224 Most Memorable Howl's Moving Castle Quotes

Howl's Moving Castle

The Howl's Moving Castle is a brilliant animation movie by Studio Ghibli. It's based on British writer Dianna Wynne Jones' book by the same name. Set in the 19th century in Europe, the adventure is centered around a young girl, Sophie, who is the eldest of three sisters. Her life is uneventful and dull and she works at her family's hat shop.

However, her drab life takes a sharp turn when she meets Howl, a dashing but notorious wizard. Jealous of these two, the Witch of the Waste seeks vengeance and turns Sophie into a 90 year old woman. The curse makes her unable to tell anyone about it so she decides to leave home to go find a way to break it.

On the way, she encounters a living scarecrow who she names Turnip-Head. Turnip-Head leads her to Howl's flying castle. Here, she meets a fire demon called Calcifier who is also under a curse and they agree to break each other's curses. She also meets Markl, who is Howl's young apprentice. She takes up a job as a cleaning lady in the castle.

In the outside world, Sophie's country is in war with a neighboring country which has lost a prince. Later on, the prince turns out to be Turnip-Head. Also, Sophie and Calcifier manage to break each other's curses. Calcifier turns out to be a falling star that Howl gave his heart to making them connected. Howl gets his heart back and Sophie turns back into a young girl but her hair remains white.

The movie is one good fantasy classic intertwined with imagination, romance, excitement, terror, adventure, and horror themes. We hope you enjoy this collection of memorable quotes from the movie because if you don't, here's another curse for you, May All Your Bacon Burn!

Howl's Moving Castle Quotes

She read a great deal, and very soon realized how little chance she had of an interesting future. It was a disappointment to her, but she was still happy enough.

She read a great deal, and very soon realized how little chance she had of an interesting future. It was a disappointment to her, but she was still happy enough.

[Mrs. Pentstemmon] had said Sophie was a witch. Oddly enough, Sophie accepted this without any trouble at all. That explained the popularity of certain hats, she thought. It explained Jane Farrier’s Count Whatsit. It possibly explained the jealousy of the Witch of the Waste. It was as if Sophie had always known this. But she had thought it was not proper to have a magic gift because she was the eldest of three. Lettie had been far more sensible about such things.

[Mrs. Pentstemmon] had said Sophie was a witch. Oddly enough, Sophie accepted this without any trouble at all. That explained the popularity of certain hats,

I don't envy you, lady. That is one bad curse. Curses are tough. You're gonna have a very hard time getting rid of that one.

I don’t envy you, lady. That is one bad curse. Curses are tough. You’re gonna have a very hard time getting rid of that one.

"And you're too nice," he added, above the lap-lap of the water and the patter of sand on the water-lily leaves. "I was relying on you being too jealous to let that demon near the place."

“And you’re too nice,” he added, above the lap-lap of the water and the patter of sand on the water-lily leaves. “I was relying on

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Then there you are, then. The day Howl forgets to do that will be the day I believe he's really in love, and not before.

Then there you are, then. The day Howl forgets to do that will be the day I believe he’s really in love, and not before.

I was born to strange sights. Things invisible to see… I know where all past years are, and who cleft the Devil’s foot.

I was born to strange sights. Things invisible to see… I know where all past years are, and who cleft the Devil’s foot.

Looks like we have another addition to the family. Hmmm, you’ve got quite a nasty spell on you too, huh? Seems everyone in this family’s got problems.

Looks like we have another addition to the family. Hmmm, you’ve got quite a nasty spell on you too, huh? Seems everyone in this family’s got problems.

“Is something the matter?” Calcifer asked. “Yes. My heart. There was a scarecrow at the door!” Sophie gasped. “What has a scarecrow to do with your heart?” Calcifer asked. “It was trying to get in here. It gave me a terrible fright. And my heart—but you wouldn’t understand, you silly young demon!” Sophie panted. “You haven’t got a heart.” “Yes I have,” Calcifer said, as proudly as he had revealed his arm. “Down in the glowing part under the logs. And don’t call me young. I’m a good million years older than you are! Can I reduce the speed of the castle now?”

“Is something the matter?” Calcifer asked.

“Yes. My heart. There was a scarecrow at the door!” Sophie gasped.

“What has a scarecrow to do with your heart?” Calcifer asked.

“It was trying to get in here. It gave me a terrible fright. And my heart—but you wouldn’t understand, you silly young demon!” Sophie panted. “You haven’t got a heart.”

“Yes I have,” Calcifer said, as proudly as he had revealed his arm. “Down in the glowing part under the logs. And don’t call me young. I’m a good million years older than you are! Can I reduce the speed of the castle now?”

If you knew the trouble we’ve had because Howl will keep falling in love like this! We’ve had lawsuits, and suitors with swords, and mothers with rolling pins, and fathers and uncles with cudgels. And aunts. Aunts are terrible. They go for you with hat pins. But the worst is when the girl herself finds out where Howl lives and turns up at the door, crying and miserable. Howl goes out through the back door and Calcifer and I have to deal with them all.

If you knew the trouble we’ve had because Howl will keep falling in love like this! We’ve had lawsuits, and suitors with swords, and mothers with rolling pins, and fathers and uncles with cudgels. And aunts. Aunts are terrible. They go for you with hat pins. But the worst is when the girl herself finds out where Howl lives and turns up at the door, crying and miserable. Howl goes out through the back door and Calcifer and I have to deal with them all.

Sophie : Don't come in here. I've got a bad cold. I don't want you to catch it. Honey : You sound ghastly, like some 90-year-old woman.

Sophie : Don’t come in here. I’ve got a bad cold. I don’t want you to catch it.
Honey : You sound ghastly, like some 90-year-old

Markl : Are you sure you're not a witch? Sophie : Oh, yes, I'm the worst kind of witch there is! The one that cleans!

Markl : Are you sure you’re not a witch?
Sophie : Oh, yes, I’m the worst kind of witch there is! The one that cleans!

