If that title didn’t catch your attention, I don’t know what will. In fact, already in my mind’s eye I can see my dad catching his breath as the title of the post shows up in his reader, and his heart skips a beat.
No dad, it’s nothing like that.
For the past several years I’ve had this idea. It’s a perfectly, awfully wonderful idea, too. You see, back in 1983 master storyteller, Roald Dahl, published a delightfully horrible book, The Witches. It’s a story that starts out giving a warning to children about witches and how they are indeed real.
Dahl goes on to give a set of helps so that children can recognize these witches who walk among us. Of the things he says to look for, he lets the reader know that witches are completely bald, and must therefore wear wigs to hide this fact. He lets us know that witches have to scratch their heads continually because these wigs are so itchy. He tells the reader that witches have no toes, and therefore will often wear shoes without points to them, or will be forced to cram their feet into pointy shoes that are quite uncomfortable. He mentions that witches have long, curved fingernails and they hide this fact by wearing gloves. And lastly, he tells us that witches will often crinkle their noses when around children because children smell like dogs’ droppings to them.
Brilliant says I.
The story goes on with the following:
For all you know, a witch might be living next door to you right now. Or she might be the woman with the bright eyes who sat opposite you on the bus this morning. She might be the lady with the dazzling smile who offered you a sweet from a white paper bag in the street before lunch. She might even — and this will make you jump — she might even be your lovely schoolteacher who is reading these words to you at this very moment. Look at that teacher. Perhaps she is smiling at the absurdity of such a suggestion. Don't let that put you off. It could be part of her cleverness. I am not, of course, telling you for one second that your teacher actually is a witch. All I am saying is that she might be one. It is most unlikely. But — and here comes the big "but" — it is not impossible.
Can you already see the brilliantly, brilliant idea which had formed in my head?
Of course you have. For you also my friend, are nefarious.
Could I just tell you that if I were a female schoolteacher that I’d start the school year off wearing gloves every day? Could I share with you that I’d scratch my head all the time, and try to look like I were being secretive about it? Might I share that I would act like I were around a skunk when standing next to one of my students? Could I let you know that I would wear the most ugly shoes I could possibly find?
Oh, the deviousness of me.
Then, after the first week of school, I’d start read-aloud time; The Witches would be the very first book I would read to them. When I reached the part about the possibility of their teacher being a witch, but how it is most unlikely, I’d laugh—something akin to the Wicked Witch of the West. I’d tell them that it was absolutely absurd—the idea of therereally being anything such as witches. Then I’d scratch my head with my gloved fingers and crinkle my nose.
I’d love to teach second grade just for this.
I know; I’m a terrible person.
Image garnered from geeksofdoom.com