In March, I was seeing Charlotte's Web as a fable for Covid times. That view has intensified.
(Long time readers of this blog--a fine evening to you, Uncle Pete and Aunt Petite--will know what I mean by fable. Briefly, it is this: just as Wilbur and Charlotte are doomed (be slaughtered for bacon, lay eggs and die, respectively), so we must face the doom of pandemic. In this fable, we also must face the ending which if not happy is at least perfectly apt, the only way the story could end.)
With that in mind, I've written in a kind of prologue spoken by someone in the present, a speaker in a sanitary mask who wonders where our lives went. From that grim vibe, this speaker has to get us to the warm spring morning when Wilbur is born.
Throughout the piece, the audience will recall fragments of what it was like, that time of masks and social distance.
The last image remains unchanged, however. It's Wilbur on top of his manure pile, living a long life, and never forgetting Charlotte. Lights down on his contented smile.
It may be useful solace--this story for this time.