…But not exactly six more, for me anyways:
The Boy Who Talked With Animals
This is the first truly odd story I’ve read of Dahl’s so far. A man vacations in Jamaica and tries to have a relaxing time, such as reading a book and watching a lizard-fight which also could have been a mating ritual in between paragraphs (I may be exaggerating the moment, but the idea is plain). He then becomes distracted by a canoe having come in with a surplus of fish. Then he realizes it’s because the fisherman has overturned a turtle and is trying to keep the crowd at bay.
One man goes so far as to bid for the turtle’s shell to be shot down and told the turtle was already bought by the hotel manager. The man meanwhile, reminisces how old the turtle must be and what ages he lived through and how much older he must be than these petty humans bidding for his shell. It’s quite similar to the Rudyard Kipling elephant story.
The crowd of men then decide to drag the turtle to the hotel themselves rather than wait for the staff to come and do it. The fisherman protests, but to no avail. Then a little boy’s shrieks of despair make the men stop and wonder where the screams were coming from. The men try to ignore him, but the father explains the boy’s reacting is caused by his love for animals. His father convinces the manager to accept being paid off and letting the turtle go. Then the next day the boy goes missing. Then hilariously becomes similar to Whale Rider when natives see the boy riding the turtle’s back in the ocean from their canoe. When coaxing the boy back with them doesn’t work, they inform the manager and he suggests they all go back out and look for the boy again.
The boy isn’t found until a year later by some Americans who are off the coast of a small island and spot a boy and a turtle who, when the boy senses he’s being watched, hops on the turtle and swims around the island to disappear yet again. The ending leads the reader to believe the boy made his most happiest of decisions and lived there ever after.
A man in a nice car picks up a hitch-hiker traveling through London to get to a Derby race. The hitch-hiker gets the man to drive his car 120 mph, gets pulled over by a cop and then discovers the “hitcher” is talented in the “butter-finger” capacity. After giving the ride-giver a demonstration, by slowly revealing the items he nicked off him whilst in the car, he explains why he goes to the race-track to “rob from the rich” with his “finger-smith” talent, only going after those cashing in for the “large bundles” and the rich-looking. They both get off free and easy since it ends a bit openly, but still entertainingly.
I unfortunately don’t have enough patience to even bother reading this collection of short-stories, let alone for the namesake, so I’ll have to be satisfied with the couple I have read, and move on to the “sure thing” of Matilda. To read my review of James & The Giant Peach.