Howl : You're looking well, Madame Suliman. Madam Suliman : Rather weak disguise. Didn't I teach you better? Howl : I'm not trying to outwit you. I kept my oath. I reported when summoned. Now 'mother' and I will go. Madam Suliman : I think not.

Howl : You’re looking well, Madame Suliman.
Madam Suliman : Rather weak disguise. Didn’t I teach you better?
Howl : I’m not trying to outwit you. I

Howl : Go away. Sophie : No. I'm not going away. I'm going to help you break this spell that you're under. Howl : You? You can't even break your own spell. Sophie : But you don't understand. I love you. Howl : You're too late. Sophie : Howl no!

Howl : Go away.
Sophie : No. I’m not going away. I’m going to help you break this spell that you’re under.
Howl : You? You can’t

Old Sophie : Do you know what Madame Suliman said? She said that Howl's heart was stolen by a demon. Tell me now, what do you know? Calcifer : I'm so sorry but that would be confidential information.

Old Sophie : Do you know what Madame Suliman said? She said that Howl’s heart was stolen by a demon. Tell me now, what do

Old Sophie : All right Calcifer, let's get cooking. Calcifer : I don't cook! I'm a scary and powerful fire demon!

Old Sophie : All right Calcifer, let’s get cooking.
Calcifer : I don’t cook! I’m a scary and powerful fire demon!

Howl : Markl, make sure the cleaning lady doesn't get carried away while I'm gone. Markl : Sophie, what did you do now? Calcifer : She almost smothered me! If I die, Howl dies too, I hope you know.

Howl : Markl, make sure the cleaning lady doesn’t get carried away while I’m gone.
Markl : Sophie, what did you do now?
Calcifer : She almost

Howl : The Witch of the Wastes is trying to find my castle. Old Sophie : Ah, I saw her henchmen at the harbor. Howl : I'm such a big coward, all I do is hide. All of this magic is to keep everybody away. I can't stand how scared I am.

Howl : The Witch of the Wastes is trying to find my castle.
Old Sophie : Ah, I saw her henchmen at the harbor.
Howl : I’m

Howl : I've got it! Why don't you go to the palace for me? Old Sophie : Huh? Howl : Just say that you're Pendragon's mother and that your son is such a cowardly wizard he's too afraid to show his face. Maybe then Madame Suliman will finally give up on me.

Howl : I’ve got it! Why don’t you go to the palace for me?
Old Sophie : Huh?
Howl : Just say that you’re Pendragon’s mother and

Old Sophie : Howl, why is the Witch of the Wastes trying to hunt you down? Howl : She was once quite beautiful, so I decided to pursue her, then I realized she wasn't, so then, as usual, I ran away.

Old Sophie : Howl, why is the Witch of the Wastes trying to hunt you down?
Howl : She was once quite beautiful, so I decided

Old Sophie : I can't do this! Why'd you make me come here if you were coming yourself? Howl : Knowing you'd be there gave me the courage to show up. That woman terrifies me. I can't face her on my own. You saved me, Sophie. I was in big trouble back there.

Old Sophie : I can’t do this! Why’d you make me come here if you were coming yourself?
Howl : Knowing you’d be there gave me

Howl : Calcifer, move the castle sixty miles west. And while you're at it, make hot water for my bath. Calcifer : Fine, like moving the castle isn't hard enough!

Howl : Calcifer, move the castle sixty miles west. And while you’re at it, make hot water for my bath.
Calcifer : Fine, like moving the

Howl : So what do you have in your pocket, Sophie? Old Sophie : Huh? What is this? Howl : Give it to me. Markl : Scorch marks! Howl, can you read them? Howl : That is ancient sorcery, and quite powerful too. Markl : Is it from the Witch of the Waste? Howl : "You who swallowed a falling star, o' heartless man, your heart shall soon be mine." That can't be good for the table. Markl : Wow! It's gone! Howl : The mark may be gone, but the spell is still there.

Howl : So what do you have in your pocket, Sophie?
Old Sophie : Huh? What is this?
Howl : Give it to me.
Markl : Scorch marks!

Howl : Calcifer? You're being so obedient. Calcifer : Not on purpose! She bullied me! Howl : Not just anybody can do that. And you are... who? Old Sophie : Er, you can just call me Grandma Sophie. I'm your new cleaning lady. I just started work today.

Howl : Calcifer? You’re being so obedient.
Calcifer : Not on purpose! She bullied me!
Howl : Not just anybody can do that. And you are… who?
Old

Howl : The Witch of the Waste and Madame Suliman's dog at my table? What possessed you to let them in my house? Calcifer : I didn't let them in here! Sophie crash landed her plane into my face! Old Sophie : Hmph! Howl : I knew she'd make a great pilot!

Howl : The Witch of the Waste and Madame Suliman’s dog at my table? What possessed you to let them in my house?
Calcifer : I

Howl : Sophie! You, you sabotaged me! Look! Look at what you've done to my hair! Look! Old Sophie : What a pretty color. Howl : It's hideous! You completely ruined my magic potions in the bathroom! Old Sophie : I just organized things, Howl. Nothing's ruined. Howl : Wrong! Wrong! I specifically ordered you not to get carried away! Now I'm repulsive. I can't live like this. Old Sophie : Come on, it's not that bad. You should look at it now, its shade is even better. Howl : I give up. I see no point in living if I can't be beautiful.

Howl : Sophie! You, you sabotaged me! Look! Look at what you’ve done to my hair! Look!
Old Sophie : What a pretty color.
Howl : It’s

Howl : This war is terrible, they bomb from the southern coast to the northern border. It's all in flames now. Calcifer : I can't stand the fire and gunpowder. Those dopey guys have absolutely no manners. Howl : My own kind attacked me today. Calcifer : Who? The Witch of the Wastes? Howl : No, some hack wizards who turned themselves into monsters for the king. Calcifer : Those wizards are going to regret doing that. They'll never change back into humans. Howl : After the war, they won't recall they ever were human.

