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Read the Roald Dahl Poem That Was Lost in a Desk Drawer for Nearly 25 Years

British children's author, short-story writer, playwright and versifier Roald Dahl (1916 - 1995), 11th December 1971.
Ronald Dumont/Daily Express/Getty Images British children's author, short-story writer, playwright and versifier Roald Dahl (1916 - 1995), 11th December 1971.

It's on display for what would have been the author's 100th birthday

A poem written by Roald Dahl for an Irish elementary school class has been recovered after being lost in a desk drawer for nearly 25 years.

Penned in 1988 for the Primary Five class of Primate Dixon Primary School in Coalisland, Ireland, according to BBC News, the piece will be on display Tuesday to mark what would have been the 100th birthday of the author of children’s classics such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach.

The class received the poem after writing to Dahl to tell him they had just finished reading his book, Danny, the Champion of the World. It was accompanied by a note addressed to teacher James Maye and his students. “Hello handsome James and all the clever children at Primate Dixon Memorial Boys’ School,” Dahl wrote. “Thank you so much for your lovely letters.”

My teacher loved using the cane.

He would thrash me again and again.

I’d be raised in the air

By the roots of my hair

While he shouted, ‘It’s good for the brain!’

I used to wear pants extra thick

To lessen the sting from his stick,

When he saw what I’d done,

He yelled, ‘This is no fun!

‘Take them off altogether and quick!’

From your letters to me it would seem

That your teacher is clearly a dream.

There’s no whacks on the bum

When you can’t do a sum,

Instead you get strawberries and cream.

The school discovered the three-stanza rhyme in 2012 and found that it had later been printed under the title, “A poem in reply to schoolchildren,” as part of an anthology in the Roald Dahl Treasury.

“It wasn’t until 2012 that our vice principal Siobhan Murphy was clearing out an old desk — an old desk that could easily have been thrown out — and came across the letter,” Primate Dixon’s principal Sean Dillon told the BBC.

Read more at BBC.com.

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