“The Boy Who Talked with Animals”

"The Boy Who Talked with Animals"

‘We sees that old monster turtle swimming away out there, the one on the beach yesterday, and we sees the boy sitting high up on the turtle’s back and riding him over the sea like a horse!’

Patrick Benson
The Boy Who Talked with Animals
ink and watercolour
Image size: 26.2 by 40 cm

This watercolour is reproduced across pages 98 and 99 of The Roald Dahl Treasury to illustrate ‘The Boy Who Talked to Animals’ from The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. A turtle has landed on a beach in Jamaica and everyone wants to kill it for the meat and its shell. A small boy David becomes hysterical and tries to save the turtle. He talks to the turtle and tells it to swim away. During the night the boy himself disappears and next day two local fishermen come back with a crazy story.