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when you REALLY listen…

February 16, 2015 , , , , , , , , , ,


Re-reading Roald Dahl’s words now, as a teacher, fills me with wonder. How did he do it?! He created worlds which burst with imagination using only words…no Facebook, no Twitter…no animation, or bells + whistles. Just the page and the kid reading those delicious, fabulous words which made me shiver with wonder + snort with laughter. He was devilish and gross, tender and enchanting…magic. Without setting out to, he fed my vocabulary of real (and wonderfully imaginative!) words. He made the impossible, possible, in perfect kid language.

When I read his words today, I realise that brand of magic is still very much alive and in fact, may have intensified as I read them through the eyes + mind of my older self.

Below is a snippet from The BFG, one I read with new meaning as teacher…if you really listen, what do you hear?


“You is deaf as a dumpling compared with me!” cried the BFG. “You is hearing only thumping loud noises with those little earwigs of yours. But I am hearing all the secret whisperings of the world!

I is hearing the footsteps of a ladybird as she goes walking across a leaf;

I is hearing the little ants chittering to each other as they scuddle around in the soil;

And sometimes, on a very clear night, I is sometimes hearing faraway music coming form the stars in the sky;

I is hearing the scream of a flower as its stem is twisted from the ground;

I is hearing the soft moan of the old oak, like an old man dying, weeping, when it is felled.”

A queer little shiver passed through Sophie’s body. She sat very quiet, waiting for more.

“Is that really true?” Sophie asked.

“You think I is swizzfiggling you? Then I is stopping right here!”

The BFG gave her a long hard stare. Sophie looked right back at him, her face open to his.

I believe you,” she said softly.

“I is hearing the most wonderful and terrible sounds! Some of them you would never wish to be hearing yourself! But some is like glorious music.”

He seemed almost to be transfigured by the excitement of his thoughts. His face was beautiful in its blaze of emotions.

“I is hearing that chatterings of little mices;

I is hearing the natterings of little flutterbys;

I is hearing the glorious, pure voice of a mother spider, spinning her web.

I is hearing the world – a world so different from yours.”

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