Alma the nanny goat

Roald Dahl loved receiving letters from children, and wrote replies to the letters he received whenever he could. In his replies he’d usually add some interesting anecdotes about life at home at Gipsy House, or about the latest book he was working on. Luckily he kept many of the rough drafts which are now housed in the archive store at the Roald Dahl Museum.

Roald Dahl's pet goat Alma occasionally got a mention in his letters. You can read more about the story of Alma in our recent blog post, The Antics of Alma the Nanny Goat. Some of the letters mentioned are shown here, you can also read them in full below.

Letter from Roald Dahl, 3 October 1979

3 October 1979

“We have just got a young nanny goat as a companion to my daughter, Lucy’s pony in the orchard. She is lovely and intelligent and as [sic] tame as a dog and the colour of raw liver. Did you know that goats have no upper teeth in the front of their mouths? The lower teeth bite with the upper gum, which does just as good a job. Why any of us have any teeth at all I don’t know.

With lots of love from,
Roald Dahl”

Letter from Roald Dahl, 13 November 1979

13 November 1979

“Right now this house is smothered in dogs, goats, ponies and horses. The youngest puppy is Lhasa Lapsul. It looks like a furry football and comes from Tibet. In the orchard there are two horses. The one belonging to my daughter Lucy is called Headmistress. Not long ago we got a nanny goat to keep her company. Last week we got a Shetland pony to keep the nanny goat company when the horses go out riding. I am not quite sure what we are going to get to keep the Shetland pony company. Probably an armadillo.

With lots of love from,
Roald Dahl”

Letter from Roald Dahl, 1 February 1980

1 February 1980

“Our nanny goat, Alma, is a bit of a problem around here. She keeps getting out of the orchard and coming to the door where she waits quietly until someone opens it and then she nips into the house and sits on the sofa like a dog. All the same I like her. Have any of you ever had a goat? I recommend them. They are intelligent and friendly and a lot better looking than quite a few people I know.

With lots of love from,
Roald Dahl”

If have ever been lucky enough to receive a letter from Roald Dahl, we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch via the website and we could be featuring your story here on our Roald Dahl letters pages.



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