Stig of the Dump by Clive King

published 1963  chapter 7

[Barney and his sister Lou have just arrived at a children’s fancy-dress party]

The front door opened and Mrs Fawkham-Greene stood there looking a little distracted already.

‘Hullo, do come in,’ she cried. ‘Oh it’s the puma and the caveman, how sweet of you to come, and how realistic!’ She sniffed a little at the animal smell that came in with them, but there was a wail from behind her and she had to turn round to the mass of children of all ages who were hurtling about the big hall or standing dumbly in the corners. ‘Oh dear, who is it behind the mask there, Lone Ranger or is it Zorro? Please don’t poke Little Bo-Peep with your sword, will you, dear? She’s only three and she doesn’t like it.’

Lou looked round excitedly at the dressed-up children. There were peasant girls and ladies from the Middle Ages and cowboys and kings and queens and cowboys and a space-man who was looking rather hot already and more cowboys and Indians and squaws, but she seemed to be the only one in a real animal skin.

observations: Stig of the Dump again – Barney is dressed as Stig, and Lou is wearing a real puma skin from Stig’s cave. Before the night is over, there will be two cavemen and two pumas on the loose – one of each not in fancy dress – and much excitement for all the children. The scene contains a really wonderful line:
‘All pistols, tomahawks, ray-guns, and stone axes on the oak chest, if you please,’ carolled Mrs Fawkham-Greene, as she sat down at a big grand piano.

And the book is always a children's classic and will live forever - it makes a rollicking good read at any age.

Links up with: Fancy dress is a great favourite round here. The rules of dressing up for Adrian Mole, children getting costumed up here and here. The Casson family likes dressing up for a funeral. The original Stig entry has one of our all-time favourite Clothes in Books photos: 

The picture of a fancy dress party is from the State Library of New South Wales.


  1. Moira - There's something about fancy-dress isn't there? I'm so glad you've featured this book again. And I just love the mental pictures :-)

  2. I remember reading this at school. It was very enjoyable and I think there was a TV series about the same time. I love the pic!


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