Sunday, October 31, 2010


Last week I cracked open The Witches, by Roald Dahl and read a little aloud to my class. He begins by explaining that witches are nearly indistinguishable from the general population. My class got a particular thrill out of the line, "She might even--and this will make you jump--she might even be your lovely school-teacher who is reading these words to you at this very moment." The book goes on to innumerate the differences between ordinary women and witches, so I decided to have a little fun with them. Observe:

"Chapter 2: How to Recognize a Witch"
  1. A REAL WITCH always wears gloves to hide the curvy catlike claws she possesses instead of fingernails. (At this, I held up my ordinary, albeit bright red, fingernails for inspection.)
  2. A REAL WITCH is "bald as a boiled egg," so she must wear wigs that make her scalp itch dreadfully. (I yanked on my own hair to prove it was not a wig.)
  3. A REAL WITCH has large nostrils that are able to smell out children. (I displayed my average ones.)
  4. A REAL WITCH has colorful pupils. (I allowed my students to examine my boring black ones.)
  5. A REAL WITCH never has toes, only square feet that she squeezes into tiny shoes to avoid detection. (At this, I showed off my pointy little high heels, which were killing me, then popped them off to display my toes, much to my students' disgust and relief.)
  6. A REAL WITCH has blue spit. (I snatched a tissue from the box, turned around, slid a blue marker from my sleeve and scribbled on the tissue. Then I spat a bit on it, and, with a flourish, presented the tissue to the nearest student, who said, in a quaky voice, "It's BLUE!" All hell broke loose, but eventually I showed them how I had done it and we all had a good laugh.)