When the girl in this story gets cross, strange things start happening. Above all, she can't bear it when people are cruel to animals. So when her neighbours the Greggs go shooting, her magic finger teaches them a lesson they'll never forget...
Roald Dahl began work on The Almost Ducks, as The Magic Finger was originally known, in 1962. In the story, an unnamed eight-year-old girl tells the story of her neighbours, the Gregg family. The Greggs like to hunt, but the girl can't stand to see animals killed just for fun. Her sense of injustice makes her angry and through her anger she develops a special power - not dissimilar to Matilda Wormwood, another of Roald's young female protagonists.
The Almost Ducks was part of a project in which a group of adult writers were each asked to create a story about "all the brave deer hunters and duck hunters in the country," as Roald described to his publishers. Roald was very much against animal cruelty and his story reflects this, as the girl turns the tables on the Greggs and their love of hunting.
After Roald had finished his publishers, wary of offending the powerful US gun lobby, sat on the manuscript until their option to publish had expired. It was a further three years before the story - which Roald dedicated to two of his daughters, Ophelia and Lucy - was eventually published by Harper & Row in 1966 as The Magic Finger.
Find out more at https://www.roalddahl.com/roald-dahl/stories/k-o/the-magic-finger
Why not test your Roald Dahl knowledge...
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
Our cookies ensure you get the best experience on our website.
Please make your choice!
Some cookies are necessary in order to make this website function correctly. These are set by default and whilst you can block or delete them by changing your browser settings, some functionality such as being able to log in to the website will not work if you do this. The necessary cookies set on this website are as follows:
A 'sessionid' token is required for logging in to the website and we also use a 'crfstoken' token to prevent cross site request forgery.
We use Matomo cookies to improve the website performance by capturing information such as browser and device types. The data from this cookie is anonymised.
Cookies are used to help distinguish between humans and bots on contact forms on this website.
A cookie is used to store your cookie preferences for this website.Cookies that are not necessary to make the website work, but which enable additional functionality, can also be set. By default these cookies are disabled, but you can choose to enable them below: