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юридические услуги Саратов, юристы Саратов написать иск

Содержание: [Скрыть]

 

 

Roald Dahl was a successful British writer. Today he is best known for his fascinating stories about kids. The main character of this book is also a child. This child is Roald Dahl himself. The writer tells us his most vivid childhood memories. They are funny, silly and sometimes sad. But they are never boring. The writer remembers his family and their life together. He describes difficult times at school and his fear of the school headmaster. He tells us how he got in trouble for playing tricks on the people he didn't like. He happily recalls summer holidays in Norway and testing out chocolates for a famous company. Without a doubt, Roald Dahl had a great childhood. No wonder it inspired many of his books.


A message from Roald Dahl

Sometimes, a person writes a book all about his or her life. These books are normally very boring. This is not one of those books. I do not want to write everything about me.

But some things happened to me in my early life, and I did not forget them. They are not important, but I remember them fifty or sixty years later. Some things are funny. Some things are not nice. All of them are true.


CHAPTER 1. The start

My father, Harald Dahl, was Norwegian. He came from a small town near Oslo in Norway. His father - my grandfather - had a shop in the town. People went to the shop to buy food and things for their houses. The shop had nearly everything!

At the age of fourteen, my father had an accident and badly hurt his arm. A doctor came, but he was not a good doctor. He hurt my father's arm more, and then the arm had to be cut from my father's body.

My father had only one arm, but he learned to do lots of things with it. He made one side of a fork into a knife because he wanted to cut his own food. He took his special fork everywhere with him in a little bag.

My father lived in a small town, but he wanted to see the world. He finished school and got a job on a ship. It took him to Calais in France. From there, he went to Paris. In Paris, my father met a young woman called Marie and married her.

At that time, many ships travelled across the world, and they needed fuel, food and thousands of other things. My father started a company that had all these things. The ships bought everything they needed from his company, and my father made a lot of money. He took his family to Wales because Cardiff was an important city for ships. My father and Marie had two children (a girl and a boy), but then Marie sadly died.

My father was sad, and he wanted a new wife. In 1911, he went on holiday to Norway. There, he met a young Norwegian woman called Sofie and married her. They had four more children: two girls, a boy (me, in 1916) and a third girl. Now they had a happy family with six children.

We all lived together in a big house in Wales, in a village eight miles west of Cardiff. We had chickens, cows and horses.

Our big family was very happy. But then my sister Astri got an illness, and she died. She was only seven years old. My father got a different illness, and he died, too. Maybe he did not fight his illness because he was very sad about Astri. Today, these illnesses do not often kill people. Doctors can give people something to make them better, but, in 1920, doctors could not help my family.

Now my mother had five children, a new baby and no husband. She was a young Norwegian in a strange country, and her family were all in Norway. But my mother stayed in the United Kingdom because my father wanted his children to go to school in England. "English schools are the best schools in the world," he always said.

I do not remember a lot from my earliest years, but I can remember one thing very well: my tricycle. A tricycle is a bike for small children, but it has three wheels.

My sister and I loved to ride our tricycles as fast as we could in the middle of the road. It felt good to go very fast. We could ride in the road because there were not many cars in those days.


CHAPTER 2. The sweet shop

In 1923, I was seven years old, and I started school. Every day, my friends and I walked about a mile to school, and we went past a sweet shop. And, every day, we stopped and looked at all the wonderful sweets in their jars. Sometimes we had money, and we could buy some sweets.

But there was one problem. A bad woman worked in the shop. Her name was Mrs Pratchett.

Mrs Pratchett was a small, ugly old woman. She never smiled, and she was never friendly. She always shouted at us, "I'm watching you!" or "You have to buy something or you must go away!"

She was also very dirty. Her clothes always had egg and bread and tea from her breakfast on them. Her hands were grey and dirty, and her fingers were black. And she put these dirty hands into the jars of sweets!

Of course, this did not stop us from buying the sweets. But we did not like Mrs Pratchett.

At school, my friends and I found a small place under the floor. We kept our sweets and other special things in it. One day, we found something new there: a dead mouse!

"I have a plan," I said. "Let's put it in one of Mrs Pratchett's sweet jars. She will put her dirty hand in the jar, and she will find a dead mouse!"

"Yes!" my friends said. "We will do it today You must put the mouse in the jar, because it's your plan."

"I will ask for some yellow sweets," my friend Thwaites said. "They are at the back of the shop. Mrs Pratchett will turn and get them. Then you can quickly put the mouse in the jar with the pink sweets in it. It's the nearest one to us."

That afternoon, we walked into the shop. We were all very excited. Thwaites asked for his sweets, and Mrs Pratchett got them for him. I quickly put the mouse in the jar with the pink sweets.

Then Mrs Pratchett looked at us with her ugly little eyes.

"Only one of you is buying sweets. I don't want you all in here!" she shouted. "Go away!"

We ran outside. "Did you put it in the jar?" asked my friends.

"Of course I did!" I said.

I was happy, and my friends were happy, too.

"You were great," they said.

The next morning, we walked past the shop and saw a message on the door. The shop was closed.

We stopped. The shop was never closed at this time in the morning. We looked through the window. The jar was on the floor, and there was broken glass everywhere. The mouse was on the floor, too. But we could not see Mrs Pratchett. Something was very wrong!

"Mrs Pratchett had a shock," Thwaites said. "Shocks can hurt old people. Bad things happen to them."

"What?" we said. "What happens to them?"

"Their bodies stop, and they die," Thwaites said. Then he said to me, "You killed her."

"Me?" I said. "Why only me?"

"It was your plan," Thwaites said. "And you put the mouse in the jar."

I was a killer!

At school, I felt bad.

"I am only eight years old," I thought, because I wanted to feel better. "No little boy of eight kills anyone. It's not possible."

The teachers sent everyone outside. I waited for the police to come and take me away.

Mr Coombes, the headmaster, came outside with a woman. It was Mrs Pratchett! She was not dead! I was not a killer! The old woman looked at all the boys, and she pointed a dirty finger at Thwaites.

"That's him!" she shouted. "That's one of them!"

Everyone in the school looked at Thwaites.

"That's one, too!" she said. She pointed a finger at me. Then she pointed at our three other friends.

My four friends and I went to the headmaster's room. It smelled of tobacco. Mr Coombes was a very tall man, and in his hands he held a long, yellow cane. I was very frightened of him and his cane. Mrs Pratchett was in the room, too, because she wanted to watch!

"You," said Mr Coombes. He pointed the cane at Thwaites. "Come here."

Thwaites walked very slowly. He put his hands on the floor, and the headmaster hit his bottom with the cane. It made a loud noise. Little Thwaites flew in the air.

"Ow-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w!" he shouted.

"Harder!" shouted Mrs Pratchett.

The headmaster hit Thwaites four times. We had to watch and wait.

After all the other boys, it was me. I put my hands on the floor. I heard the noise first and felt nothing. Then I felt the cane. My bottom was on fire. I breathed out very hard, and there was no air left in my body. The second time, the cane hit me in the same place, and it hurt a lot more. After four times, it was time to go, but it was difficult to walk. My bottom was on fire, and I held it with my hands.

"Thank you, Headmaster," said Mrs Pratchett, happily. "There will not be any more dead mice in my sweet jars now."


CHAPTER 3. Summer holidays

Summer holidays! What wonderful words. Every summer, from the age of four to seventeen years old, was wonderful. We always went to Norway for our holidays.

Norway was home for us because my family was Norwegian, and we all spoke the language.

We were always a big group of ten or more people. There were my three sisters and my very old half-sister (that is four people). There was my half-brother and me (that is six). There was my mother (seven) and someone to help (eight). Two or more friends of my very old half-sister came, too.

In those days, there were no planes. It took four days to go to our holiday in Norway. We went by train, taxi, a second train, a second taxi, ship and then in a small boat.

We always went to Oslo first. We stayed one night in a hotel and visited our mother's parents.

My grandmother was a very old woman with white hair. My grandfather was very quiet. He always sat in a chair and smoked tobacco from a very long pipe.

After the visit to my grandparents, we travelled to a little island. Its name was Tjome, and it was the best place on Earth. We went to the beach there. We swam in the sea and lay in the sun. We went to other islands in our little boat and ate fish from the sea. They were wonderful days.

I remember only one bad thing about our holidays in Norway. One year, my mother said, "We are going to the doctor. He wants to look at your nose and mouth."

"What's wrong with my nose and mouth?" I asked. I was about eight years old.

"Not a lot," my mother said. "But I think you have adenoids."

"What are adenoids?" I asked her.

"Don't worry," she said. "It's nothing."

The doctor looked up my nose and in my mouth. I did not worry, because I was too young to understand.

Someone held a bowl under my face. The doctor had a very long knife. He put it in hot water over a fire to make it clean.

"Open your mouth," said the doctor. But I did not want to.

"It will be quick," he said.

I opened my mouth. The doctor's knife went into my mouth. It moved very quickly. The doctor turned it four or five times. Something red went from my mouth into the bowl. It was a shock!

"Those are your adenoids," said the doctor. He pointed at the red things in the bowl.

The top of my mouth was on fire. I held my mother's hand. How could someone do this to me?

"You will breathe more easily now," said the doctor.

My mother and I walked home. Yes, I said walk. There was no bus or car. We walked for thirty minutes. We got home to my grandparents' house, and someone gave me a chair.

"He can rest there for a few minutes," my grandparents said.

This was in 1924. It was normal to cut a child's adenoids with no anaesthetic in those days!


CHAPTER 4. Boarding school

In September 1925, I was nine years old, and it was time for me to go to boarding school. Children stay the night at boarding school and live there without their families.

St Peter's School in Somerset was the nearest English boarding school to our house in Wales, but it was across fifteen miles of sea. This sea was called the Bristol Channel.

For school, my mother gave me a very special new box. It was called a tuck box. Every child at boarding school has a tuck box. They are always closed with a key, and no teacher can look inside them. Boys keep food, toys and other special things in them. At St Peter's, one boy kept a frog in his tuck box!

My mother travelled to St Peter's School with me. We went to Cardiff in a taxi and then across the water by boat. On the English side, we went in a second taxi to the school. I had a new school uniform. All my clothes were new, and everything had my name on it.

St Peter's School was outside the town. It had beds for 150 boys and rooms for the headmaster's family. There was a lot of grass outside for playing sport.

On the first day there were many boys and their families in front of the school. The very tall headmaster walked from group to group to meet the parents.

"Goodbye, Mrs Dahl," he said, quickly. "It's time to go. Don't worry; we will look after him."

My mother understood. She said goodbye to me and left in a taxi. The headmaster went to talk to a different family. I stood there with my new tuck box and began to cry. I was sad because I did not want to live away from my family.

Life at St Peter's School was difficult. The teachers were not friendly, and I was always frightened of the cane. We had to wash in cold water, and the food was bad. I wanted to go home and see my family.

At night in bed, I always thought about my family and tried not to cry. They were across the Bristol Channel, and I could see the sea from my window. I always went to sleep with my face towards my family. I never turned my back towards them in bed.

Mothers sent their hungry sons food every week. This made the headmaster happy, because food was expensive.

"Send food as often as you like! Once a week. Or twice a week!" the headmaster always said. "Your boy gets good food here, but food from home is always more special. You can send them things like fruit and a big cake. You don't want your child to be the only boy with an empty tuck box."

Every Sunday, every boy at St Peter's wrote to his family. We never wrote about the bad things at school. We only told our parents good things, because the headmaster read our letters.

He saw our bad spelling, but we could not change it in the letters. We had to write the words correctly later.

"No teacher has read this letter," our parents thought, "because there is bad spelling in it. Everything in this letter must be true! My child is happy at school."

