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 Thirty Eight

Chapter 38
Five minutes later, they were all safely down, and James was excitedly telling his story to a group of flabbergasted officials.
And suddenly – everyone who had come over on the peach was a hero! They were all escorted to the steps of City Hall, where the Mayor of New York made a speech of welcome. And while he was doing this, one hundred steeplejacks, armed with ropes and ladders and pulleys, swarmed up to the top of the Empire State Building and lifted the giant peach off the spike and lowered it to the ground.
Then the Mayor shouted, ‘We must now have a ticker-tape parade for our wonderful visitors!’
And so a procession was formed, and in the leading car (which was an enormous open limousine) sat James and all his friends.
Next came the giant peach itself. Men with cranes and hooks had quickly hoisted it on to a very large truck and there it now sat, looking just as huge and proud and brave as ever. There was, of course, a bit of a hole in the bottom of it where the spike of the Empire State Building had gone in, but who cared about that – or indeed about the peach juice that was dripping out of it on to the street?
Behind the peach, skidding about all over the place in the peach juice, came the Mayor’s limousine, and behind the Mayor’s limousine came about twenty other limousines carrying all the important people of the City.

And the crowds went wild with excitement. They lined the streets and they leaned out of the windows of the skyscrapers, cheering and yelling and screaming and clapping and throwing out bits of white paper and ticker-tape, and James and his friends stood up in their car and waved back at them as they went by.
Then a rather curious thing happened. The procession was moving slowly along Fifth Avenue when suddenly a little girl in a red dress ran out from the crowd and shouted, ‘Oh, James, James! Could I please have just a tiny taste of your marvellous peach?’
‘Help yourself!’ James shouted back. ‘Eat all you want! It won’t keep for ever, anyway!’
No sooner had he said this than about fifty other children exploded out of the crowd and came running on to the street.
‘Can we have some, too?’ they cried.
‘Of course you can!’ James answered. ‘Everyone can have some!’
The children jumped up on to the truck and swarmed like ants all over the giant peach, eating and eating to their hearts’ content. And as the news of what was happening spread quickly from street to street, more and more boys and girls came running from all directions to join the feast. Soon, there was a trail of children a mile long chasing after the peach as it proceeded slowly up Fifth Avenue. Really, it was a fantastic sight. To some people it looked as though the Pied Piper of Hamelin had suddenly descended upon New York. And to James, who had never dreamed that there could be so many children as this in the world, it was the most marvellous thing that had ever happened.
By the time the procession was over, the whole gigantic fruit had been completely eaten up, and only the big brown stone in the middle, licked clean and shiny by ten thousand eager little tongues, was left standing on the truck.
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