Mr Hoppy

Description

Mr Hoppy lived in a small flat high up in a tall concrete building. He... had always been a lonely man and now that he was retired from work he was more lonely than ever.

Description

Description

"Mr Hoppy lived in a small flat high up in a tall concrete building. He lived alone. He had always been a lonely man and now that he was retired from work he was more lonely than ever." - Esio Trot

Mr Hoppy appears in Esio Trot, Roald Dahl's tale of two neighbours brought together by a small tortoise called Alfie. Esio Trot was released in 1990, and was the last of Roald Dahl's children's books to be published in his lifetime.

Mr Hoppy is, as the very first sentence on the very first page tells us, a lonely man. He is also a shy man. And yet he is a man with two great loves: the flowers on his balcony and Mrs Silver, his downstairs neighbour.

It is this second love that drives Mr Hoppy to ingenious lengths. When Mrs Silver complains that her tortoise Alfie is not growing nearly as quickly as she would like, Mr Hoppy comes up with a plan...

He tells Mrs Silver to read to her tortoise every day a poem that begins: "Esio Trot, Esio Trot, Teg Reggib Reggib!" ("Tortoise, Tortoise, Get Bigger Bigger!")

This backwards language is, he tells her, a secret tip from a bedouin tribesman designed to make tortoises grow - because, as he says, "tortoises are very backwards creatures."

As Mrs Silver reads the poem to her Alfie, Mr Hoppy begins his real work - making the spell come true...

Mr Hoppy is played by Dustin Hoffman in the 2015 BBC One adaptation of the story. Although he is British in the book, onscreen Dustin Hoffman plays him as an American. Roald Dahl tells us that before retirement, Mr Hoppy was a "mechanic in a bus-garage." In the BBC adaptation Mr Hoppy' is a retired airline engineer.

In the original story, Mr Hoppy's ruse to make Mrs Silver think Alfie has grown is not discovered.

About Esio Trot

Quote

Esio trot is simply tortoise spelled backwards.

Mr Hoppy 1

Esio Trot

Dustin Hoffman as Mr Hoppy

Shop products