Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Poem from Roald Dahl's The Witches (1983)

This is the poem intoned by the Grand High Witch at the annual convocation of the English (pronounced "Inklish" by the probably German Grand High Witch) witches in Roald Dahl's 1983 masterpiece.

This one is a delightful read (whether you're a child or an adult) and a very, very funny book.

It very deservedly won the Whitbread Award.

It's one of the most consistently "challenged" books in America--books challenged by those with small minds and even smaller imaginations (I believe it ranked somewhere around 22 on that list).

Roald Dahl was a marvelous writer. I'm not quite sure he was always a wonderful human being. But I guess we're talking two different grocery carts.

I think Dahl had "issues." I guess I'm basing that largely on the anti-Semitic quotes attributed to him. But he did have Jewish friends, and they ended up being apologists for him, so who knows?

The is the poem in which the Grand High Witch reveals her fiendish plot to turn all the children of "Inkland" into mice.

Down with children! Do them in!
Boil their bones and fry their skin!
Bish them, sqvish them, bash them, mash them!
Brrreak them, shake them, slash them, smash them!
Offer chocs with magic powder!
Say "Eat up" then say it louder.
Crrram them full of sticky eats,
Send them home still guzzling sveets.
And in the morning little fools,
Go marching off to separate schools.
A girl feels sick and goes all pale.
She yells:"Hey look! I've grown a tail!"
A boy who's standing next to her
Screams, "Help I think I'm grrrowing fur!"
Another shouts, "Ve look like frrreaks!
There's viskers growing on our cheeks!"
A boy who vos extremely tall
Cries out: "Vot's wrong? I'm grrrowing small!"
Four tiny legs begin to sprrrout
From everybody rrround about.
And all at once, all in a trice,
There are no children! Only MICE!

In every school is mice galore
All rrrunning rrround the school-rrroom floor!
And all the poor demented teachers
Is yelling, "Hey, who are these crrreatures?"
They stand upon desks and shout,
"Get out, you filthy mice! Get out!
Will someone fetch the mouse-trrraps, please!
And don't forrrget to bring the cheese!"
Now mouse trrraps come and every trrrap
goes snippy-snip and snappy-snap.
The mouse-trrraps have a powerful spring,
The springs go crack and snap and ping!

Is a lovely noise for us to hear!
Is music to a witch's ear!
Dead mice is every place arrround,
Piled two feet deep upon the grrround,
Vith teachers searching left and rrright,
But not a single child in sight!
The teachers cry, "Vot's going on?
Oh vhere have all the children gone?
Is half-past nine and as a rrrule,
They're never late as this for school!"
Poor teachers don't know vot to do.
Some sit and rrread and just a few,
Amuse themselves throughout the day
By sveeping all the mice avay.
AND ALL US WITCHES SHOUT HOORAY!

6 comments:

  1. WHO WANTS ONLY HALF THE POEM! CERTAINLY NOT-
    ME

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. not strange at all!

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  3. i really like this poemmmmm!!!!!!!

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  4. Thanks for posting this, you dont know how much trouble youve saved me!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. i really love this poem and missing that legend of that marvellious stories

    ReplyDelete