Guys! How many of you grew up reading Roald Dahl like me? He took us through the wonderful magic of reading a book through Matilda. And the way we all felt reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was a wonderful time to be a kid with such imaginative that made us feel alive. I'm happy to bring to you once of my favorite books by his - Witches. When watching the movie with Angelica Houston, I was completely terrified. The book had the same effect.
Please enjoy an excerpt from the book and consider picking it up to read with your family. The cover is absolutely gorgeous.
The Witches Chapter 1: A Note about Witches
In fairy-tales, witches always wear silly black hats and black cloaks, and they ride on broomsticks.
But this is not a fairy-tale. This is about REAL WITCHES.
The most important think you should know about REAL WITCHES is this. Listen very carefully. Never forget what comes next.
REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses and they work in ORDINARY JOBS.
That is why they are so hard to catch.
A REAL WITCH hates children with a red-hot sizzling hatred that is more sizzling and red-hot than any hatred you could possibly imagine.
A REAL WITCH spends all her time plotting to get rid of the children in her particular territory. Her passion is to do away with them, one by one. It is all she thinks about the whole day long. Even if she is working as a cashier in a supermarket or typing letters for a businessman or driving around in a fancy car (and she could be doing any of these things), her mind will always be plotting and scheming and churning and burning and whizzing and phizzing with murderous bloodthirsty thoughts.
“Which child,” she says to herself all day long, “exactly which child shall I choose next for my squelching?”
A REAL WITCH gets the same pleasure from squelching a child as you get from eating a plateful of strawberries and thick cream.
She reckons on doing away with one child a week. Anything less than that and she becomes grumpy.
One child a week is fifty-two a year.
Squish them and squiggle them and make them disappear.
That is the motto of all witches.
Very carefully a victim is chosen. Then the witch stalks the wretched child like a hunter stalking a little bird in a forest. She treads softly. She moves quietly. She gets closer and closer. Then at last, when everything is ready…phwisst!...and she swoops! Sparks fly. Flames leap. Oil boils. Rats howl. Skin shrivels. And the child disappears.
A witch, you must understand, does not knock children on the head or stick knives in them or shoot at them with a pistol. People who do those things get caught by the police.
A witch never gets caught. Don’t forget that she has magic in her fingers and devilry dancing in her blood. She can make stones jump about like frogs and she can make tongues of flame go flickering across the surface of the water.
These magic powers are very frightening.
Luckily, there are not a great number of REAL WITCHES in the world today. But there are still quite enough to make you nervous. In England, there are probably about one hundred of them altogether. Some countries have more, others have not quite so many. No country in the world is completely free from WITCHES.
A witch is always a woman.
I do not wish to speak badly about women. Most women are lovely. But the fact remains that all witches arewomen. There is no such thing as a male witch.
On the other hand, a ghoul is always a male. So indeed is a barghest. Both are dangerous. But neither of them is half as dangerous as a REAL WITCH.
As far as children are concerned, a REAL WITCH is easily the most dangerous of all the living creatures on earth. What makes her doubly dangerous is the fact that she doesn’t look dangerous. Even when you know all the secrets (you will hear about those in a minute), you can never be quite sure whether it is a witch you are gazing at or just a kind lady. If a tiger were able to make himself look like a large dog with a waggy tail, you would probably go up and pat him on the head. And that would be the end of you. It is the same with witches. They all look like nice ladies.
Kindly examine the picture opposite. Which lady is the witch? That is a difficult question, but it is one that every child must try to answer.
For all you know, a witch might be living next door to you right now.
Or she might be the woman with bright eyes who sat opposite you on the bus this morning.
She might be the lady with the dazzling smile who offered you a sweet from a white paper bag in the street before lunch.
She might even—and this will make you jump—she might even be your lovely school-teacher who is reading these words to you at this very moment. Look carefully at that teacher. Perhaps she is smiling at the absurdity of such a suggestion. Don’t let that put you off. It could be part of her cleverness.
I am not, of course, telling you for one second that your teacher is actually a witch. All I am saying is that she might be one. It is most unlikely. But—and here comes the big “but”—it is not impossible.
Oh, if only there were a way of telling for sure whether a woman was a witch of not, then we could go round them all up and put them in a meat-grinder. Unhappily, there is no such way. But there are a number of little signals you can look out for, little quirky habits that all witches have in common, and if you know about these, if you remember them always, then you might just possibly manage to escape from being squelched before you are very much older.
Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was one of the world’s most imaginative, successful and beloved storytellers. He was born in Wales of Norwegian parents and spent much of his childhood in England. After establishing himself as a writer for adults with short story collections such as Kiss Kiss and Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl began writing children's stories in 1960 while living with his family in both the U.S. and in England. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.
Roald Dahl’s first children’s story, The Gremlins, was a story about little creatures that were responsible for the various mechanical failures on airplanes. The Gremlins came to the attention of both First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who loved to read the story to her grandchildren, and Walt Disney, with whom Roald Dahl had discussions about the production of a movie.
Roald Dahl was inspired by American culture and by many of the most quintessential American landmarks to write some of his most memorable passages, such as the thrilling final scenes in James and the Giant Peach - when the peach lands on the Empire State Building! Upon the publication of James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl began work on the story that would later be published as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, have sold more than 200 million copies.
Roald Dahl also enjoyed great success for the screenplays he wrote for both the James Bond film You Only Live Twice in 1967 and for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, released one year later, which went on to become a beloved family film. Roald Dahl’spopularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.
Two charities have been founded in Roald Dahl’s memory: the first charity, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, created in 1991, focuses on making life better for seriously ill children through the funding of specialist nurses, innovative medical training, hospitals, and individual families across the UK.
The second charity, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre – a unique cultural, literary and education hub – opened in June 2005 in Great Missenden where Roald Dahl lived and wrote many of his best-loved works. 10% of income from Roald Dahl books and adaptations are donated to the two Roald Dahl charities.
On September 13, 2006, the first national Roald Dahl Day was celebrated, on what would have been the author’s 90th birthday. The event proved such a success that Roald Dahl Day is now marked annually all over the world. September 13, 2016 is Roald Dahl 100, marking 100 years since the birth of the world’s number one storyteller. There will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 throughout 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.