The Twits Read online
Other books by Roald Dahl
THE ENORMOUS CROCODILE
FANTASTIC MR FOX
THE GIRAFFE AND THE PELLY AND ME
THE MAGIC FINGER
For older readers
BOY: TALES OF CHILDHOOD
BOY and GOING SOLO
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
CHARLIE AND THE GREAT GLASS ELEVATOR
THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF CHARLIE AND MR WILLY WONKA DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD
GEORGE'S MARVELLOUS MEDICINE
JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH
DIRTY BEASTS (with Quentin Blake) THE ENORMOUS CROCODILE (with Quentin Blake) THE GIRAFFE AND THE PELLY AND ME (with Quentin Blake) THE MINPINS (with Patrick Benson) REVOLTING RHYMES (with Quentin Blake) Plays
THE BFG: PLAYS FOR CHILDREN (Adapted by David Wood) CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: A PLAY (Adapted by Richard George) FANTASTIC MR FOX: A PLAY (Adapkd by Sally Reid) JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH: A PLAY (Adapkd by Richard George) THE TWITS: PLAYS FOR CHILDREN (Adapted by David Wood) THE WITCHES: PLAYS FOR CHILDREN (Adapted by David Wood) Teenage fiction
THE GREAT AUTOMATIC GRAMMATIZATOR AND OTHER STORIES
SKIN AND OTHER STORIES
THE VICAR OF NIBBLESWICKE
THE WONDERFUL STORY OF HENRY SUGAR AND SIX MORE
Published by the Penguin Group
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(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) Penguin Ireland. 25 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England puffinbooks.com
First published by Jonathan Cape Ltd 1980
Published in Puffin Books 1982
This edition published 2007
Text copyright (c) Roald Dahl Nominee Ltd, 1980
Illustrations copyright (c) Quenlin Blake, 1980
All rights reserved
The moral right of the author and illustrator has been asserted Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN: 978-0-14-193016-9
The Glass Eye
The Wormy Spaghetti
The Funny Walking-stick
Mrs Twit Has the Shrinks
Mrs Twit Gets a Stretching
Mrs Twit Goes Ballooning Up
Mrs Twit Comes Ballooning Down
Mr Twit Gets a Horrid Shock
The House, the Tree and the Monkey Cage
Hugtight Sticky Glue
Four Sticky Little Boys
The Great Upside Down Monkey Circus
The Roly-Poly Bird to the Rescue
No Bird Pie for Mr Twit
Still No Bird Pie for Mr Twit
Mr and Mrs Twit Go Off to Buy Guns
Muggle-Wump Has an Idea
The Great Glue Painting Begins
The Carpet Goes on the Ceiling
The Furniture Goes Up
The Ravens Swoop Over
The Twits Are Turned Upside Down
The Monkeys Escape
The Twits Get the Shrinks
What a lot of hairy-faced men there are around nowadays.
When a man grows hair all over his face it is impossible to tell what he really looks like.
Perhaps that's why he does it. He'd rather you didn't know.
Then there's the problem of washing.
When the very hairy ones wash their faces, it must be as big a job as when you and I wash the hair on our heads.
So what I want to know is this. How often do all these hairy-faced men wash their faces? Is it only once a week, like us, on Sunday nights? And do they shampoo it? Do they use a hairdryer? Do they rub hair-tonic in to stop their faces from going bald? Do they go to a barber to have their hairy faces cut and trimmed or do they do it themselves in front of the bathroom mirror with nail-scissors?
I don't know. But next time you see a man with a hairy face (which will probably be as soon as you step out on to the street) maybe you will look at him more closely and start wondering about some of these things.
Mr Twit was one of these very hairy-faced men. The whole of his face except for his forehead, his eyes and his nose was covered with thick hair. The stuff even sprouted in revolting tufts out of his nostrils and ear-holes.
Mr Twit felt that this hairiness made him look terrifically wise and grand. But in truth he was neither of these things. Mr Twit was a twit. He was born a twit. And now at the age of sixty, he was a bigger twit than ever.
The hair on Mr Twit's face didn't grow smooth and matted as it does on most hairy-faced men. It grew in spikes that stuck out straight like the bristles of a nailbrush.
And how often did Mr Twit wash this bristly nailbrushy face of his?
The answer is NEVER, not even on Sundays.
He hadn't washed it for years.
As you know, an ordinary unhairy face like yours or mine simply gets a bit smudgy if it is not washed often enough, and there's nothing so awful about that.
But a hairy face is a very different matter. Things cling to hairs, especially food. Things like gravy go right in among the hairs and stay there. You and I can wipe our smooth faces with a flannel and we quickly look more or less all right again, but the hairy man cannot do that.
We can also, if we are careful, eat our meals without spreading food all over our faces. But not so the hairy man. Watch carefully next time you see a hairy man eating his lunch and you will notice that even if he opens his mouth very wide, it is impossible for him to get a spoonful of beef-stew or ice-cream and chocolate sauce into it without leaving some of it on the hairs.
Mr Twit didn't even bother to open his mouth wide when he ate. As a result (and because he never washed) there were always hundreds of bits of old breakfasts and lunches and suppers sticking to the hairs around his face. They weren't big bits, mind you, because he used to wipe those off with the back of his hand or on his sleeve while he was eating. But if you looked closely (not that you'd ever want to) you would see tiny little specks of dried-up scrambled eggs stuck to the hairs, and spinach and tomato ketchup and fish fingers and minced chicken livers and all the other disgusting things Mr Twit liked to eat.
If you looked closer still (