After a little girl named Fern Arable pleads for the life of the runt of a litter of piglets, her father gives her the pig to nurture, and she names him Wilbur. She treats him as a pet, but a month later, Wilbur is no longer small, and is sold to Fern’s uncle, Homer Zuckerman. In Zuckerman’s barnyard, Wilbur yearns for companionship, but is snubbed by the other animals. He is befriended by a barn spider named Charlotte, whose web sits in a doorway overlooking Wilbur’s enclosure. When Wilbur discovers that he is being raised for slaughter, she promises to hatch a plan guaranteed to spare his life. Fern often sits on a stool, listening to the animals’ conversation, but over the course of the story, as she starts to mature, she begins to find other interests.