Roald Dahl

George’s Marvellous Medicine

“So give me a bug and a jumping flea,
Give me two snails and lizards three,
And a slimy squiggler from the sea,
And the poisonous sting of a bumblebee,
And the juice from the fruit of the ju-jube tree,
And the powdered bone of a wombat’s knee,
And one hundred things as well
Each with a rather nasty smell.
I’ll stir them up, I’ll boil them long,
A mixture tough, a mixture strong.

“And then, heigh-ho, and down it goes,
A nice big spoonful (hold your nose)
Just gulp it down and have no fear.
“How do you like it, Granny dear?”
Will she go pop? Will she explode?
Will she go flying down the road?
Will she go poof in a puff of smoke?
Start fizzing like a can of Coke?
Who knows? Not I. Let’s wait and see.
(I’m glad it’s neither you nor me.)
Oh Grandma, if you only knew
What I have got in store for you!

“Fiery broth and witch’s brew
Foamy froth and riches blue
Fume and spume and spoondrift spray
Fizzle swizzle shout hooray
Watch it sloshing, swashing, sploshing
Hear it hissing, squishing, spissing
Grandma better start to pray.”

“Here we go then,” cried George, jumping up from the table…

“A magic medicine it shall be!
A marvellous mixture bright!
I think that I can guarantee
To give the hag a fright,
But we shall have to wait and see
If I can get it right.

“I’ll mix some pretty funny things
Together in the pot,
Like hornets’ stings and dragons’ wings
And then I’ll add a lot
Of goblins’ gunge and fairy rings
And anything I’ve got.

“Will she go bang? Will she go squish?
Perhaps she will disappear.
Maybe she’ll steam like new-boiled fish
Or froth like bottle beer.
I’m certain that she’ll wish and wish
She’d never had me near.

“Oh Grandma, if you only knew
What I have got in store for you.”