فصل 07

کتاب: بی. اف. جی / فصل 7

فصل 07

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The Marvellous Ears

Back in the cave, the Big Friendly Giant sat Sophie down once again on the enormous table. Is you quite snuggly there in your nightie? he asked. You isnt fridgy cold?

Im fine, Sophie said.

I cannot help thinking, said the BFG, about your poor mother and father. By now they must be jipping and skumping all over the house shouting “Hello hello where is Sophie gone?”

I dont have a mother and father, Sophie said. They both died when I was a baby.

Oh, you poor little scrumpiet! cried the BFG. Is you not missing them very badly?

Not really, Sophie said, because I never knew them.

You is making me sad, the BFG said, rubbing his eyes.

Dont be sad, Sophie said. No one is going to be worrying too much about me. That place you took me from was the village orphanage. We are all orphans in there.

You is a norphan?


How many is there in there?

Ten of us, Sophie said. All little girls.

Was you happy there? the BFG asked.

I hated it, Sophie said. The woman who ran it was called Mrs Clonkers and if she caught you breaking any of the rules, like getting out of bed at night or not folding up your clothes, you got punished.

How is you getting punished?

She locked us in the dark cellar for a day and a night without anything to eat or drink.

The rotten old rotrasper! cried the BFG.

It was horrid, Sophie said. We used to dread it. There were rats down there. We could hear them creeping about.

The filthy old fizzwiggler! shouted the BFG. That is the horridest thing I is hearing for years! You is making me sadder than ever! All at once, a huge tear that would have filled a bucket rolled down one of the BFGs cheeks and fell with a splash on the floor. It made quite a puddle.

Sophie watched with astonishment. What a strange and moody creature this is, she thought. One moment he is telling me my head is full of squashed flies and the next moment his heart is melting for me because Mrs Clonkers locks us in the cellar.

The thing that worries me, Sophie said, is having to stay in this dreadful place for the rest of my life. The orphanage was pretty awful, but I wouldnt have been there for ever, would I?

All is my fault, the BFG said. I is the one who kidsnatched you. Yet another enormous tear welled from his eye and splashed on to the floor.

Now I come to think of it, I wont actually be here all that long, Sophie said.

I is afraid you will, the BFG said.

No, I wont, Sophie said. Those brutes out there are bound to catch me sooner or later and have me for tea.

I is never letting that happen, the BFG said.

For a few moments the cave was silent. Then Sophie said, May I ask you a question?

The BFG wiped the tears from his eyes with the back of his hand and gave Sophie a long thoughtful stare. Shoot away he said.

Would you please tell me what you were doing in our village last night? Why were you poking that long trumpet thing into the Goochey childrens bedroom and then blowing through it?

Ah-ha! cried the BFG, sitting up suddenly in his chair. Now we is getting nosier than a parker!

And the suitcase you were carrying, Sophie said. What on earth was that all about?

The BFG stared suspiciously at the small girl sitting cross-legged on the table.

You is asking me to tell you whoppsy big secrets, he said. Secrets that nobody is ever hearing before.

I wont tell a soul, Sophie said. I swear it. How could I anyway? I am stuck here for the rest of my life.

You could be telling the other giants.

No, I couldnt, Sophie said. You told me they would eat me up the moment they saw me.

And so they would, said the BFG. You is a human bean and human beans is like strawbunkles and cream to those giants.

If they are going to eat me the moment they see me, then I wouldnt have time to tell them anything, would I? Sophie said.

You wouldnt, said the BFG.

Then why did you say I might?

Because I is brimful of buzzburgers, the BFG said. If you listen to everything I am saying you will be getting earache.

Please tell me what you were doing in our village, Sophie said. I promise you can trust me.

Would you teach me how to make an elefunt? the BFG asked.

What do you mean? Sophie said.

I would dearly love to have an elefunt to ride on, the BFG said dreamily. I would so much love to have a jumbly big elefunt and go riding through green forests picking peachy fruits off the trees all day long. This is a sizzling-hot muckfrumping country we is living in. Nothing grows in it except snozzcumbers. I would love to go somewhere else and pick peachy fruits in the early morning from the back of an elefunt.

Sophie was quite moved by this curious statement.

Perhaps one day we will get you an elephant, she said. And peachy fruits as well. Now tell me what you were doing in our village.

If you is really wanting to know what I am doing in your village, the BFG said, I is blowing a dream into the bedroom of those children.

Blowing a dream? Sophie said. What do you mean?

I is a dream-blowing giant, the BFG said. When all the other giants is galloping off every what way and which to swollop human beans, I is scuddling away to other places to blow dreams into the bedrooms of sleeping children. Nice dreams. Lovely golden dreams. Dreams that is giving the dreamers a happy time.

Now hang on a minute, Sophie said. Where do you get these dreams?

I collect them, the BFG said, waving an arm towards all the rows and rows of bottles on the shelves. I has billions of them.

You cant collect a dream, Sophie said. A dream isnt something you can catch hold of.

You is never going to understand about it, the BFG said. That is why I is not wishing to tell you.

Oh, please tell me! Sophie said. I will understand! Go on! Tell me how you collect dreams! Tell me everything!

The BFG settled himself comfortably in his chair and crossed his legs. Dreams, he said, is very mysterious things. They is floating around in the air like little wispy-misty bubbles. And all the time they is searching for sleeping people.

Can you see them? Sophie asked.

Never at first.

