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|Roald Dahl (b. 1916) – U.K. (Welsh) children’s book writer – Matilda
Visit the Roald Dahl website
Today is Roald Dahl Day and September is Roald Dahl month!
Read about Roald Dahl in New York Magazine
“Dahl was, indeed, a great storyteller: Anyone who doubts that can pull aside a random child on the street and start reading her James and the Giant Peach or Fantastic Mr. Fox. If an adult comes up to object, you can start reading him one of the short stories: maybe “Taste” (in which a dinner-party bet among wine connoisseurs spirals out of control) or “The Sound Machine” (in which a man can hear plants screaming). If a policeman intervenes, read him “Lamb to the Slaughter,” in which a woman kills her husband with a frozen lamb chop, then cooks and feeds it to the detectives who come to investigate. You could probably go on like that forever.”
Excerpt from The Enormous Crocodile
In the biggest brownest muddiest river in Africa, two crocodiles lay with their heads just above the water. One of the crocodiles was enormous. The other was not so big.
“Do you know what I would like for my lunch today?” the Enormous Crocodile asked.
“No,” the Notsobig One said. “What?”
The Enormous Crocodile grinned, showing hundreds of sharp white teeth. “For my lunch today,” he said, “I would like a nice juicy little child.”
“I never eat children,” the Notsobig One said. “Only fish.”
“Children are bigger than fish,” said the Enormous Crocodile. “You get bigger helpings.” … Then he waddled off into the jungle.
Inside the jungle, he met Trunky the Elephant. Trunky was nibbling leaves from the top of a tall tree, and he didn’t notice the Crocodile at first. So the Crocodile bit him on the leg.
“Ow!” said Trunky in his big deep voice. “Who did that? Oh, it’s you, is it, you beastly Crocodile. Why don’t you go back to the big brown muddy river where you belong?”
“I have secret plans and clever tricks,” said the Crocodile.
“You mean you’ve got nasty plans and nasty tricks,” said Trunky. “You’ve never done a nice thing in your life.”
The Enormous Crocodile grinned up at Trunky and said:
“I’m off to find a yummy child for lunch. Keep listening and you’ll hear the bones go crunch!”
“Oh, you wicked beastly beast!” cried Trunky. “Oh you foul and filthy fiend! I hope you get squashed and squished and squizzled and boiled up into crocodile stew!”
The Enormous Crocodile laughed out loud and disappeared into the thick thick jungle.
Listen to “Pig” – a horror story by Roald Dahl
(Caution: not for the squeamish)