Roald Dahl

“The Ant-Eater”

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Plot Description

Spoiler warning! In the U.S.A., near San Francisco, lived a very stupid and spoiled boy named Roy. His parents bought him everything he ever wanted. One day he decided that he wanted a peculiar pet that no one else owned: he wanted a giant ant-eater. His father wrote to all the zoos, but none of them would sell their ant-eaters. Finally the father found an Indian man willing to part with his for 50,000 gold rupees. When the ant-eater arrived, it was half-dead with starvation from the long journey. He asked Roy for food, but the cruel boy told the ant-eater to go find ants. Unfortunately there weren’t any in the garden. The ant-eater again begged for food, but Roy told him to eat ants. That very day, Roy’s aunt Dorothy came to visit. She was a foul old hag of 83. Roy introduced her to the ant-eater saying, “Ant-eater! Don’t lie there yawning! / This is my ant! Come say good-morning!” (Here the narrator interjects to point out that Americans say “aunt” and “can’t” incorrectly.) The ant-eater was excited to see such a huge “ant” and quickly gobbled her up. Roy fled to the potting shed and hid. “But ant-eater came sneaking in / (Already it was much less thin) . And said to Roy, ‘You little squirt, / I think I’ll have you for dessert.'”