Then how do you catch them if you cant see them? Sophie asked.

Ah-ha, said the BFG. Now we is getting on to the dark and dusky secrets.

I wont tell a soul.

I is trusting you, the BFG said. He closed his eyes and sat quite still for a moment, while Sophie waited.

A dream, he said, as it goes whiffling through the night air, is making a tiny little buzzing-humming noise. But this little buzzy-hum is so silvery soft, it is impossible for a human bean to be hearing it.

Can you hear it? Sophie asked.

The BFG pointed up at his enormous truck-wheel ears which he now began to move in and out. He performed this exercise proudly, with a little proud smile on his face. Is you seeing these? he asked.

How could I miss them? Sophie said.

They maybe is looking a bit propsposterous to you, the BFG said, but you must believe me when I say they is very extra-usual ears indeed. They is not to be coughed at.

Im quite sure theyre not, Sophie said.

They is allowing me to hear absolutely every single twiddly little thing.

You mean you can hear things I cant hear? Sophie said.

You is deaf as a dumpling compared with me! cried the BFG. You is hearing only thumping loud noises with those little earwigs of yours. But I am hearing all the secret whisperings of the world!

Such as what? Sophie asked.

In your country he said, I is hearing the footsteps of a ladybird as she goes walking across a leaf.

Honestly? Sophie said, beginning to be impressed.

Whats more, I is hearing those footsteps very loud, the BFG said. When a ladybird is walking across a leaf, I is hearing her feet going clumpety-clumpety-clump like giants footsteps.

Good gracious me! Sophie said. What else can you hear?

I is hearing the little ants chittering to each other as they scuddle around in the soil.

You mean you can hear ants talking?

Every single word, the BFG said. Although I is not exactly understanding their langwitch.

Go on, Sophie said.

Sometimes, on a very clear night, the BFG said, and if I is swiggling my ears in the right direction, – and here he swivelled his great ears upwards so they were facing the ceiling – if I is swiggling them like this and the night is very clear, I is sometimes hearing faraway music coming from the stars in the sky.

A queer little shiver passed through Sophies body. She sat very quiet, waiting for more.

My ears is what told me you was watching me out of your window last night, the BFG said.

But I didnt make a sound, Sophie said.

I was hearing your heart beating across the road, the BFG said. Loud as a drum.

Go on, Sophie said. Please.

I can hear plants and trees.

Do they talk? Sophie asked.

They is not exactly talking, the BFG said. But they is making noises. For instance, if I come along and I is picking a lovely flower, if I is twisting the stem of the flower till it breaks, then the plant is screaming. I can hear it screaming and screaming very clear.

You dont mean it! Sophie cried. How awful!

It is screaming just like you would be screaming if someone was twisting your arm right off.

Is that really true? Sophie asked.

You think I is swizzfiggling you?

It is rather hard to believe.

Then I is stopping right here, said the BFG sharply. I is not wishing to be called a fibster.

Oh no! Im not calling you anything! Sophie cried. I believe you! I do really! Please go on!

The BFG gave her a long hard stare. Sophie looked right back at him, her face open to his. I believe you, she said softly.

She had offended him, she could see that.

I wouldnt ever be fibbling to you, he said.

I know you wouldnt, Sophie said. But you must understand that it isnt easy to believe such amazing things straight away.

I understand that, the BFG said.

So do please forgive me and go on, she said.

He waited a while longer, and then he said, It is the same with trees as it is with flowers. If I is chopping an axe into the trunk of a big tree, I is hearing a terrible sound coming from inside the heart of the tree.

What sort of sound? Sophie asked.

A soft moaning sound, the BFG said. It is like the sound an old man is making when he is dying slowly.

He paused. The cave was very silent.

Trees is living and growing just like you and me, he said. They is alive. So is plants.

He was sitting very straight in his chair now, his hands clasped tightly together in front of him. His face was bright, his eyes round and bright as two stars.

Such wonderful and terrible sounds I is hearing! he said. Some of them you would never wish to be hearing yourself! But some is like glorious music!

He seemed almost to be transfigured by the excitement of his thoughts. His face was beautiful in its blaze of emotions.

Tell me some more about them, Sophie said quietly.

You just ought to be hearing the little micies talking! he said. Little micies is always talking to each other and I is hearing them as loud as my own voice.

What do they say? Sophie asked.

Only the micies know that, he said. Spiders is also talking a great deal. You might not be thinking it but spiders is the most tremendous natterboxes. And when they is spinning their webs, they is singing all the time. They is singing sweeter than a nightingull.

Who else do you hear? Sophie asked.

One of the biggest chatbags is the cattlepiddlers, the BFG said.

What do they say?

They is argying all the time about who is going to be the prettiest butteryfly. That is all they is ever talking about.

Is there a dream floating around in here now? Sophie asked.

The BFG moved his great ears this way and that, listening intently. He shook his head. There is no dream in here, he said, except in the bottles. I has a special place to go for catching dreams. They is not often coming to Giant Country.

How do you catch them?

The same way you is catching butteryflies, the BFG answered. With a net. He stood up and crossed over to a corner of the cave where a pole was leaning against the wall. The pole was about thirty feet long and there was a net on the end of it. Here is the dream-catcher, he said, grasping the pole in one hand. Every morning I is going out and snitching new dreams to put in my bottles.

Suddenly, he seemed to lose interest in the conversation. I is getting hungry, he said. It is time for eats.

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