Mr Willy Wonka begins by inventing Wonka-
Vite, which makes people younger. But Wonka-
Vite is too strong. So some people disappear,
because their age becomes Minus! One person
actually becomes minus eighty-seven, which
means he’s got to wait eighty-seven years
before he can come back.
Mr Willy Wonka must invent a new thing---
Mr Wonka said, "So once again I rolled
up my sleeves and set to work. Once
again I squeezed my brain, searching for the new
recipe--- I had to create age--- to make people old---
old, older, oldest--- 'Ha-ha!’ I cried, for now the
ideas were beginning to come. 'What is the oldest
living thing in the world? What lives longer than
"A tree," Charlie said.
"Right you are, Charlie! But what kind of a
tree? Not the Douglas fir. Not the oak. Not the
cedar. No, no, my boy. It is a tree called the
Bristlecone pine that grows upon the slopes of
Wheeler Peak in Nevada, U.S.A. You can find
Bristlecone Pines on Wheeler Peak today that
are over 4000 years old! This is fact, Charlie. Ask
any dendrochronologist you like (and look that
word up in the dictionary when you get home,
will you please?). So that started me off. I
jumped into the Great Glass Elevator and
rushed all over the world collecting special items
from the oldest living things---
o A PINT OF SAP FROM A 4000-YEAR-OLD
o THE TOE-NAIL CLIPPINGS FROM A 168-YEAR-OLD
RUSSIAN FARMER CALLED PETROVITCH
o AN EGG LAID BY A 200-YEAR-OLD TORTOISE
BELONGING TO THE KING OF TONGA
o THE TAIL OF A 51-YEAR-OLD HORSE IN ARABIA
o THE WHISKERS OF A 36-YEAR-OLD CAT CALLED
o AN OLD FLEA WHICH HAD LIVED ON CRUMPETS
FOR 36 YEARS
o THE TAIL OF A 207-YEAR-OLD GIANT RAT FROM
o THE BLACK TEETH OF A 97-YEAR-OLD
GRIMALKIN LIVING IN A CAVE ON MOUNT
o THE KNUCKLEBONES OF A 700-YEAR-OLD
CATTALOO FROM PERU---"
"All over the world, Charlie," Mr Wonka went on
"I tracked down very old and ancient animals and
took an important little bit of something from each
one of them — a hair or an eyebrow or sometimes
it was no more than an ounce or two of the jam
scraped from between its toes while it was
sleeping. I tracked down THE WHISTLE-PIG, THE
BOBOLINK, THE SKROCK, THE POLLYFROG, THE
GIANT CURLICUE, THE STINGING SLUG AND THE
VENOMOUS SQUERKLE who can spit poison right
into your eye from fifty yards away. But there’s
no time to tell you about them all now, Charlie.
Let me just say quickly that in the end, after lots
of boiling and bubbling and mixing and testing in
my Inventing Room, I produced one tiny cupful of
oily black liquid and gave four drops of it to a
brave twenty-year-old Oompa-Loompa volunteer
to see what happened."
"What did happen?" Charlie asked.
"It was fantastic!" cried Mr Wonka. "The
moment he swallowed it, he began wrinkling and
shrivelling up all over and his hair started
dropping off and his teeth started falling out and,
before I knew it, he had suddenly become an old
fellow of seventy-five! And thus, my dear Charlie,
was Vita-Wonk invented!"
Dad and the Cat and the Tree.
This morning a cat got
Stuck in our tree.
Dad said, "Right, just
Leave it to me."
The tree was wobbly,
The tree was tall.
Mum said, "For goodness’
Sake don’t fall!"
"Fall?" scoffed Dad,
"A climber like me?
Child’s play, this is!
You wait and see."
He got out the ladder
From the garden shed.
It slipped. He landed
In the flower bed.
"Never mind," said Dad,
Brushing the dirt
Off his hair and his fa ce
And his trousers and his shirt,
"We’ll try Plan B. Stand
Out of the way!"
Mum said, "Don’t fall
"Fall again?" said Dad.
Then he swung himself up
On a branch. It broke.
Dad landed wallop
Back on the deck.
Mum said, "Stop it,
You’ll break your neck!"
"Rubbish!" said Dad.
"Now we’ll try Plan C.
Easy as winking
To a climber like me!"
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