Read The BFG Online

Authors: Roald Dahl

Tags: #children

The BFG (9 page)

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‘What’s the matter?’ Sophie asked.
‘It’s a trogglehumper!’ he shouted. His voice was filled with fury and anguish. ‘Oh, save our solos!’ he cried. ‘Deliver us from weasels! The devil is dancing on my dibbler!’
you talking about?’ Sophie said. The BFG was getting more distressed every moment.
‘Oh, bash my eyebones!’ he cried, waving the jar in the air. ‘I come all this way to get lovely golden dreams and what is I catching?’
you catching?’ Sophie said.
‘I is catching a frightsome trogglehumper!’ he cried. ‘This is a
bad bad dream
! It is worse than a bad dream! It is a nightmare!’
‘Oh dear,’ Sophie said. ‘What will you do with that?’
‘I is never never letting it go!’ the BFG cried. ‘If I do, then some poor little totder will be having the most curdbloodling time! This one is a real kicksy bog-thumper! I is exploding it as soon as I get home!’
‘Nightmares are horrible,’ Sophie said. ‘I had one once and I woke up sweating all over.’
‘With this one you would be waking up
all over!’ the BFG said. ‘This one would make your teeth stand on end! If this one got into you, your blood would be freezing to icicles and your skin would go creeping across the floor!’
‘Is it as bad as that?’
‘It’s worse!’ cried the BFG. ‘This is a real whoppsy grobswitcher!’
‘You said it was a trogglehumper,’ Sophie told him.
a trogglehumper!’ cried the exasperated BFG. ‘But it is also a
and a
! It is all three riddled into one! Oh, I is so glad I is clutching it tight. Ah, you wicked beastie, you!’ he cried, holding up the jar and staring into it. ‘Never more is you going to be bunkdoodling the poor little human-beaney totders!’
Sophie, who was also staring into the glass jar, cried out, ‘I can see it! There’s something in there!’
‘Of course there is something in there,’ the BFG said. ‘You is looking at a frightsome trogglehumper.’
‘But you told me dreams were invisible.’
‘They is always invisible until they is
,’ the BFG told her. ‘After that they is losing a little of their invisibility. We is seeing this one very clearly.’
Inside the jar Sophie could see the faint scarlet outline of something that looked like a mixture between a blob of gas and a bubble of jelly. It was moving violently, thrashing against the sides of the jar and forever changing shape.


‘It’s wiggling all over the place!’ Sophie cried. ‘It’s fighting to get out! It’ll bash itself to bits!’
‘The nastier the dream, the angrier it is getting when it is in prison,’ the BFG said. ‘It is the same as with wild animals. If an animal is very fierce and you is putting it in a cage, it will make a tremendous rumpledumpus. If it is a nice animal like a cockatootloo or a foggle-frump, it will sit quietly. Dreams is exactly the same. This one is a nasty fierce bogrotting nightmare. Just look at him splashing himself against the glass!’
‘It’s quite frightening!’ Sophie cried.
‘I would be hating to get this one inside me on a darksome night,’ the BFG said.
‘So would I!’ Sophie said.
The BFG started putting the bottles back into the suitcase.
‘Is that all?’ Sophie asked. ‘Are we going?’
‘I is so upset by this trogglehumping bogthumping grobswitcher,’ the BFG said, ‘that I is not wishing to go on. Dream-catching is finished for today.’
Soon Sophie was back in the waistcoat pocket and the BFG was racing home as fast as he could go. When, at last, they emerged out of the mist and came again on to the hot yellow wasteland, all the other giants were sprawled out on the ground, fast asleep.
A Trogglehumper for


