Poison (story)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

"Poison" is a short story written by Roald Dahl that was originally published in June 1950 in Collier's. In 1950 it was adapted for the radio program Escape. In 1958 it was turned into an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, directed by Alfred Hitchcock himself.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

The story is set in India during the time of British rule. The main character is Harry Pope and the narrator of the story is Timber Woods. He goes over to his friend Harry Pope's house. Harry is in bed, motionless, sweating, and in a panic. He claims to have a snake (the poisonous krait) on his stomach, underneath the covers. He asks Timber to go get a doctor. He calls Dr. Ganderbai, a local Indian doctor who rushes over as soon as possible. Timber and Ganderbai frantically try to get the snake off of Harry through various methods (which include sedating the snake and giving Harry an antivenin) . As the story progresses, it is revealed that there is in fact no snake on Harry.

After the initial panic, Ganderbai tries to lighten the mood by making sarcastic comments and asking Harry if there actually was a snake. Harry, believing that Ganderbai is calling him a liar, proceeds to lay out multiple racial slurs. As Ganderbai walks out of the room, Timber thanks him for doing such a nice job. Ganderbai's only reply is that the only thing Harry needs is a good vacation.[2]


  1. ^ Gottlieb, Sidney (2003). Alfred Hitchcock. University Press of Mississippi. pp. liii. ISBN 978-1-57806-562-2. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  2. ^ Warren, Alan (1988). Roald Dahl. Starmont House. pp. 34–35. ISBN 978-1-55742-013-8. Retrieved 2008-10-25.