When I tell people Enid Blyton once wrote a book where Noddy got stripped naked and carjacked by a gang of Gollywogs, leaving him stumbling around nude in the forest – they refuse to believe me!
But it is TRUE. Back in 1951, with her fourth Noddy book – “Here Comes Noddy Again” – she did exactly that.
In these PC days, children are constantly coddled and patronised – but back in the Good Old Days, they were spared nothing. Not by Blyton.
Or Disney. Remember when the Seven Dwarves returned to the house and found Snow White apparently dead at the hands of the Evil Queen (having posed as an old woman, with that poisoned apple)? Did they check to see if Ms White was indeed dead? No – they rode off on their woodland creatures as a MOB.
Had the hysterically cackling old hag not been knocked off that mountain outcrop by that bolt of lightning, they would have RIPPED HER APART.
And even then, the grinning vultures follow her falling body…
Scary stuff. And so was Noddy’s misadventure in the Dark, Dark Wood.
It comes about half-way through the book where, after a load of mundane nonsense, the story takes a sudden TURN (one which, as a mini-cab driver in the Seventies, I can relate to).
We begin with what in comic-book parlance would be called the Splash Panel (or Page) – which comes at the start of the book…
…and they all lived happily ever after.
Of course, the book has now been out of print for decades. Although some while back, during one of the many PC-driven “cleaning up” exercises with Blyton’s books, they printed a version that replaced this…
Meanwhile, the ORIGINAL fetches a pretty penny. You are unlikely to obtain a copy for less than three figures – if you can FIND it.
Like Baden-Powell’s “Scouting For Boys” – which no middle-aged gay man with a sense of humour can be without a vintage copy of on his book-shelf – it is now a CLASSIC.