James And The Giant Peach

written by Sona

James' parents died and he was adopted by his gruesome aunts. How does he escape?

Last Updated






Chapter Nineteen

Chapter 19
‘Look!’ cried the Centipede just as they were finishing their meal. ‘Look at that funny thin black thing gliding through the water over there!’
They all swung round to look.
‘There are two of them,’ said Miss Spider.
‘There are lots of them!’ said the Ladybird.
‘What are they?’ asked the Earthworm, getting worried.
‘They must be some kind of fish,’ said the Old-Green-Grasshopper. ‘Perhaps they have come along to say hello.’
‘They are sharks!’ cried the Earthworm. ‘I’ll bet you anything you like that they are sharks and they have come along to eat us up!’
‘What absolute rot!’ the Centipede said, but his voice seemed suddenly to have become a little shaky, and he wasn’t laughing.
‘I am positive they are sharks!’ said the Earthworm. T just know they are sharks!’
And so, in actual fact, did everybody else, but they were too frightened to admit it.
There was a short silence. They all peered down anxiously at the sharks who were cruising slowly round and round the peach.
‘Just assuming that they are sharks,’ the Centipede said, ‘there still can’t possibly be any danger if we stay up here.’
But even as he spoke, one of those thin black fins suddenly changed direction and came cutting swiftly through the water right up to the side of the peach itself. The shark paused and stared up at the company with small evil eyes.
‘Go away!’ they shouted. ‘Go away, you filthy beast!’
Slowly, almost lazily, the shark opened his mouth (which was big enough to have swallowed a perambulator) and made a lunge at the peach.

They all watched, aghast.
And now, as though at a signal from the leader, all the other sharks came swimming in towards the peach, and they clustered around it and began to attack it furiously. There must have been twenty or thirty of them at least, all pushing and fighting and lashing their tails and churning the water into a froth.
Panic and pandemonium broke out immediately on top of the peach.
‘Oh, we are finished now!’ cried Miss Spider, wringing her feet. ‘They will eat up the whole peach and then there’ll be nothing left for us to stand on and they’ll start on us!’
‘She is right!’ shouted the Ladybird. ‘We are lost for ever!’
‘Oh, I don’t want to be eaten!’ wailed the Earthworm. ‘But they will take me first of all because I am so fat and juicy and I have no bones!’
‘Is there nothing we can do?’ asked the Ladybird, appealing to James. ‘Surely you can think of a way out of this.’
Suddenly they were all looking at James.
‘Think!’ begged Miss Spider. ‘Think, James, think!’

‘Come on,’ said the Centipede. ‘Come on, James. There must be something we can do.’
Their eyes waited upon him, tense, anxious, pathetically hopeful.
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