The book of choice is Esio Trot. It is a Roald Dahl book and I have read it many times. It is a humour book and I would recommend it to anyone of any age wanting a short novel with a great story. The illustrations are by Quintin Blake. I love this book so much. Please read it! Esio Trot is tortoise backwards!
- Hoppy lived alone in a flat in a tall concrete building. He was retired, lonely, shy and had a crush on Mrs. Silver for many years. This was a secret of course. He’s a solitary man. He grew many flowers, plants and small shrubs on his balcony and grew very fond of them and his view. Below his apartment flat was where Mrs. Silver lives. She always liked the plants he grew. They were riots of colour. He always wanted to talk to Mrs. Silver and have tea but he’s so shy his courage takes his words.
- Silver seemed to already have a love-life, well she was attached to her pet tortoise Alfie. Every time Mr. Hoppy saw her giving Alfie love he grew so much more jealous of him. I mean Alfie. Alfie had been with Mrs. Silver for many years. She loved that tortoise so much. Mr. Hoppy wanted to be a tortoise, but mostly just be with his secret love and stop his jealousy.
- One day, when Mr. Hoppy saw Mrs. Silver on her balcony below him they talked. The subject was Alfie, of course. She was rambling about how in eleven years Alfie had only gained a few kilos. When they had this talk Alfie weighed up to a grapefruit and Mrs. Silver was a bit worried. She said she would give anything to have him grow bigger. Mr. Hoppy had a brilliant plan…
- He said he had all the answers (he didn’t) and gave her a “magic” poem. It reads it backwards and he said that it’s tortoise language. He told her it was like that because they are very backward creatures. How bizarre. He got praised and he told her to chant this to him and he would grow bigger. The poem read:
ESIO TROT, ESIO TROT, TEG REGGIB, EMOC NO ESIO TROT, WORG PU, TOOTHS PU, GNIRPS PU,EMOC NO ESIO TROT, ELBOG DOOF!
- He went to every pet store in the city. He went to every 14 of them and bought all their tortoises. Big and small. He had set up his living room to house 140 tortoises with dark shells that weigh in near Alfie. It took him two days to get the 140 tortoises. He feed them cabbage leaves for their meals. His living room carpet was the shade “dark moving tortoise”.
- He was once a mechanic. So he used his old materials to make a claw to put their tortoises on her balcony and switch them so it gives her the illusion of change of weight. This wasn’t hard for Mr. Hoppy to make. He could switch the tortoises when Mrs. Silver was out in her part-time job.
- The first time he switched them was straight after the making of the claw. He measured their weight and swapped accordingly, this time making counterfeit Alfie heavier. He achieved with success. She never noticed. He wanted Mrs. Silver to love him.
- He did this again eight more times within 7 weeks without getting caught. When that was over he couldn’t fit his hibernating house and was twice the size of real Alfie. That day, Mr. Hoppy went to her apartment and held “Alfie” and got praised. Mr. Hoppy’s ego grew.
- She then wanted him smaller so he could fit in his little houses. He told her o read the backward poem like out language and it will reverse. Mrs. Silver still believes this.
- He did the same with the bigger turtles but in reverse. She was so impressed she made him tea, praised him and hugged him. She had fallen in love. He proposed. She accepted. After that he gave away those tortoises and lived happily ever after… With “Alfie” of course.