When I was in primary school, I loved my Italian teacher. She was simply awesome.
To give you an idea about how awesome she was, let me just tell you that she spent at least one hour every week reading aloud to us, little boys and girls.
One of the books she picked was ‘The Witches’ by Roald Dahl.
You still wonder why I loved her? I don’t think so.
So, well, yeah. I didn’t really READ the book.
I glanced at a couple of pictures – those fantastic illustrations by Quentin Blake – but that’s as close as I got to the book itself.
That was plenty enough, though.
It was the first time I met Roald Dahl and it was the kind of experience you never forget.
He is probably the first one from whom I learned about witches.
They don’t fly on brooms. They don’t wear pointy black hats. They don’t live in dark castles.
Instead, they look like normal women. They wear normal clothes. And they don’t leave in dark castles at all, but in ordinary houses, like anybody else.
Most of all, they hate children. Fondly. So much, they want to get rid of all of them in the world.
Don’t worry though, – well, a little bit, maybe – because there are ways to recognize them.
For example, they have long, sharp claws. That’s why they wear gloves all the time.
They are all bald. Therefore they use wigs.
And they have gigantic toe-less feet, which they hide in women shoes, that make them limp quite noticeably.
This and other tales a young boy hears from his grandmother, who also warns him to pay particular attention as they move to England, because English witches are the cruelest you could ever come across.
The young boy gets then quite worried when they arrive in Bournemouth and he notices something.
The woman on the stage, the one talking during the gathering of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, looks weird. She wears gloves and her eyes seem like changing color from time to time…could she be…?
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