The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me
Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake
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Who needs a ladder when you’ve got a giraffe with an extended neck?
The Ladderless Window-Cleaning Company certainly doesn't. They don’t need a pail, either, because they have a pelican with a bucket-sized beak. With a monkey to do the washing and Billy as their manager, this business is destined for success. Now they have their big break—a chance to clean all 677 windows of the Hampshire House, owned by the richest man in all of England! That’s exciting enough, but along the way there are surprises and adventures beyond their wildest window-washing dreams.
wide open and out popped a Monkey! The Monkey stood on the window-sill and did a jiggly little dance. He was so skinny he seemed to be made only out of furry bits of wire, but he danced wonderfully well, and I clapped and cheered and did a little dance myself in return. ‘We are the Window-Cleaners!’ sang out the Monkey. ‘We will polish your glass Till it’s shining like brass And it sparkles like sun on the sea! We are quick and polite, We will come day or night, The Giraffe and the
perched on the very top of the Giraffe’s head. And away we went. It wasn’t long before we came to the gates of Hampshire House, and as the Giraffe moved slowly up the great wide driveway, we all began to feel just a little bit nervous. ‘What’s he like, this Duke?’ the Giraffe asked me. ‘I don’t know,’ I said. ‘But he’s very very famous and very rich. People say he has twenty-five gardeners just to look after his flower-beds.’ Soon the huge house itself came into view, and what a house it
Suddenly he pulled the handle of his walking-stick upwards, and out of the hollow inside of the stick itself he drew a long thin sharp shining sword. ‘I’ll run him through!’ he shouted, flourishing the sword like a fencer. ‘Open up, Pelican! Let me get at him! I’ll run the bounder through before he knows what’s happened to him! I’ll spike him like a pat of butter! I’ll feed his gizzards to my foxhounds!’ But the Pelican did not open his beak. He kept it firmly closed and shook his head at the
Pelly and the Monkey, and they insisted upon giving it to the Duke for nothing. Then builders and carpenters moved in and rebuilt the whole of the inside so that once again it had three floors. On all these floors they put together rows and rows of tall shelves, and there were ladders to climb up to the highest shelves and baskets to carry what you bought. Then the sweets and chocs and toffees and fudges and nougats began pouring in to fill the shelves. They came by aeroplane from every
landed with a wonderful splintering crash just beside the bathtub. This was followed by a kitchen sink and an empty canary-cage and a four-poster bed and two hot-water bottles and a rocking horse and a sewing-machine and goodness knows what else besides. It looked as though some madman was ripping out the whole of the inside of the house, because now pieces of staircase and bits of the banisters and a whole lot of old floorboards came whistling through the windows. Then there was silence. I