Howl : This war is terrible, they bomb from the southern coast to the northern border. It’s all in flames now.
Calcifer : I can’t stand

Howl : There you are, sweetheart, sorry I'm late. I was looking everywhere for you. Soldier : Hey, hey! We're busy here! Howl : Are you really? To me, it looked like the two of you were just leaving.

Howl : There you are, sweetheart, sorry I’m late. I was looking everywhere for you.
Soldier : Hey, hey! We’re busy here!
Howl : Are you really?

Old Sophie : A battleship? Howl : On its way to burn cities and people. Old Sophie : The enemy's? Ours? Howl : What difference does it make?

Old Sophie : A battleship?
Howl : On its way to burn cities and people.
Old Sophie : The enemy’s? Ours?
Howl : What difference does it make?

Young Sophie : Howl needs that back now. Witch of the Waste : Don't look at me, I don't have it, I don't know what you're talking about. Young Sophie : Please give it back. Witch of the Waste : You really want it that badly? Young Sophie : Yes. Witch of the Waste : Alright then, you'd better take good care of it. Young Sophie : Okay. Witch of the Waste : Here, dear. Young Sophie : Thank you, you have a big heart!

Young Sophie : Howl needs that back now.
Witch of the Waste : Don’t look at me, I don’t have it, I don’t know what you’re

Letti : What's going on? Someone just told me you floated down into our balcony! Young Sophie : So that did happen, it wasn't a dream.

Letti : What’s going on? Someone just told me you floated down into our balcony!
Young Sophie : So that did happen, it wasn’t a dream.

Letti : Wow! He must have been a wizard then. Young Sophie : But he was so kind to me. He rescued me, Letti. Letti : Of course he did, he was trying to steal your heart. You were so lucky Sophie, if that wizard were Howl, he would have eaten it. Young Sophie : No he wouldn't, Howl only does that to beautiful girls.

Letti : Wow! He must have been a wizard then.
Young Sophie : But he was so kind to me. He rescued me, Letti.
Letti : Of

Young Sophie : Calcifer. Calcifer : Sophie, I'm so tired. Young Sophie : If I give Howl back his heart, what will happen to you? Calcifer : I'll be okay if you do it, I think. I mean, you dumped water on me and Howl and we both survived. Young Sophie : I'd better try then.

Young Sophie : Calcifer.
Calcifer : Sophie, I’m so tired.
Young Sophie : If I give Howl back his heart, what will happen to you?
Calcifer : I’ll

Calcifer : No, no, no! Don't do this! Help! Help! Crazy lady with the shovel! If you kick me out that door, the castle could collapse! Young Sophie : Good!

Calcifer : No, no, no! Don’t do this! Help! Help! Crazy lady with the shovel! If you kick me out that door, the castle could

Howl : You didn't have to come back, Calcifer. Calcifer : Yeah, I kinda missed you guys, and it looks like it's gonna rain. Young Sophie : I missed you too, Calcifer.

Howl : You didn’t have to come back, Calcifer.
Calcifer : Yeah, I kinda missed you guys, and it looks like it’s gonna rain.
Young Sophie :

Young Sophie : It's... you're scaring me. I have this weird feeling you're going to leave. Howl, tell me what's going on! Please. I don't care if you're a monster. Howl : I'm just setting things up so all of you can live a comfortable life, Sophie.

Young Sophie : It’s… you’re scaring me. I have this weird feeling you’re going to leave. Howl, tell me what’s going on! Please. I don’t

Young Sophie : They say that the best blaze burns brightest when circumstances are at their worst. Calcifer : Yeah, but no one really believes that. Come on, let's be honest.

Young Sophie : They say that the best blaze burns brightest when circumstances are at their worst.
Calcifer : Yeah, but no one really believes that.

Young Sophie : Let's run! Don't fight them, Howl! Howl : Sorry, I've had enough of running away, Sophie. Now I've got something I want to protect. It's you.

Young Sophie : Let’s run! Don’t fight them, Howl!
Howl : Sorry, I’ve had enough of running away, Sophie. Now I’ve got something I want to

It seems as if those of high ability cannot resist some extra, dangerous stroke of cleverness, which results in a fatal flaw and begins a slow decline to evil.

It seems as if those of high ability cannot resist some extra, dangerous stroke of cleverness, which results in a fatal flaw and begins a

Your head’s like a turnip. I’ve always hated turnips ever since I was little. Well, at least you’re not upside down now. So long.

Your head’s like a turnip. I’ve always hated turnips ever since I was little. Well, at least you’re not upside down now. So long.

I wouldn’t open that window if I were you, dear. Calcifer’s too weak right now to protect this place, Suliman’s henchmen could get in.

I wouldn’t open that window if I were you, dear. Calcifer’s too weak right now to protect this place, Suliman’s henchmen could get in.

When you’re old, all you want to do is stare at the scenery. It’s so strange. I’ve never felt so peaceful before.

When you’re old, all you want to do is stare at the scenery. It’s so strange. I’ve never felt so peaceful before.

“Yes. I was looking for Lettie. They were both very kind to me,” Percival said, “Even though they’d never seen me before. And Wizard Howl kept visiting to court Lettie. Lettie didn’t want him, and she asked me to bite him to get rid of him, until Howl suddenly began asking her about you and—“ “What?” He said, “I know someone called Sophie who looks a little like you.. And Lettie said, that’s my sister,’ without thinking,” Percival said. “And she got terribly worried then, particularly as Howl went on asking about her sister.”

“Yes. I was looking for Lettie. They were both very kind to me,” Percival said, “Even though they’d never seen me before. And Wizard Howl kept visiting to court Lettie. Lettie didn’t want him, and she asked me to bite him to get rid of him, until Howl suddenly began asking her about you and—“
“What?”
He said, “I know someone called Sophie who looks a little like you.. And Lettie said, that’s my sister,’ without thinking,” Percival said. “And she got terribly worried then, particularly as Howl went on asking about her sister.”

