Real Life Charlotte

I grew up on the children’s books by E.B. White. I think many my age did, and I hope they still do. I fell in love with those stories, fanciful tales of personified creatures. On occasion I can be heard referencing Trumpet of the Swan (graceful, like a moose), and I’m sure I’m not the only one who cried over the death of a spider of all things when reading Charlotte’s Web.

It’s sure interesting the difference between real life and fiction. Charlotte was a type of orb-weaver spider, which creates a new web every day. Here in Pennsylvania, I’m surrounded by these arachnids.


The other day, I spent some time watching as one if these creepy critters built his web, and disgusting as it was, I found it fascinating. He used his back legs to guide and attach his silk, while his other legs he used for balance and mobility. It seemed to take him no time at all to complete his creation.


One of my coworkers then decided to mess with the spider, and was throwing tiny balled up scraps of paper into the web, trying to get the spider to wrap it as it would a fly. The interesting part was, the spider would pull the paper from its net, and “throw” it down. I found this hysterical, and told my coworker to quit playing catch with the spiders.

I still find them to be gross, but it was fun to watch a real-life Charlotte building a web.


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