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A young woman goes on stage and removes her entire face, which is a mask, revealing herself to be the Grand High Witch herself. She expresses displeasure at the English witches' failure to eliminate enough children and demands that they exterminate the lot of them before the next meeting.

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The Grand High Witch unveils her master plan: all of England's witches are to purchase sweet shops with money printed from her magical money-making machine and give away free sweets and chocolates laced with her latest creation, "Formula 86 delayed-action mouse-maker", a magic potion which, with a single drop, turns the consumer into a mouse at a specified time. The intent is that the children's teachers and parents can kill the transformed children.

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To demonstrate, the Grand High Witch turns a gluttonous child named Bruno Jenkins who is lured to the convention hall by the promise of free chocolate into a mouse. Shortly after, the witches detect the narrator's presence and corner him. The Grand High Witch then pours an entire bottle of Formula 86 down the narrator's throat, instantly turning him into a mouse.

The transformed child retains his sentience, personality and even his voice. After tracking down Bruno, the transformed boy returns to his grandmother's hotel room and tells her what he has learned. He suggests turning the tables on the witches by slipping the potion into their food. With some difficulty, he manages to get his hands on a bottle of the potion from the Grand High Witch's room.

After an attempt to return Bruno to his parents fails spectacularly, mainly due to Mrs. Jenkins's fear of mice, the grandmother takes Bruno and the narrator to the dining hall. The narrator enters the kitchen, where he pours the potion into the green pea soup intended for the witches' dinner.

On the way back from the kitchen, a cook spots the narrator and chops off part of his tail with a carving knife, before he manages to escape back to his grandmother.

The witches all turn into mice within a few minutes, having had massive overdoses. The hotel staff and the guests all panic and, unknowingly, end up killing the Grand High Witch and all of England's witches. Having returned home, the boy and his grandmother then devise a plan to rid the world of witches. They will travel to the Grand High Witch's Norwegian castle, and use the potion to change her successor and assistants into mice, then release cats to destroy them.

Using the Grand High Witch's money-making machine and information on witches in various countries, they will try to eradicate them everywhere. The grandmother also reveals that, as a mouse, the boy will probably only live about another nine years, but the boy does not mind as he does not want to outlive his grandmother she reveals that she is 86 and is also likely to live for only nine more years , as he would hate to have anyone else look after him. Dahl's children's stories have been praised as often as challenged. For instance, three of Dahl's stories appear in Publishers Weekly 's Bestselling Children's Books of all time until the year It was the third of four books by Dahl among the Top , more than any other writer.

However, The Witches was banned by some libraries due to perceived misogyny. One critic considers it an "unlikely source of inspiration for feminists. The most notable difference from the book is that the boy is restored to human form at the end of the story by the Grand High Witch's assistant a character who does not appear in the book , who had renounced her former evil.

Dahl regarded the film as "utterly appalling".

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The book was adapted into an opera by Norwegian composer Marcus Paus and his father Ole Paus , who wrote the libretto. It premiered in On 29 September , it was announced by Baz Bamigboye for the Daily Mail that a stage musical adaptation is in development, and was expected to premiere at the National Theatre, London for Christmas The musical was directed by Lyndsey Turner and feature a score by James Humphreys. A new film adaptation co-written and directed by Robert Zemeckis is to be released in The adaptation takes place in Alabama during the s and the protagonist is a black American boy.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: The Witches film.

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Main article: The Witches opera. Still Peace always thought of the other islands and the strange countries that lie beyond the blue waters of the Great Lake. One morning very early Peace was picking up loquats under a tree in her father's garden when a big crane came by, leaning forward as he walked and lifting his feet very high in the queer way all cranes have.

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He greeted the little Princess and told her he was going that day to Kavirondo to see his brother who had fever. My wings will keep you from falling off, and if you get giddy you can shut your eyes; but you must be brave and hold on very tightly, for it is a long journey, and we cannot stop in the middle. If you let go you will fall into the Great Lake and be drowned. We shall return this evening.

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Peace climbed on the crane's back, and he stretched his long neck, and put out his long legs behind him, and they started on their journey. Right over the blue waters they flew, passing the little islands, some of them so small that no one lives on them, only the diver birds who eat fish make their nests on the rocks. Then they left the islands far behind, and there was nothing round them but sky and water and golden sunshine.

Peace thought it all very beautiful, and she never forgot to hold very tightly to the crane's feathers and to sit quietly right in the middle of his broad back. At last they saw the shores of Kavirondo in the distance, and when they were well over the land the crane flew downwards. They stopped near a great rock, and Peace got down and looked round her, wondering at all she saw. Great dark hills jutting out into the Lake, the plain stretching for miles and miles round her, and beyond it the rugged Nandi escarpment, all so strange and different from the green slopes of Uganda.