Howl pointed a shaky hand up toward the canopy of his bed. “That’s why I love spiders. ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try, again.’ I keep trying,” he said with great sadness. “But I brought it on myself by making a bargain some years ago, and I know I shall never be able to love anyone properly now.” The water running out of Howl’s eyes was definitely tears now.

Howl pointed a shaky hand up toward the canopy of his bed. “That’s why I love spiders. ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try, again.’ I keep trying,” he said with great sadness. “But I brought it on myself by making a bargain some years ago, and I know I shall never be able to love anyone properly now.”
The water running out of Howl’s eyes was definitely tears now.

“I only want to catch you,” Michael explained. “I won’t hurt you.” “No! No!” the star crackled desperately. “That’s wrong! I’m supposed to die!” “But I could save you if you’d let me catch you,” Michael told it gently. “No!” cried the star. “I’d rather die!” It dived away from Michael’s fingers. Michael plunged for it, but it was too quick for him. It swooped for the nearest marsh pool, and the black water leaped into a blaze of whiteness for just an instant. Then there was a small, dying sizzle. When Sophie hobbled over, Michael was standing watching the last light fade out of a little round lump under the dark water. “That was sad,” Sophie said.

“I only want to catch you,” Michael explained. “I won’t hurt you.”
“No! No!” the star crackled desperately. “That’s wrong! I’m supposed to die!”
“But I could save you if you’d let me catch you,” Michael told it gently.
“No!” cried the star. “I’d rather die!”
It dived away from Michael’s fingers. Michael plunged for it, but it was too quick for him. It swooped for the nearest marsh pool, and the black water leaped into a blaze of whiteness for just an instant. Then there was a small, dying sizzle. When Sophie hobbled over, Michael was standing watching the last light fade out of a little round lump under the dark water.
“That was sad,” Sophie said.

"Wizard Howl," said Wizard Suliman. "I must apologize for trying to bite you so often. In the normal way, I wouldn't dream of setting teeth in a fellow countryman."

“Wizard Howl,” said Wizard Suliman. “I must apologize for trying to bite you so often. In the normal way, I wouldn’t dream of setting teeth in a fellow countryman.”

Meanwhile a certain amount of moaning and groaning was coming from upstairs. Sophie kept muttering to the dog and ignored it. A loud, hollow coughing followed, dying away into more moaning. Crashing sneezes followed the coughing, each one rattling the window and all the doors. Sophie found those harder to ignore, but she managed. Poot-pooooot! went a blown nose, like a bassoon in a tunnel. The coughing started again, mingled with moans. Sneezes mixed with the moans and the coughs, and the sounds rose to a crescendo in which Howl seemed to be managing to cough, groan, blow his nose, sneeze, and wail gently all at the same time. The doors rattled, the beams in the ceiling shook, and one of Calcifer’s logs rolled off onto the hearth. “All right, all right, I get the message!” Sophie said, dumping the log back into the grate. “It’ll be green slime next.”

Meanwhile a certain amount of moaning and groaning was coming from upstairs. Sophie kept muttering to the dog and ignored it. A loud, hollow coughing followed, dying away into more moaning. Crashing sneezes followed the coughing, each one rattling the window and all the doors. Sophie found those harder to ignore, but she managed. Poot-pooooot! went a blown nose, like a bassoon in a tunnel. The coughing started again, mingled with moans. Sneezes mixed with the moans and the coughs, and the sounds rose to a crescendo in which Howl seemed to be managing to cough, groan, blow his nose, sneeze, and wail gently all at the same time. The doors rattled, the beams in the ceiling shook, and one of Calcifer’s logs rolled off onto the hearth.
“All right, all right, I get the message!” Sophie said, dumping the log back into the grate. “It’ll be green slime next.”

It was clear Howl had not yet caught the girl he was after. Sophie listened to Michael asking rather obvious questions about it, and Howl slithering neatly out of answering any of them. "He is a slitherer-outer," Sophie murmured to a pair of Michael's socks. "Can't face his own wickedness."

It was clear Howl had not yet caught the girl he was after. Sophie listened to Michael asking rather obvious questions about it, and Howl slithering neatly out of answering any of them. “He is a slitherer-outer,” Sophie murmured to a pair of Michael’s socks. “Can’t face his own wickedness.”

"Why didn't he turn me out?" [Sophie] said, half to herself and half to Michael. "It beats me," said Michael. "But I think he goes by Calcifer. Most people who come in here either don't notice Calcifer or are scared stiff of him."

“Why didn’t he turn me out?” [Sophie] said, half to herself and half to Michael. “It beats me,” said Michael. “But I think he goes by Calcifer. Most people who come in here either don’t notice Calcifer or are scared stiff of him.”

"I'm the eldest!" Sophie shrieked. "I'm a failure!" "Garbage!" Howl shouted. "You just never stop to think!"

“I’m the eldest!” Sophie shrieked. “I’m a failure!”
“Garbage!” Howl shouted. “You just never stop to think!”

"I can't get him to speak!" Michael whispered miserably. "It's just a tantrum," Sophie said. Martha and Lettie were good at having tantrums too. She knew how to deal with those. On the other hand, it is quite a risk to spank a wizard for getting hysterical about his hair.

“I can’t get him to speak!” Michael whispered miserably. “It’s just a tantrum,” Sophie said. Martha and Lettie were good at having tantrums too. She knew how to deal with those. On the other hand, it is quite a risk to spank a wizard for getting hysterical about his hair.

Being old gave [Sophie] an entirely new view of Fanny. She was a lady who was still young and pretty, and she had found the hat shop as boring as Sophie did. But she had stuck with it and done her best, both with the shop and with the three girls—until Mr. Hatter had died. Then she had suddenly been afraid she was just like Sophie: old with no reason, and nothing to show for it.

