It must have been about 18 years since the last time I read this novel. I recall excitedly reading every Roald Dahl novel I could get my hands on, I never owned any of them and got them all at the local library.
Thanks to a friend, I now own the entire set and am reliving my childhood.
Esio Trot was a strange story (as they all are). It’s about a shy old man, Mr. Hoppy, who is in love with the woman, Ms. Silver, who stays on the floor below him. Every day he watches her feed her tortoise, Alfie, wishing desperately he had enough courage to speak to her.
As she complained about Alfie growing so slowly, he saw an opening, jumped in and told her that he knew of a way to speed up the process. She was so happy that she offered to be his “slave for life”.
He went off to the pet store and bought as many tortoises as he could, made sure they all looked like her tortoise and weighed them all so that he had a variety of sizes. For the next few weeks, he would lean over his balcony and replace her tortoise with a slightly bigger one and each day she would mutter complete rubbish believing it’s a spell that would work.
This continued until she noticed how much her tortoise had grown and she was so grateful that she decided to marry him.
Now, as a kid, I was stuck on the fact that Esio Trot was tortoise spelled backwards, this was so clever to me, that the rest of the story didn’t matter at all.
However, as an adult, I have some issues with this story. Firstly, WHERE IS HER ALFIE?
It’s so rude! How could he just toss her actual tortoise aside? I would be furious, but no, in here, she marries the man who lied to her and stole her tortoise. What a weird lie.
I couldn’t help but laugh at this entire story. It’s absolutely ridiculous.
I am thoroughly excited to reread the RIDICULOUSNESS in the rest of them.
Shameez, a reader.