Charlotte's Web: alternate plot

Over breakfast this morning...

Jane: Dad! Let's pretend Charlotte's Web!

Me: Arright. Who are you?

Jane: I'm Fern.

Me: Ok. I'm Fern's daddy.


Mr. Arable: Good morning, Fern.

Fern: (munching her toast, instantly uninterested in pretending) 'Mornin', Dad.

Mr. Arable: Some pigs were born last night.

Fern: (chewing) Mmm hmm.

Mr. Arable:
Wanna know why I'm carrying this axe?

Fern: (looks out the window)

Mr. Arable: Well, I'll tell you. One of them was born a runt.

Fern: (...)

Mr. Arable: And runts are nothing but trouble.

Fern: (takes another bite)

Mr. Arable: So, I'm going to kill it...

Fern: (...)

Mr. Arable: ...with this axe.

Fern: (...)

Mr. Arable: Don't try to stop me.

Fern: Ok, Dad.

Mr. Arable: Ok, then. (walking out the kitchen door, axe slung over his shoulder) Gonna chop that runt to bits.

Meanwhile, at Homer Zuckerman's farm...

A long silence hangs over the barn. The goose readjusts the clutch of eggs nestled beneath her feathery girth. The old sheep stands in the corner of its fold, quietly chewing its cud. Lurvy, the hired man, walks past on his way to weed the asparagus patch.

Goose: *Sigh* You ever get the sense something's missing?

Old sheep: (swallowing) Nope. (looks up to the door frame) Hey, that's a pretty web.

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