Being old gave [Sophie] an entirely new view of Fanny. She was a lady who was still young and pretty, and she had found the hat shop as boring as Sophie did. But she had stuck with it and done her best, both with the shop and with the three girls—until Mr. Hatter had died. Then she had suddenly been afraid she was just like Sophie: old with no reason, and nothing to show for it.

[Sophie] settled herself comfortably in the chair while the demon thought. It thought aloud, in a little, crackling, flickering murmur, which reminded Sophie rather of the way she had talked to her stick when she walked here, and it blazed while it thought with such a glad and powerful roaring that she dozed again. […] The demon at length fell to singing a gentle, flickering little song. It was not in any language Sophie knew—or she thought not, until she distinctly heard the word “saucepan” in it several times—and it was very sleepy-sounding. Sophie fell into a deep sleep, with a slight suspicion that she was being bewitched now, as well as beguiled, but it did not bother her particularly. She would be free of the spell soon …

[Sophie] settled herself comfortably in the chair while the demon thought. It thought aloud, in a little, crackling, flickering murmur, which reminded Sophie rather of the way she had talked to her stick when she walked here, and it blazed while it thought with such a glad and powerful roaring that she dozed again. […] The demon at length fell to singing a gentle, flickering little song. It was not in any language Sophie knew—or she thought not, until she distinctly heard the word “saucepan” in it several times—and it was very sleepy-sounding. Sophie fell into a deep sleep, with a slight suspicion that she was being bewitched now, as well as beguiled, but it did not bother her particularly. She would be free of the spell soon …

‘I do not know, nor do I wish to know, about such contracts,’ [Mrs. Pentstemmon] said. Her cane wobbled again, as if she might be shuddering. Her mouth quirked into a line, suggesting she had unexpectedly bitten on a peppercorn. ‘But I now see,’ she said, ‘what has happened to the Witch. She made a contract with a fire demon and, over the years, that demon has taken control of her. Demons do not understand good and evil. But they can be bribed into a contract, provided the human offers them something valuable, something only humans have.‘

‘I do not know, nor do I wish to know, about such contracts,’ [Mrs. Pentstemmon] said. Her cane wobbled again, as if she might be shuddering. Her mouth quirked into a line, suggesting she had unexpectedly bitten on a peppercorn. ‘But I now see,’ she said, ‘what has happened to the Witch. She made a contract with a fire demon and, over the years, that demon has taken control of her. Demons do not understand good and evil. But they can be bribed into a contract, provided the human offers them something valuable, something only humans have.‘

They went through and out into the yard Sophie had known all her life. It was only half the size now, because Howl’s yard from the moving castle took up one side of it. Sophie looked up beyond the brick walls of Howl’s yard to her own old house. It looked rather odd because of the new window in it that belonged to Howl’s bedroom, and it made Sophie feel odder still when she realized that Howl’s window did not look out onto the things she saw now. She could see the window of her own old bedroom, up above the shop. That made her feel odd too, because there did not seem to be any way to get up into it now.

They went through and out into the yard Sophie had known all her life. It was only half the size now, because Howl’s yard from the moving castle took up one side of it. Sophie looked up beyond the brick walls of Howl’s yard to her own old house. It looked rather odd because of the new window in it that belonged to Howl’s bedroom, and it made Sophie feel odder still when she realized that Howl’s window did not look out onto the things she saw now. She could see the window of her own old bedroom, up above the shop. That made her feel odd too, because there did not seem to be any way to get up into it now.

Sophie looked warily at the demon’s thin blue face. It had a distinctly cunning look as it made this proposal. Everything she had read showed the extreme danger of making a bargain with a demon. And there was no doubt that this one did look extraordinarily evil. Those long purple teeth. ‘Are you sure you’re being quite honest?’ she said. ‘Not completely,’ admitted the demon. ‘But do you want to stay like that till you die? That spell has shortened your life by about sixty years, if I am any judge of such things.‘

Sophie looked warily at the demon’s thin blue face. It had a distinctly cunning look as it made this proposal. Everything she had read showed the extreme danger of making a bargain with a demon. And there was no doubt that this one did look extraordinarily evil. Those long purple teeth. ‘Are you sure you’re being quite honest?’ she said.

‘Not completely,’ admitted the demon. ‘But do you want to stay like that till you die? That spell has shortened your life by about sixty years, if I am any judge of such things.‘

‘But you should have told me where you were, love!’ Sophie knew she should have. She had taken Martha’s view of Fanny, whole and entire, when she should have known Fanny better. She was ashamed.

‘But you should have told me where you were, love!’

Sophie knew she should have. She had taken Martha’s view of Fanny, whole and entire, when she should have known Fanny better. She was ashamed.

Sophie got herself to the mirror, and found that she had to hobble. The face in the mirror was quite calm, because it was what she expected to see. It was the face of a gaunt old woman, withered and brownish, surrounded by wispy white hair. Her own eyes, yellow and watery, stared out at her, looking rather tragic. ‘Don’t worry, old thing,’ Sophie said to the face. ‘You look quite healthy. Besides, this is much more like you really are.‘

Sophie got herself to the mirror, and found that she had to hobble. The face in the mirror was quite calm, because it was what she expected to see. It was the face of a gaunt old woman, withered and brownish, surrounded by wispy white hair. Her own eyes, yellow and watery, stared out at her, looking rather tragic.

‘Don’t worry, old thing,’ Sophie said to the face. ‘You look quite healthy. Besides, this is much more like you really are.‘

The room turned dim. Huge, cloudy, human-looking shapes bellied up in all four corners and advanced on Sophie and Michael, howling as they came. The howls began as moaning horror, and went up to despairing brays, and then up again to screams of pain and terror. Sophie pressed her hands to her ears, but the screams pressed through her hands, louder and louder still, more horrible every second. Calcifer shrank hurriedly down in the grate and flickered his way under his lowest log. Michael grabbed Sophie by her elbow and dragged her to the door.