the Fleshlumpeater
‘They is always having fifty winks before they goes scumpering off to hunt human beans in the evening,’ the BFG said. He stopped for a few moments to let Sophie have a better look. ‘Giants is only sleeping every then and now,’ he said. ‘Not nearly as much as human beans. Human beans is crazy for sleeping. Is it ever occurring to you that a human bean who is fifty is spending about
years sleeping fast?’
‘I must admit that never occurred to me,’ Sophie said.
‘You should
it to occur to you,’ the BFG said. ‘Imagine it please. This human bean who says he is fifty has been fast asleep for twenty years and is not even knowing where he is! Not even
anything! Not even thinking!’
‘It’s a funny thought,’ Sophie said.
‘Exunckly,’ the BFG said. ‘So what I is trying to explain to you is that a human bean who says he is fifty is not fifty, he is only thirty.’
‘What about me?’ Sophie said. ‘I am eight.’
‘You is not eight at all,’ the BFG said. ‘Human bean babies and little chiddlers is spending half their time sleeping, so you is only four.’
‘I’m eight,’ Sophie said.
‘You may
you is eight,’ the BFG said, ‘but you has only spent four years of your life with your little eyes open. You is only four and please stop higgling me. Titchy little snapperwhippers like you should not be higgling around with an old sage and onions who is hundreds of years more than you.’
‘How much do giants sleep?’ Sophie asked.
‘They is never wasting much time snozzling,’ the BFG said. ‘Two or three hours is enough.’
‘When do
sleep?’ Sophie asked.
‘Even less,’ the BFG answered. ‘I is sleeping only once in a blue baboon.’
Sophie, peeping out from her pocket, examined the nine sleeping giants. They looked even more grotesque now than when they were awake. Sprawled out across the yellow plain, they covered an area about the size of a football field. Most of them were lying on their backs with their enormous mouths wide open, and they were snoring like foghorns. The noise was awful.
Suddenly the BFG gave a jump in the air. ‘By gumfrog!’ he cried. ‘I is just having the most whoppsy-whiffling idea!’
‘What?’ Sophie said.
‘Wait!’ he cried. ‘Hold your horsefeathers! Keep your skirt on! Just you wait to see what I is going to bring about!’ He galloped off fast to his cave with Sophie hanging on tight to the rim of the pocket. He rolled back the stone. He entered the cave. He was very excited. He was moving quickly. ‘You stay where you is in my pocket, huggybee,’ he said. ‘We is doing this lovely bit of buckswashling both together.’ He laid aside the dream-catching net but hung on to the suitcase. He ran across to the other side of the cave and grabbed the long trumpet thing, the one he had been carrying when Sophie had first seen him in the village. With the suitcase in one hand and the trumpet in the other, he dashed out of the cave.
he up to now? Sophie wondered.
‘Peep your head up good,’ the BFG said, ‘then you will get a fine winkle of what is going on.’
When the BFG came near to the sleeping giants, he slowed his pace. He began moving softly. He crept on his toes towards the ugly brutes. They were still snoring loudly. They looked repulsive, filthy, diabolical. The BFG tip-toed around them. He went past the Gizzardgulper, the Bloodbottler, the Meatdripper, the Childchewer. Then he stopped. He had reached the Fleshlumpeater. He pointed at him, then he looked down at Sophie and gave her a big wink.
He knelt on the ground and very quietly he opened the suitcase. He took out of it the glass jar containing the terrible nightmarish trogglehumper.
At that point, Sophie guessed what was going to happen next.
, she thought. This could be rather dangerous. She crouched lower in the pocket so that only the top of her head and her eyes were showing. She wanted to be ready to duck out of sight very fast should anything go wrong.
They were about ten feet away from the Fleshlumpeater’s face. The snoring-snorting noise he was making was disgusting. Every now and again a big bubble of spit formed between his two open lips and men it would burst with a splash and cover his face with saliva.
Taking infinite care, the BFG unscrewed the top of the glass jar and tipped the squiggling squirming faintly scarlet trogglehumper into the wide end of his long trumpet. He put the other end of the trumpet to his lips. He aimed the instrument directly at the Fleshlumpeater’s face. He took a deep breath, puffed out his cheeks and then
! He blew!
Sophie saw a flash of pale red go darting towards the giant’s face. For a split second it hovered above the face. Then it was gone. It seemed to have been sucked up the giant’s nose, but it had all happened so quickly, Sophie couldn’t be sure.
‘We had better be skiddling away quick to where it is safe,’ the BFG whispered. He trotted off for about a hundred yards, then he stopped. He crouched low to the earth. ‘Now,’ he said, ‘we is waiting for the gun and flames to begin.’


They didn’t have long to wait.
The air was suddenly pierced by the most fearful roar Sophie had ever heard, and she saw the Fleshlumpeater’s body, all fifty-four feet of it, rise up off the ground and fall back again with a thump. Then it began to wriggle and twist and bounce about in the most violent fashion. It was quite frightening to watch.
‘Eeeow!’ roared the Fleshlumpeater. ‘Ayeee! Oooow!’
‘He’s still asleep,’ the BFG whispered. ‘The terrible trogglehumping nightmare is beginning to hit him.’
‘Serves him right,’ Sophie said. She could feel no sympathy for this great brute who ate children as though they were sugar-lumps.


‘Save us!’ screamed the Fleshlumpeater, thrashing about madly. ‘He is after me! He is getting me!’
The thrashing of limbs and the waving of arms became more violent by the second. It was an awesome thing to watch such a massive creature having such mighty convulsions.
‘It’s Jack!’ bellowed the Fleshlumpeater. ‘It’s the grueful gruncious Jack! Jack is after me! Jack is wack-crackling me! Jack is spikesticking me! Jack is splash-plunking me! It is the terrible frightswipingjack!’ The Fleshlumpeater was writhing about over the ground like some colossal tortured snake. ‘Oh, spare me, Jack!’ he yelled. ‘Don’t hurt me, Jack!’
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