"Writing for children is usually regarded as a separate form of madness. I came to it by accident and stayed with it when it proved to be much like other kinds of writing--hard work, followed by pleasing rewards. The character Stuart Little appeared to me in a dream one night when I was traveling by rail. A writer is always grateful for small favors and I recall that I jotted down fragments of the tale next morning. I had no intention of writing a book for children, however, and the thing merely grew, by slow stages, over a period of about twelve years. Storytelling does not come easily or naturally to me; I am more of a commentator than a spinner of yarns.

As for Charlotte's Web, it came about as a result of my close association with animals in a barn. This barn, with its creatures and its swallows, has always been a place where I have felt at peace, and I deliberately tried to bring it to life in a story for youngsters. Many of the characters are taken right from life, including the pig and the spider. The tragedy of animal death by murder, which always haunts a farm, haunted me and I guess I was trying to write my way out of the dilemma in the story of Charlotte, and with her able assistance........" E. B. White

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