The crane showed her a little crevice in the rock where it was cool and shady, and where she could sit comfortably and look down on the path below and see the people passing, and perhaps hear their language. Then the crane flew away to see his sick brother. Peace saw some Kavirondo warriors coming down the path; they wore helmets made of cowrie shells and big bunches of ostrich feathers, and they wore no clothes but beads, and had painted themselves white and yellow and red; and then some women passed, and Peace was rather shocked because they wore no clothes—only beads and shells and tags of leathers.

She looked away over the plain and saw their villages, several houses together with a big fence round, and fields of grain outside, no green banana gardens or fruit-trees or grass. Then the crane came back and said it was time to return or they would not reach Uganda before dark; so they started on again over the blue water towards the setting Sun, and when Peace saw the islands and the green shores in the distance she laughed for joy and said:. The big islands looked pink below them, and the crane explained that the millet harvest was ripe and the fields looked rose-coloured in the setting Sun.

Then they reached the King's palace, and Peace ran to her father and told him where she had been and all she had seen that wonderful day, and the King called the crane and thanked him for taking care of the little Princess and said:. The crane was very pleased, and lifted his feet higher than ever when he walked, and all the little cranes who were born after that had golden crests on their heads, and from that time they have been called "Golden-Crested Cranes. And if you go to Kavirondo you will still see the path by which Peace sat, only now it is a broad road and goes from Kisumu to Mumias, and perhaps you can find the rock on which she sat in the comfortable little crevice the crane found for her.

I N a lovely swamp on the borders of a river lived a family of grey herons. Each one was tall and thin, with a long graceful neck and a thin pointed beak, and they were a very grave family. None of them ever smiled; they stood in the water for hours together quite silently, and every now and then they ate up something that passed by. One day the old father heron was standing near the swamp-bridge, nearly hidden by the shady papyrus which waved far over his head, when a frog hopped on to the bridge. At that moment a snake wriggled out of the grass, and stopped in front of the frog.

The frog was terrified, but he pretended to be brave. Then the grey heron gobbled up the snake. The frog thanked him very much for saving his life, and he stayed a little while, telling him the news of the Capital. Just then an eagle flew over the swamp carrying a large branch in his talons. Something must have startled him, for he dropped the branch; the frog saw it dropping and hopped out of the way, but he did not warn the grey heron, and the branch fell on the poor bird and broke his neck.

Then they took the old grey heron away and made him a beautiful grave under the papyrus where the pink and blue water-lilies grow. And ever since that time grey herons always eat frogs. I don't think they could ever have been great friends, even in the old days, for the grey herons are quiet, dignified birds, and the frogs have always been noisy chatterboxes, who talk all night when nice people are in bed and asleep.

One day when his nurse had put him to sleep under a cedar-tree in the garden a great eagle swooped down and carried him away to her nest on the distant purple hills.

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The eagle had meant to eat him, but when she saw what a beautiful child he was she pitied him, and kept him to play with her little eaglets in the nest, and the eagles became his friends, and he learnt their language and many wonderful things about the birds and beasts and flowers. One day the eagle brought two kids to the nest, and the Prince begged her not to eat them, so the eagle gave him the kids, and they grew up in the nest too. When they were quite big goats the little Prince took them to the hill-side every day, and they played there with the other animals.

When the spring rains came the forests and jungles and swamps and hills were covered with flowers.


Great white lilies, five on a stalk, and tiger-lilies of yellow and red, and ground-orchids purple and yellow and white, and some so queer that they looked like bumble-bees, and little rock-flowers, and water-lilies pink and blue and mauve, and many other beautiful things; the little Prince knew them all by name. One day he was out on the hill-side and he trod on a sharp stone and cut his foot very deeply. The blood poured out, and he could not tie it up to stop the bleeding. All his friends hurried up and tried to help, but none of them could stop the bleeding.

Then the tall lily took her pure white petals and laid them on the wound and the bleeding stopped, but the petals were stained with blood, a broad crimson streak. Then they called the eagle and told her what had happened. So the Prince said good-bye to his friends, and the eagle carried him away to Mengo, where the King lived. The King and his chiefs were in the Council when a messenger came to say that a great eagle was circling round the house with a child in her talons.

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They all went out to see, and the eagle laid the little Prince at his father's feet, and the people called him "Prince Eagle "from that day. There was great rejoicing, and the King sat up all night listening to the stories about the jungle which the Prince told him. Then the King said: "It was the lily that saved my child's life; let me go and thank her myself. For ever and ever you shall wear a broad crimson stripe on every petal, that all the people may remember that you saved the life of the King's son.