I wrote to my mother that first Sunday, and then I wrote to her every week for thirty-two years. Sometimes more than once a week. In 1957, she died, and I found more than 600 of my letters to her. She kept them all.


CHAPTER 5. A drive in a car

After three long months at boarding school, it was time for me to go home for the Christmas holidays. How wonderful to be away from school!

While I was away at St Peter's, my family bought a car. I was very happy to be home with my family, and I was also excited about the car! In 1925, anyone could drive a car. You did not need to learn a lot. My very old half-sister was twenty-one years old. She had two thirty-minute lessons, and then she could drive us in our car.

That day, seven of us sat in the car. In the car were my very old half-sister, my half-brother (eighteen years old), my sister (twelve years old), my mother (forty years old), two small sisters (eight and five years old) and me (nine years old). We were very excited.

"How fast will it go?" we asked our very old half-sister. "Will it go at fifty miles an hour?"

"It can go at sixty miles an hour!" she answered.

"Oh, let's make it go at sixty!" we shouted.

"We will go faster than that," she said.

My very old half-sister started the car, and we drove slowly through the village. People in the street were excited to see our car.

After five minutes, we left the village.

"You see! I can do it!" our very old half-sister said.

"Go faster!" we shouted. "We're only going at fifteen miles an hour!"

My half-sister began to make the car go at about thirty-five miles an hour. Then we came to a corner in the road.

"Help!" she shouted.

The car went into the side of the road. There was broken glass everywhere. My family were all OK, but I was badly hurt. My nose was nearly cut from my face.

My very old half-sister drove the broken car to the doctor very slowly, at about four miles an hour.

"Wow!" said the doctor. "Look at his nose!"

"It hurts," I cried.

"Please help him!" said my mother.

"Don't worry," said the doctor. "He will keep his nose."

An hour later, the doctor came to our house. I lay on a table, and someone put something white from a bottle on my face. It smelled very strong.

I tried to stand, but strong hands held me down on the table.

"Good boy," said the doctor. "Close your eyes and sleep."

After eight hours, I woke up, and my nose was back in its place. My mother gave me a coin. British coins always have a picture of the king or queen on them. In those days, the king was George V.

"Well done. This is for you," she said.


CHAPTER 6. Goat's tobacco

In 1926, my very old half-sister chose to marry an English doctor. He came on holiday with us to Norway My family always did everything together, but now my half-sister only wanted to be with this man. She was always with him, and they did not want to be with us. My other sisters and I were young - I was only nine years old - and we did not understand this.

We did not like the young doctor, because he took our sister from us. But we also did not like him because he smoked a pipe. He always had the pipe in his mouth, and it smelled very bad.

One day on the beach, the young doctor went swimming. He left his pipe with us and did not take it into the sea with him.

Then I saw some goat droppings on the ground, and I thought of a plan.

I quickly put some of the goat droppings in the pipe, under the tobacco. The young doctor came back and started smoking his pipe. My half-brother and sisters and I watched him.

"Ah-h-h-h," he said. "I love to smoke after a swim, and this English tobacco is the best. It's much better than Norwegian tobacco."

The sea was blue and the sun was bright. It was a beautiful day.

Then we heard a loud shout and watched the young doctor fly into the air. His pipe flew out of his mouth, and his face was the colour of snow.

"Help! Help! My body is on fire!" the doctor shouted.

My very old half-sister was very frightened. "What's wrong? Where does it hurt?" she cried. "Get the boat! Quickly! We must go to hospital!"

But the young doctor lay on the ground and breathed in the clean air. After five minutes, he started to feel better.

"What happened?" asked my very old half-sister.

"I don't know," said the doctor.

"I know! I know!" said my little sister, excitedly.

"Tell us!" said my very old half-sister.

"It's his pipe!" shouted my little sister.

"What's wrong with my pipe?" asked the doctor.

"It had goat droppings in it!" said my little sister, and she laughed.

