CHAPTER VI (6)

SUMMER DAYS

Vocabulary

1. gratified — having pleasure or satisfaction

2. congratulations — something you tell someone to show that you are pleased about something they have done

3. dud — a thing that cannot be used because it does not work properly

Chapter 6 Summary

Summer at Zuckerman’s farm is a happy and fun time for animals and people alike. Because she is out of school, Fern visits the barnyard almost every day. One day, early in the summer, Fern is there to witness an important event in the barn cellar: the hatching of the goose’s eggs. Charlotte announces the birth of the goslings, and the goose informs everyone that there are seven of them.

Templeton, ever the scavenger, notices that one of the eggs did not hatch. When the goose tells him it is a dud, he asks if he can keep it. She agrees, but she and the gander threaten him if he ever comes near one of their goslings, because no one trusts the rat. Wilbur is disgusted that anyone would want a rotten egg, but Charlotte reminds him that this is just Templeton’s way, because he is a rat. She also reminds Templeton to be careful not to break the egg, as the stench would be unbearable.

Chapter 6 Analysis

This chapter serves to set up the peaceful happiness of Wilbur’s world, making it even more devastating when that world is shattered in the next chapter.

Chapter 6 Questions

    1. What was the important event in the barn cellar that summer? [pg. 44]
    2. How many eggs were there? [pg. 45]
    3. How many goslings hatched? [pg. 45]
    4. Why didn’t the last egg hatch? [pg. 45]
    5. Why did Templeton want the dud egg? [pg. 45]
    6. What does the gander say he will do to Templeton if he ever comes near one of the goslings? [pg. 45]
    7. What would Templeton do to a gosling if he could get away with it? [pg. 46]
    8. What will happen if the dud egg ever breaks? [pg. 47]
    9. Was Mr. Zuckerman happy that the goslings had hatched? [pg. 47]


    CHAPTER VII (7)

    BAD NEWS

    Vocabulary

    1. anaesthetic — a medicine that stops you from feeling pain

    2. conspiracy — a secret plan by a group of people to do something bad or illegal

    3. butcher — to kill in a cruel way

    Chapter 7 Summary

    As the days go by, Wilbur grows even fonder of his new friend, Charlotte. He even begins to understand her need for flies, and appreciates that she puts them to sleep before sucking their blood. In addition to Wilbur beginning to grow fonder of Charlotte, however, he is also simply beginning to grow.

    Wilbur’s growth is not lost on the oldest sheep, which always seems to be around to offer a nasty comment. This time, she is all too happy to report that Lurvy, Zuckerman, and even Fern’s father Mr. Arable, are part of a “conspiracy” to kill Wilbur at Christmastime – she says they are just fattening him up. Wilbur is understandably upset and does not want to die. Charlotte, always a thinker, tells him to calm down and stop crying; she will come up with a plan.

    Chapter 7 Analysis

    Here, we see two important events – Wilbur’s acceptance of Charlotte’s “lifestyle” and the realization by Wilbur and Charlotte that his life is in danger. His acknowledgment of Charlotte’s need to drink blood to survive, and of her part in the natural order of things, is a sign that Wilbur is maturing. The news from the sheep that Zuckerman plans to kill and eat Wilbur, however, not only thrusts him into that “natural order,” but also drives home, once again, the cold, hard facts about life and death. It also sets in motion much of the story’s subsequent action.

    Chapter 7 Questions

    1. Why does Wilbur like Charlotte better and better every day? [pg. 48]
    2. How do the people and animals of the farm feel about flies? [pg. 48]
    3. How did Wilbur put on so much weight? [pg. 48]
    4. What does the sheep tell Wilbur about why they are fattening him up? [pg. 49]
    5. Why are they going to kill Wilbur? [pg. 49]
    6. Who is in the conspiracy to kill Wilbur? [pg. 49]
    7. When do they plan to kill Wilbur? [pg. 49]
    8. Who is going to save Wilbur? [pg. 51]


    CHAPTER VIII (8)

    A TALK AT HOME

    Vocabulary

    imagination — the ability to create mental pictures or new ideas

    Chapter 8 Summary

    The Sunday morning after the birth of the goslings, Fern announces the event to her family around the breakfast table. She goes on to relate the story of Charlotte’s announcement, and of Templeton’s subsequent acquisition of the goose’s dud egg. She even tells them that none of them, meaning her and the rest of the animals, like Templeton very much. She also tells them that Wilbur adores Charlotte.

    Mrs. Arable, hearing all this, is a bit concerned that Fern may be spending too much time at the barn. She tells Mr. Arable that she may even talk to their doctor about Fern’s “make−believe” talk with the animals. Mr. Arable isn’t worried, and assures his wife that there’s nothing wrong with Fern having a healthy imagination.

    Chapter 8 Analysis

    In this chapter, the action of the story is not really propelled forward, but White offers a glimpse into the characters of the Arable family. We see especially that Mrs. Arable is concerned with Fern’s well−being, as she doesn’t want her daughter spending so much time “alone.”

    Chapter 8 Questions

    1. What did Fern tell her mother about the goose? [pg. 52]
    2. What did Fern say about the rat? [pg. 52]
    3. Why did Mrs. Arable have a worried expression on her face? [pg. 53]
    4. Why is Mrs. Arable worried about Fern? [pg. 54]
    5. What does Mr. Arable think about Fern? [pg. 54]
    6. What does Mrs. Arable say she will do about Fern? [pg. 54]

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