My four friends and I found a loose floor-board at the back of the classroom, and when we lifted it with a pocket-knife, we found a big hole. This, we decided, would be our secret place for sweets and other little things. Every afternoon, when the last lesson was over, the five of us waited until the classroom was empty, then we lifted up the floor-board and examined our secrets.
One day, when we lifted it up, we found a dead mouse lying among our treasures. It was an exciting discovery. Thwaites took it out by its tail and waved it in front of our faces. ´What shall we do with it?´ he cried.
´It stinks!´ someone shouted. ´Throw it out of the window quick!´
´Hold on a second,´ I said. ´Don´t throw it away.´
Thwaites hesitated. They all looked at me.
´Why don´t we´, I said, ´slip it into one of Mrs Pratchett´s jars of sweets? Then when she puts her dirty hand in to grab a handful, she´ll grab a stinky dead mouse instead.´
The other four stared at me in wonder. Then they all started grinning. They slapped me on the back. They danced around the classroom. ´We´ll do it today!´ they cried. ´We´ll do it on the way home! You had the idea,´ they said to me, ´so you can be the one to put the mouse in the jar.´ Thwaites gave me the mouse. I put it into my trouser pocket. Then the five of us left the school and went toward the sweet-shop. We were excited. We felt like a gang of desperados setting out to rob a train or blow up the sheriff´s office.
´Make sure you put it into a jar which is used often,´ somebody said.
´I´ve got a penny,´ Thwaites said, ´so I´ll ask for one Sherbet Sucker and one Bootlace. And while she turns away to get them, you slip the mouse in quickly with the Gobstoppers.´
Thus everything was arranged. We entered the shop. We were the victors now and Mrs Pratchett was the victim. She stood behind the counter, and her small pig-eyes watched us suspiciously as we came forward.
´One Sherbet Sucker, please´ Thwaites said to her, holding out his penny.
I kept to the rear of the group, and when I saw Mrs Pratchett turn her head away for a couple of seconds to fish a Sherbet Sucker out of the box, I lifted the heavy glass lid of the Gobstopper jar and dropped the mouse in. Then I replaced the lid as silently as possible. My heart was thumping like mad.
´And one Bootlace, please,´ I heard Thwaites saying. When I turned round, I saw Mrs Pratchett holding out the Bootlace in her filthy fingers.
´Now, get out!´ she screamed at us.
As soon as we were outside, we broke into a run. Did you do it?´ they shouted at me.
´Of course I did!´ I said.
´Well done you!´ they cried. ´What a super show!´
I felt like a hero. I was a hero. It was marvellous to be so popular.
Dahl, R.: Boy. Tales of Childhood…
One of my favourite books 🙂 ….