The room turned dim. Huge, cloudy, human-looking shapes bellied up in all four corners and advanced on Sophie and Michael, howling as they came. The howls began as moaning horror, and went up to despairing brays, and then up again to screams of pain and terror. Sophie pressed her hands to her ears, but the screams pressed through her hands, louder and louder still, more horrible every second. Calcifer shrank hurriedly down in the grate and flickered his way under his lowest log. Michael grabbed Sophie by her elbow and dragged her to the door.

Though [Wizard Howl] did not seem to want to leave the hills, he was known to amuse himself by collecting young girls and sucking the souls from them. Or some people said he ate their hearts. He was an utterly cold-blooded and heartless wizard and no young girl was safe from him if he caught her on her own. Sophie, Lettie, and Martha, along with all the other girls in Market Chipping, were warned never to go out alone, which was a great annoyance to them.

Though [Wizard Howl] did not seem to want to leave the hills, he was known to amuse himself by collecting young girls and sucking the souls from them. Or some people said he ate their hearts. He was an utterly cold-blooded and heartless wizard and no young girl was safe from him if he caught her on her own. Sophie, Lettie, and Martha, along with all the other girls in Market Chipping, were warned never to go out alone, which was a great annoyance to them.

As a girl, Sophie was scared of all dogs. Even as an old woman, she was quite alarmed by the two rows of white fangs in the creature’s open jaws. But she said to herself, ‘The way I am now, it’s scarcely worth worrying about,’ and felt in her sewing pocket for her scissors. She reached into the hedge with the scissors and sawed away at the rope round the dog’s neck.

As a girl, Sophie was scared of all dogs. Even as an old woman, she was quite alarmed by the two rows of white fangs in the creature’s open jaws. But she said to herself, ‘The way I am now, it’s scarcely worth worrying about,’ and felt in her sewing pocket for her scissors. She reached into the hedge with the scissors and sawed away at the rope round the dog’s neck.

[Howl] came forth two hours later, out of a steam of verbena-scented spells. He was all in black. His suit was black, his boots were black, and his hair was black too, the same blue-raven black as Miss Angorian’s. His earring was a long jet pendant. Sophie wondered if the black hair was in honor of Mrs. Pentstemmon. She agreed with Mrs. Pentstemmon that black hair suited Howl. His green-glass eyes went better with it. But she wondered very much which suit the black one really was.

[Howl] came forth two hours later, out of a steam of verbena-scented spells. He was all in black. His suit was black, his boots were black, and his hair was black too, the same blue-raven black as Miss Angorian’s. His earring was a long jet pendant. Sophie wondered if the black hair was in honor of Mrs. Pentstemmon. She agreed with Mrs. Pentstemmon that black hair suited Howl. His green-glass eyes went better with it. But she wondered very much which suit the black one really was.

‘The only chance I had of coming at Prince Justin was to use that curse she’d put on me to get near her.’ ‘So you were going to rescue the Prince!’ Sophie shouted. ‘Why did you pretend to run away? To deceive the Witch?’ ‘Not likely!’ Howl yelled. ‘I’m a coward. Only way I can do something this frightening is to tell myself I’m not doing it!’ Oh dear! Sophie thought, looking round at the swirling grit. He’s being honest! And this is a wind. The last bit of the curse has come true!

‘The only chance I had of coming at Prince Justin was to use that curse she’d put on me to get near her.’

‘So you were going to rescue the Prince!’ Sophie shouted. ‘Why did you pretend to run away? To deceive the Witch?’

‘Not likely!’ Howl yelled. ‘I’m a coward. Only way I can do something this frightening is to tell myself I’m not doing it!’

Oh dear! Sophie thought, looking round at the swirling grit. He’s being honest! And this is a wind. The last bit of the curse has come true!

Howl was on the tossing, nearly sinking ship below. He was a tiny black figure now, leaning against the bucking mainmast. He let the Witch know she had missed by waving at her cheekily. The Witch saw him the instant he waved. Cloud, Witch, and all at once became a savagely swooping red bird, diving at the ship. The ship vanished. The mermaids sang a doleful scream. There was nothing but sulkily tossing water where the ship had been. But the diving bird was going too fast to stop. It plunged into the sea with a huge splash. Everyone on the quayside cheered.

Howl was on the tossing, nearly sinking ship below. He was a tiny black figure now, leaning against the bucking mainmast. He let the Witch know she had missed by waving at her cheekily. The Witch saw him the instant he waved. Cloud, Witch, and all at once became a savagely swooping red bird, diving at the ship.

The ship vanished. The mermaids sang a doleful scream. There was nothing but sulkily tossing water where the ship had been. But the diving bird was going too fast to stop. It plunged into the sea with a huge splash.

Everyone on the quayside cheered.

[The King] was quite alone, like an ordinary person. True, he sat with one leg thrust out in a kingly sort of manner, and he was handsome in a plump, slightly vague way, but to Sophie he seemed quite youthful and just a touch too proud of being a king. She felt he ought, with that face, to have been more unsure of himself. He said, “Well, what does the Wizard Howl’s mother want to see me about?” And Sophie was suddenly overwhelmed by the fact that she was standing talking to the King. It was, she thought dizzily, as if the man sitting there and the huge important thing which was the kingship were two separate things that just happened to occupy the same chair.

[The King] was quite alone, like an ordinary person. True, he sat with one leg thrust out in a kingly sort of manner, and he was handsome in a plump, slightly vague way, but to Sophie he seemed quite youthful and just a touch too proud of being a king. She felt he ought, with that face, to have been more unsure of himself. He said, “Well, what does the Wizard Howl’s mother want to see me about?” And Sophie was suddenly overwhelmed by the fact that she was standing talking to the King. It was, she thought dizzily, as if the man sitting there and the huge important thing which was the kingship were two separate things that just happened to occupy the same chair.

