Roald Dahl Short Story

I may be mistaken, but I swore that one time I read a short story by Dahl that was about this group of people who ended up resorting to cannibalism, but there was a little girl that they were feeding the meat to and she didn’t know it was people. That is kind of all I remember. I’ve read a few other Dahl stories but I haven’t ever seen this again. Maybe it was someone else, but would anyone have a clue as to what story?


It was a boy named Lexington, raised by his aunt in rural West Virginia, as I remember. Does that sound familiar? I’ll find the story itself in a while, but that’s how I remember it. The boy himself gets processed into meat, as I recall the story.

Googling 'Lexington, Dahl" brought up this, which seems to be the story you’re after.

All Supper in a Day

Just kidding.

We were read these stories at School by a teacher. I think I was 12. Freaked me out.

Mr. Dahl seems a tad on the sick side.

His stories usually had a bizarre O Henry-like twist at the end. I think Man from the South is my favorite, after Charley and the Chocolate Factory.

I thought one of my favourite short stories was by him or by Jeffrey Archer, but it’s someone else entirely. “She Fell Among Thieves” tells of a couple of dodgy art peddlers-cum-archaeologists who specialise in finding valuable objects from the ancient world and selling them illegally. In a sealed tomb in Israel they discover a fantastically lifelike statue of a wealthy Jewess, at least four thousand years old, made of some glistening white stone. They load it in the back of their pickup truck wrapped up in some sacking and drive off into the night intending to smuggle it out of the country. When they are stopped by a police roadblock in the middle of a rainstorm they think they are in deep trouble, but the police check the back of the pickup and find nothing. And then when the police have gone one of the men appears to suffer a mental breakdown, for he has realized that the statue was Lot’s wife, turned into salt at the destruction of Sodom; and she has dissolved in the rain.

Dahl’s short stories are far better than Charlie, characterized by a dry, sick sense of humor and an mastery of anticlimax.* I’m not familiar with the one you mention, but his best work includes “Lamb to the Slaughter,” “The Landlady,” “The Man From the South,” “Taste,” “The Great Switcheroo,” and “Bitch.”

*Really. He’s the only author who could write endings that fizzle out brilliantly.

I just got The Best of Roald Dahl in paperback. Never read anything by him. Sounds like I might be in for some fun stories. :slight_smile:

I love Roald Dahl’s works, and have read quite a bit about him. Not only did he lead quite an unbelievable life, he apparently was quite the genius, but not a very nice human being.

Care to expand on that? What made him so unnice?

What was it about the 1960s? It was clearly the Golden Age of children’s literature, but all the greats were nuttier than fruitcakes. Dahl, Sendak, Silverstein, Gorey—did they all have massive cocaine problems coupled with some serious mommy issues or something?

He did a TV series based on his short stories, and they were dark stuff; The gambler who would bet the little finger on your left hand, for instance.

He did an intro (or outro) for a story about a hitchhiker and I remember he said something along the lines of “I picked up a hitchhiker, took him where he wanted to go and nothing happened, he was perfectly nice - but when I wrote the story, *this *is what happened in my brain.” (heavily paraphrased).

While we’re at it, his very first published work was a nonfiction account of how he just barely survived a fiery plane crash. You really wouldn’t think that a first person account of burning alive would be funny, but it was.

Well, for starters he was an alcoholic chronic-philanderer and closet-anti-Semite whose personality grew more caustic and bitter as he grew older. By the end of his life, he’d pretty much alientated himself from much his family and former friends (Christopher Hitchens was a notable exception). To summarize, he was a good writer but a Grade-A asshole.

I remember doing a report on him in grade school and reading some of his short stories, completely unaware of how weird he could get. I can’t remember the name of it, but there’s a story in the Henry Sugar collection about a boy getting bullied and swans, and it scarred me for life.

The other thing that I remember from the report is that he admitted in Boy to giving a family member a pipe full of shredded goat poop instead of tobacco to smoke, which I still chuckle about.

Right, and putting the dead mouse in the candy jar–HILARIOUS!

As I noted above, Dahl was not a nice person. I think “asshole” is a bit harsh, but he was stern and cynical and (obviously) had a very dark side to his personality. As I often sum it up, talent doesn’t not always make for a nice person.

One that stuck with me was about a guy buying a really valuable chair from an estate sale. He got it cheap, professing to plan to use if for firewood. When he pulled his vehicle up, the seller had broken it up for him - no charge.

Not a great story but it illustrates the range of the “twists”.

[Richard Pryor] “That’s a pretty blue…” [/RP]

I too am a fan of Dahl’s stories but they’re definitely not for the kiddies.