My very old half-sister and the doctor quickly understood, and they were very angry. The doctor stood up. My half-brother, sisters and I quickly ran away from him into the sea.


CHAPTER 7. Repton

In 1929, my mother asked me, "Do you want to go to Marlborough or Repton?"

They were famous and expensive English schools, but I knew nothing about them other than that.

"Repton," I answered, because it was an easier word to say than "Marlborough".

"Very well," said my mother. "You will go to Repton."

Repton was a boarding school in the middle of England. Every Repton boy wore the same, very strange, uniform. I wore it, and my sisters laughed at me.

I felt stupid in the clothes for Repton, but in the street my mother said, "You look good in your school uniform. People can see it. They think you are important because you go to a famous school."

At the station, I saw many boys, and they all wore the same uniform. The train took us all away to Repton. I was thirteen years old.

Lots of strange things happened at Repton - they did at all English boarding schools. Older boys were always more important than younger boys, and a small group of the oldest boys were the most important of all.

At Repton, we called these boys "Boazers". Boazers told us what to do, and we had to do it. We cleaned the Boazers' rooms and made their fires. We sometimes cooked their breakfast. Boazers were always right, and younger boys were always wrong.

On Sundays, two other boys and I had to clean our Boazer's room. We cleaned it for hours. We washed the floor, the windows and the walls.

But the Boazer often found something wrong with our cleaning, and he hit us with a cane.

A Boazer could stand in any room of the school and shout about a job. Then every young boy had to run to him. The slowest boy had to do the job. One snowy morning, I heard a Boazer shout about a job. I ran as fast as possible, but I was the slowest boy to get there.

"Dahl, come here," said the Boazer. His name was Wilberforce. "Go and make my toilet warm."

At Repton, all the toilets were outside, and their little rooms had no doors. In winter, they were very cold. My job was to sit on the toilet before Wilberforce and make it warm for him.

I sat on the toilet for fifteen minutes, and then Wilberforce came.

"Is it warm?" he asked me.

"It's as warm as possible, Wilberforce."

"We will see," he said.

He sat on the toilet. "Very good," he said. "Very, very good. Some boys have cold bottoms. I only use boys with warm bottoms. I will not forget you."

He did not forget me. I always carried a book with me because I often had to sit on Wilberforce's toilet. It was very boring. In my first winter at Repton, I read many books by Charles Dickens on Wilberforce's toilet.

Not everything at school was bad. Sometimes all the boys got a grey box from a company called Cadbury's. Cadbury's made wonderful chocolates.

Inside the box were twelve different chocolates. We always knew one of them well, but eleven of them were new. There was also paper in the box. Our job was to try all the chocolates and write the good and bad things about each one on the paper.

Cadbury's plan to ask us about their new chocolates was a good one. Boys at Repton were some of the best chocolate customers in the world. Who knew more about chocolate than us?!

How do companies plan their new chocolates? I loved to think about this.

Many years later, I needed a story for a new book. I remembered those little boxes of chocolate at Repton, and I started to write my book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Sport is very important at English boarding schools, and we played a lot of it. Happily, I was good at sport, and I enjoyed it. Playing sport helped to make the long days shorter.

Life at school was easier for good sportsmen, but it was difficult for bad sportsmen. My favourite sport was a very fast game with a ball. It was called Fives. Because I was one of the best at Fives at Repton, I travelled to other boarding schools and played it with their boys. I also played football and a ball game called squash.

At school, I loved taking photos. Today, cameras are very easy to use, but in the 1920s they were difficult work. I had a big, heavy camera with glass plates. I made a darkroom near the school's music rooms, and I made many photos there.

"After school, do you want to study at Oxford or Cambridge?" my mother asked me one day. These are great and very famous places, and boys from good public schools normally wanted to study at them. But I did not want to study more. I chose to start work at a company called Shell because I wanted to see the world.

I travelled to many countries with Shell, but that is a different story and a different book. I may tell it one day.


- THE END -

 

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