Howl was equally patient and polite with customers from Porthaven, but, as Michael anxiously pointed out, the trouble was that Howl did not charge these people enough. This was after Howl had listened for an hour to the reasons why a seaman’s wife could not pay him a penny yet, and then promised a sea captain a wind spell for almost nothing. Howl eluded Michael’s arguments by giving him a magic lesson.

Howl was equally patient and polite with customers from Porthaven, but, as Michael anxiously pointed out, the trouble was that Howl did not charge these people enough. This was after Howl had listened for an hour to the reasons why a seaman’s wife could not pay him a penny yet, and then promised a sea captain a wind spell for almost nothing. Howl eluded Michael’s arguments by giving him a magic lesson.

There was a time when everyone seemed to be telling me [that Sophie is under a spell]. Even Calcifer did—when I asked him. But do you honestly think I don’t know my own business well enough not to spot a strong spell like that when I see it? I had several goes at taking it off you when you weren’t looking. But nothing seems to work. I took you to Mrs. Pentstemmon, hoping she could do something, but she evidently couldn’t. I came to the conclusion that you liked being in disguise.

There was a time when everyone seemed to be telling me [that Sophie is under a spell]. Even Calcifer did—when I asked him. But do you honestly think I don’t know my own business well enough not to spot a strong spell like that when I see it? I had several goes at taking it off you when you weren’t looking. But nothing seems to work. I took you to Mrs. Pentstemmon, hoping she could do something, but she evidently couldn’t. I came to the conclusion that you liked being in disguise.

They opened the flower shop the next day. As Howl had pointed out, it could not have been simpler. Every early morning, all they had to do was to open the door with the knob purple-down and go out into the swimming green haze to gather flowers. It soon became a routine. Sophie took her stick and her scissors and stumped about, chatting to her stick, using it to test the squashy ground or hook down sprays of high-up choice roses. Michael took an invention of his own which he was very proud of. It was a large tin tub with water in it, which floated in the air and followed Michael wherever he went among the bushes. The dog-man went too. He had a wonderful time rushing about the wet green lanes, chasing butterflies or trying to catch the tiny, bright birds that fed on the flowers.

They opened the flower shop the next day. As Howl had pointed out, it could not have been simpler. Every early morning, all they had to do was to open the door with the knob purple-down and go out into the swimming green haze to gather flowers. It soon became a routine. Sophie took her stick and her scissors and stumped about, chatting to her stick, using it to test the squashy ground or hook down sprays of high-up choice roses. Michael took an invention of his own which he was very proud of. It was a large tin tub with water in it, which floated in the air and followed Michael wherever he went among the bushes. The dog-man went too. He had a wonderful time rushing about the wet green lanes, chasing butterflies or trying to catch the tiny, bright birds that fed on the flowers.

Being a crone did not stop her enjoying the sight and smell of may in the hedgerows, though the sight was a little blurred.

Being a crone did not stop her enjoying the sight and smell of may in the hedgerows, though the sight was a little blurred.

“My impression,” said the King, “was that Howl is an unprincipled, slippery rogue with a glib tongue and a clever mind. Would you agree?”

“My impression,” said the King, “was that Howl is an unprincipled, slippery rogue with a glib tongue and a clever mind. Would you agree?”

“I’ve never seen why people put such value on things being natural,” Howl said, and Sophie knew then that he was scarcely changed at all.

“I’ve never seen why people put such value on things being natural,” Howl said, and Sophie knew then that he was scarcely changed at all.

"I daresay she is as proud of you as I am. We are two old ladies who both had a hand in forming you. You are, one might say, our joint creation." "Don't you think I did any of me myself, then?" Howl asked. "Put in just a few touches of my own?" "A few, and those not altogether to my liking," Mrs Pentstemmon replied.

“I daresay she is as proud of you as I am. We are two old ladies who both had a hand in forming you. You are, one might say, our joint creation.”

“Don’t you think I did any of me myself, then?” Howl asked. “Put in just a few touches of my own?”

“A few, and those not altogether to my liking,” Mrs Pentstemmon replied.

"You're still here," he said. "Is something the matter?" Sophie sniffed. "I'm old," she began. But it was just as the Witch had said and the fire demon had guessed. Michael said cheerfully, "Well, it comes to us all in time. Would you like some breakfast?"

“You’re still here,” he said. “Is something the matter?”

Sophie sniffed. “I’m old,” she began.

But it was just as the Witch had said and the fire demon had guessed. Michael said cheerfully, “Well, it comes to us all in time. Would you like some breakfast?”

You people keep spoiling my plans. First Wizard Suliman would not come near the Waste, so that I had to threaten Princess Valeria in order to make the King order him out here. Then, when he came, he grew trees.

You people keep spoiling my plans. First Wizard Suliman would not come near the Waste, so that I had to threaten Princess Valeria in order to make the King order him out here. Then, when he came, he grew trees.

Calcifer agreed to speed up the castle because of a scarecrow? Dear Sophie, do please tell me how you bully a fire demon into being that obliging. I’d dearly love to know!

Calcifer agreed to speed up the castle because of a scarecrow? Dear Sophie, do please tell me how you bully a fire demon into being that obliging. I’d dearly love to know!

'You know this could kill me, don't you?' 'Look on the bright side,' said Howl. 'It could be me it kills.'

‘You know this could kill me, don’t you?’
‘Look on the bright side,’ said Howl. ‘It could be me it kills.’

The most interesting thing was the talk from the customers. Nobody can buy a hat without gossiping. Sophie sat in her alcove and stitched and heard [...] that Wizard Howl’s castle had moved round to the cliffs again, really that man, whisper, whisper, whisper… The voices always dropped low when they talked of Wizard Howl, [...] Then there would be a fleeting, fearful whisper about the Witch of the Waste. Sophie began to feel that Wizard Howl and the Witch of the Waste should get together.

