I should have known better.
When I was 9 or 10, I read Charlotte’s Web. I cried at one part, which I remember clearly because I arrived at my grandparents’ house sobbing.
I picked up 샬롯의 거미줄 this winter, even though when I tried to read the first page, it was too hard. Recently, I tried the first chapter and understood most of it, so I decided it would be my next book to read.
Yesterday, Charlotte hinted to Wilbur that she was getting tired and old.
Good Man stared at me. “Why?”
“She’s going to die!”
“No, she’s just getting old, that’s what it says.”
I wailed, “She’s being Korean! She’s talking around it! ‘It seems like I am getting old…'”
“You are strange. You are like my mother, you cry a lot.”
This afternoon, Charlotte told Wilbur she really wasn’t going to return to the farm with him. She had a day or two left to live. And Wilbur begged, begged, begged Templeton to get Charlotte’s egg sac.
Good Man stared at me. “It is book!”
“I know! But Charlotte’s Wilbur’s best friend, and she’s going to die and he’s going to be stuck with the mean old rat!”
“She is laying…how many?”
“Five hundred fourteen.”
“Five hundred fourteen eggs!”
I shook my head, “But they won’t be Charlotte!”
“You are 울보,” Good Man said.
“I am not a crybaby!”
“Then you are cryadult.”
Tonight, Charlotte died. All alone. And Wilbur watched all but three of her 514 babies leave. He asked them to come back, to stay, but they left. Wilbur did befriend the three who stayed.
And I cried.
Good Man just looked at me. “If roach did magic, would you cry?”
“Roaches don’t make webs.”
Good Man pointed to the wall in the bedroom where our house spiders live, “This is why you don’t kill spiders! You read when you were kid and now you expect spiders to do magic!”
“Of course!” Then I started laughing. And crying. Because I sounded ridiculous. But isn’t that the joy in reading children’s books? Believing in magic?
“If you care about fake talking spider in book so much, then you should never kill spider, roach, grasshopper, ant…”
“I’m not Buddhist,” I said.
“Why don’t you join PETA?”
“I eat meat.”
Good Man shook his head, “And you are crying over spider in a book! I am just pointing out your paradox…”
But, onward and upward. I’ve finished “소나기” and 샬롯의 거미줄 since my last update.