A poem by Roald Dahl originally written for "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" but excluded from the final publication was unearthed within an archive of letters from the author at the Little Rock ROADSHOW event. The poem describes Miranda Mary Piker, an unfortunate child who meets her demise in the Peanut-Brittle Mixer.

Miranda Mary Piker: Dahl's Poem

Roald Dahl, the beloved children's author known for the delicate balance of whimsy and wickedness in his tales, was prolific when it came to writing letters to teachers and students. At the 2015 ROADSHOW event in Little Rock, a former children's librarian brought in an archive of letters from the author, one of which featured a draft of a poem called "Miranda Mary Piker" that was excluded from the original edition of his 1964 classic, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Collectibles expert James Supp explained that Dahl had developed numerous characters for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that were ultimately edited out, including the particularly troublesome child this poem describes. It is a cautionary stanza about Miranda Mary Piker — in the Oompa Loompas' familiar cadence — with amusingly ominous couplets like "So we said why don't we fix her/In the peanut-brittle mixer."

The poem was eventually published for the first time in The Times of London in 2005 and included in The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets, which features an entire deleted chapter about Miranda from the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, later published as a short story called "Spotty Powder."

Below, you can compare the version of the poem as it was published in the book with the very similar text that was included in the letter featured on ROADSHOW. The full archive of letters including this poem, Supp said, would bring $2,500 to $3,500 at auction.


Miranda Mary Piker
(As featured on ROADSHOW)
"Oh Miranda Mary Piker
How could anybody like her,
Such a rude and disobedient little kid!
So we said why don't we fix her
In the peanut-brittle mixer,
Then we're sure to like her better than we did.
Soon this child who is so vicious
Will have gotten quite delicious,
And her father will have surely understood
That instead of saying, 'Miranda,
Oh, the beast, I cannot stand her!'
He'll be saying, 'Oh, how crunchy and how good!'"


Miranda Mary Piker
(As published)
"Oh, Miranda Mary Piker,
How could anybody like her,
Such a rude and disobedient little kid,
So we said why don't we fix her
In the Peanut-Brittle Mixer,
Then we're sure to like her better than we did.
Soon this girl who was so vicious
Will have gotten quite delicious
And her parents will have surely understood
That instead of saying, 'Miranda,
'Oh the beast we cannot stand her!'
They'll be saying, 'Oh, how tasty and how good!'"


More about Miranda Mary Piker and Other Dahl Archives
The Official Roald Dahl Website
Publishers Weekly

Author Dylan H. Leavitt
Dylan H. Leavitt is ANTIQUE ROADSHOW's digital field producer.