Excerpted from Charlotte’s Web:
Day after day the spider waited, head-down, for an idea to come to her. Hour by hour she sat motionless, deep in thought. Having promised Wilbur that she would save his life, she was determined to keep her promise.
Charlotte was naturally patient. She knew from experience that if she waited long enough, a fly would come to her web, and she felt sure that if she thought long enough about Wilbur’s problem, an idea would come to her mind.
Finally, one morning toward the middle of July, the idea came. “Why how perfectly simple!” she said to herself. “The way to save Wilbur’s life is to play a trick on Zuckerman. If I can fool a bug,” thought Charlotte, “I can surely fool a man. People are not as smart as bugs.”
Wilbur walked into his yard just at that moment.
“What are you thinking about Charlotte?” he asked.
“I was just thinking,” said the spider, “that people are very gullible.”
“What does ‘gullible’ mean?”
“Easy to fool,” said Charlotte.
Ahhh — Charlotte is one of my all-time favorite characters — such wisdom from an arachnid.
Today I remembered a little trick I once played on a 3rd grader who wanted a Wii for his birthday. What he really needed was a new pair of snow pants.
You can only imagine his disappointment when he opened the Wii box and found it stuffed with black, poofy, winter wear.
He was playing Wii tennis within minutes of the let down.
Interesting that almost ten years later, I can still feel his sadness from those few moments in between. I’d never do that again.
Charlotte’s scenario was a little different. Her trick saved Wilbur’s life and hurt no one.