James and the Giant Peach

Why do you think the insects have been waiting all day for James to arrive? What do you think will happen next?

James felt exactly like that now. He stared straight ahead with large frightened eyes, hardly daring to breathe .Not far away, in the middle of the garden; he could see the giant peach towering over everything else. Surely it was even bigger tonight than ever before? And what a dazzling sight it was! The moonlight was shining and glinting on its great curving sides, turning them to crystal and silver. It looked like a tremendous silver ball lying there in the grass, silent, mysterious, and wonderful.

And then all at once, little shivers of excitement started running over the skin on jame’s back. Something else, he told himself, something stranger than ever this time, is about to happen to me again soon. He was sure of it .He could feel it coming.

He looked around him, wondering what on earth it was going to be.The garden lay soft and silver in the moonlight. The grass was wet with dew and a million dewdrops were sparkling and twinkling like diamonds around his feet. And now suddenly, the whole place, the whole garden seemed to be alive with magi.

Almost without knowing what he was doing, as though drawn by some powerful magnet, James henry trotter started walking slowly toward the giant peach. He climbed over the fence that surrounded it, and stood directly beneath it, staring up at its great bulging sides. He put out a hand and touched it gently with the tip of one finger. It felt soft and warm and slightly furry, like the skin of a baby mouse. He moved a step closer and rubbed his cheek lightly against the soft skin. And then suddenly, while he was doing this, he happened to notice that right beside him and below him, close to the ground, there was a hole in the side of the peach .it was quiet a large hole, the sort of thing an animal about the size of a fox might have made. James knelt down in front of it and poked his head and shoulder inside .he crawled in he kept on crawling. This isn’t just a hole, he thought excitedly . It’s a tunnel!

The tunnel was damp and murky, and all around him there was the curious bittersweet smell of fresh peach. The floor was soggy under his knees, the walls were wet and sticky, and peach huice was dripping from the ceiling .James opened his mouth and caught some of it on his tongue. It tasted delicious.

He was crawling uphill now, as though the tunnel were leading straight toward the very center of the gigantic fruit. Every few second he paused and took a bite out of the wall. The peach flesh was sweet and juicy, and marvelously refreshing.

He crawled on for several more yards and then suddenly –band—the top of his head bumped into something extremely hard blocking his way. He glanced up. In front of him there was a solid wall that seemed at first as though it were made of wood. He touched it with his finger .it certainly felt like wood, except that it was very jagged and full of deep grooves.

“Good heavens! He said.” I know what this is! I’ve come to the stone in the middle of the peach!”. Then he noticed that there was a small door cut into the face of the peach stone. He gave a push. It swung open. He crawled through it, and before h had time to glance up and see where he was, he heard a voice saying ,”Look who’s here!”.and another one said,” we’ve been waiting for you!” James stopped and stared at the speakers, his face white with horror. He started to stand up , but his knees were shaking so much he had to sit down again on the floor . He glanced behind him, thinking he could bolt back into the tunnel the way he had come, but the doorway had disappeared. There was now only a solid brown wall behind him.

James’s large frightened eyes traveled slowly around the room.

The creatures, some sitting on chairs, others reclining on a sofa, were all watching him intently. Creatures? Or were they insect? An insect is usually something rather small, is it not? A grasshopper, for example, is an insect.

So what would you call it if you saw a grasshopper as large as a dog? As large as a large dog. You could hardly call that an insect , could you? There was an old-green- grasshopper as large as a large dog sitting on a stool directly across the room from james now.And next to the old-Green_grasshopper,there was an enormous spider. And next to the spider, there was a giant ladybug with nine black spots on her scarlet shell. Each of these three was squatting upon a magnificent chair.

On a sofa nearby,reclining comfortably in curled-up positions,there was a centipede and an earthworm.

On the floor over in the far corner,there was something thick and white that looked as though it might be a silkworm.But it was sleeping soundly and nobody was paying any attention to it.

Every one of these “creatures” was at least as big as james himself and in the strange greenish light that shone down from somewhere in the ceiling, they were absolutely terrifying to behold.

“I’m hungry!” the spider announced suddenly, staring hard at James.

“I’m famished!” the old-grasshopper said.

“so am I!” the ladybug cried.

The centipede sat up a little straighter on the sofa.”Everyone’s famished!” he said. “We need food!”

Four pairs of round black glassy eyes were all fixed upon james.The centipede made a wriggling movement with his body as though he were about to glide off the sofa—but he didn’t.

There was a long pause—and a long silence. The spider (who happened to be a female spider) opened her mouth and ran a long black tongue delicately over her lips.”Aren’t you hungry?” she asked suddenly, leaning forward and addressing herself to james.

Poor james was backed up against the far wall, shivering with fright arid much too terrified to answer.

“What’s the matter with you?” the old-green-grasshopper asked.”You look positively ill!”

“He looks as though he’s going to faint any second,”the centipede said.”Oh my goodness, the poor thing!” the ladybug cried.”I do believe he thinks it’s him that we are wanting to eat!”There was a roar of laughter from all sides.

“Oh dear, oh dear!” they said. “What an awful thought!”

“You mustn’t be frightened,” the ladybug said kindly. “We wouldn’t dream of hurting you. You are one of us now, didn’t you know that? You are one of the crew. We’re all in the same boat.”

“We’ve been waiting for you all day long, the old-green-grasshopper said.”We thought you were never going to turn up .I’m glad you made it.”

“So cheer up, my boy, cheer up!”The centipede said. “And meanwhile I wish you’d come over here and give me a hand with these boots. It takes me hours to get them all off by

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They seem hungry as well as the centipede needs a "hand with these boots."