After James, Ladybird, Earthworm, Silkworm, Spider, Glow-worm and Old-Green-Grasshopper all tasted the peach and raved about its deliciousness, Centipede, who claims to have “personally tasted all the fine foods of the world,” breaks into song:
”I’ve eaten many strange and scrumptious dishes
in my time,
Like jellied gnats and dandyprats and earwigs
cooked in slime,
And mice with rice — they’re really nice
When roasted in their prime.
(But don’t forget to sprinkle them with just a pinch
“I’ve eaten fresh mudburgers by the greatest cooks
And scrambled dregs and stinkbugs’ eggs and
hornets stewed in tar,
And pails of snails and lizards’ tails,
And beetles by the jar.
(A beetle is improved by just a splash of vinegar.)
Minced doodlebugs and curried slugs. And have
you ever tried
Mosquitoes’ toes and wampfish roes
Most delicately fried?
(The only trouble is they disagree with my inside.)
“I’m mad for crispy wasp-stings on a piece of
And pickled spines of porcupines. And then a
Of dragon’s flesh, well hung, not fresh —
It costs a pound at most,
(And comes to you in barrels if you order it by post.)
“I crave the tasty tentacles of octopi for tea
I like hot-dogs, I LOVE hot-frogs, and surely
A plate of soil with engine oil’s
A super recipe.
(I hardly need to mention that it’s practically free.)
“For dinner on my birthday shall I tell you what I
Hot noodles made from poodles on a slice of
garden hose —
And a rather smelly jelly
Made of armadillo’s toes.
(The jelly is delicious, but you have to hold your nose.)
“Now comes,” the Centipede declared, “the burden
of my speech:
These foods are rare beyond compare — some are
right out of reach;
But there’s no doubt I’d go without
A million plates of each
For one small mite,
One tiny bite
Of this FANTASTIC PEACH!”
(From JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, Roald Dahl, Puffin Books, 1961)
Well, what are you waiting for? Go get some peaches!!
♥ Click here for Part One of Just Peachy.