - Wait! Wait! Goodbye! Where are you going? We're setting forth. We take to the breeze. We go as we please. We take to the breeze! Bye! But you can't go! I had so much I wanted to tell you! And someone I wanted to tell you about. Salutations! - Who said that? - I'm up here. - So am I. - Me, too. - We'd like to stay. - We like it here. And we like you, too. You're staying? Oh, that's great! That's really, really great! Three friends! What are your names? I'll tell you my name if you'll tell me why you're trembling. Well, I think I'm trembling with joy. - Then my name is Joy. - Joy? Perfect. - What was my mom's middle initial? - A. Then my name is Aranea. Wow! Great name! Why don't you pick my name for me? Something sensible. Not too long, not too fancy. And not too dumb. Tricky. How about Nellie? Nellie? I like it. Well done! Joy, Aranea, Nellie, you have chosen a hallowed doorway in which to spin your webs. This was your mother's doorway. She was loyal, brilliant, beautiful, and she was my friend. I will treasure her memory forever. So, to you, her daughters, I pledge my friendship. I pledge mine! - I do, too! - So do I! Okay, I'd like to make a couple of announcements. First of all, if you gals are word-lovers, and you need a few scraps of paper for inspiration, don't look at me. My word-fetching days are over. I'm not the rat I used to be. I'm at least twice that. So, if you need something to write, try this, "Some rat." Some rat. Think about it. Slops! Oh, yeah! And, in an ordinary barn, an ordinary pig, a runt no less, stood surrounded by friends, welcoming his second spring. And that spring was followed by many, many more. All because someone stopped to see the grace and beauty and nobility of the humblest creature. That is the miracle of friendship. It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both.