The most interesting thing was the talk from the customers. Nobody can buy a hat without gossiping. Sophie sat in her alcove and stitched and heard […] that Wizard Howl’s castle had moved round to the cliffs again, really that man, whisper, whisper, whisper… The voices always dropped low when they talked of Wizard Howl, […] Then there would be a fleeting, fearful whisper about the Witch of the Waste. Sophie began to feel that Wizard Howl and the Witch of the Waste should get together.

Sophie got out the modish black-and-white, which was the only hat even remotely likely to interest this lady. The lady looked at it with contempt. “This one doesn’t do anything for anybody. You’re wasting my time, Miss Hatter.” “Only because you came in and asked for hats,” Sophie said.

Sophie got out the modish black-and-white, which was the only hat even remotely likely to interest this lady. The lady looked at it with contempt. “This one doesn’t do anything for anybody. You’re wasting my time, Miss Hatter.”
“Only because you came in and asked for hats,” Sophie said.

Zip! Back to the mansion. Zip! to Market Square. Zip! and there was the castle yet again. She was getting the hang of it. Zip! Here was Upper Folding—but how did you stop? Zip! “Oh, confound it!” Sophie cried, almost in Marsh Folding again.

Zip! Back to the mansion. Zip! to Market Square. Zip! and there was the castle yet again. She was getting the hang of it. Zip! Here was Upper Folding—but how did you stop? Zip! “Oh, confound it!” Sophie cried, almost in Marsh Folding again.

The customer glared. Then she threw the bonnet at Sophie and stormed out of the shop. Sophie carefully crammed the bonnet into the wastebasket, panting rather. The rule was: Lose your temper, lose a customer. She had just proved that rule. It troubled her to realise how very enjoyable it had been.

The customer glared. Then she threw the bonnet at Sophie and stormed out of the shop. Sophie carefully crammed the bonnet into the wastebasket, panting rather. The rule was: Lose your temper, lose a customer. She had just proved that rule. It troubled her to realise how very enjoyable it had been.

People Sophie had known all her life came and bought flowers by the bundle. None of them recognized her, and that made her feel very odd.

People Sophie had known all her life came and bought flowers by the bundle. None of them recognized her, and that made her feel very odd.

She stood for a moment looking out at a slowly moving view of the hills, watching heather slide past underneath the door, feeling the wind blow her wispy hair, and listening to the rumble and grind of the big black stones as the castle moved.

She stood for a moment looking out at a slowly moving view of the hills, watching heather slide past underneath the door, feeling the wind blow her wispy hair, and listening to the rumble and grind of the big black stones as the castle moved.

For answer, Calcifer stretched out a blue arm-shaped flame divided into green fingerlike flames at the end. It was not very long, nor did it look strong. “See? I can almost reach the hearth,” he said proudly.

For answer, Calcifer stretched out a blue arm-shaped flame divided into green fingerlike flames at the end. It was not very long, nor did it look strong. “See? I can almost reach the hearth,” he said proudly.

Or had Howl slithered out so hard that he had come out right behind himself and turned out what most people would call honest?

Or had Howl slithered out so hard that he had come out right behind himself and turned out what most people would call honest?

The third encounter came towards the end of the afternoon when Sophie had worked her way quite high into the hills. A countryman came whistling down the lane towards her. A shepherd, Sophie thought, going home after seeing to his sheep. He was a well set up young fellow of forty or so. "Gracious!" Sophie said to herself. "This morning I'd have seen him as an old man. How one's point of view does alter!" When the shepherd saw Sophie mumbling to herself, he moved rather carefully over to the other side of the lane and called out with great heartiness, "Good evening to you, Mother! Where are you off to?" "Mother?" said Sophie. "I'm not your mother, young man!" "A manner of speaking," the shepherd said, edging along against the opposite hedge. "I was only meaning a polite inquiry, seeing you walking into the hills at the end of the day. You won't get down into Upper Folding before nightfall, will you?" Sophie had not considered this. She stood in the road and thought about it. "It doesn't matter really," she said, half to herself. "You can't be fussy when you're off to seek your fortune." "Can't you indeed, Mother?" said the shepherd. He had now edged himself downhill of Sophie and seemed to feel better for it. "Then I wish you luck, Mother, provided your fortune don't have nothing to do with charming folks' cattle." And he took off down the road in great strides, almost running, but not quite. Sophie stared after him indignantly. "He thought I was a witch!" she said to her stick. She had half a mind to scare the shepherd by shouting nasty things after him, but that seemed a little unkind.

The third encounter came towards the end of the afternoon when Sophie had worked her way quite high into the hills. A countryman came whistling down the lane towards her. A shepherd, Sophie thought, going home after seeing to his sheep. He was a well set up young fellow of forty or so. “Gracious!” Sophie said to herself. “This morning I’d have seen him as an old man. How one’s point of view does alter!”
When the shepherd saw Sophie mumbling to herself, he moved rather carefully over to the other side of the lane and called out with great heartiness, “Good evening to you, Mother! Where are you off to?”
“Mother?” said Sophie. “I’m not your mother, young man!”
“A manner of speaking,” the shepherd said, edging along against the opposite hedge. “I was only meaning a polite inquiry, seeing you walking into the hills at the end of the day. You won’t get down into Upper Folding before nightfall, will you?”
Sophie had not considered this. She stood in the road and thought about it. “It doesn’t matter really,” she said, half to herself. “You can’t be fussy when you’re off to seek your fortune.”
“Can’t you indeed, Mother?” said the shepherd. He had now edged himself downhill of Sophie and seemed to feel better for it. “Then I wish you luck, Mother, provided your fortune don’t have nothing to do with charming folks’ cattle.” And he took off down the road in great strides, almost running, but not quite.
Sophie stared after him indignantly. “He thought I was a witch!” she said to her stick. She had half a mind to scare the shepherd by shouting nasty things after him, but that seemed a little unkind.

"At least, I suppose I can't blame Calcifer, since he's an evil demon. But you you Michael-!" "I don't think I'm evil," Calcifer protested.

“At least, I suppose I can’t blame Calcifer, since he’s an evil demon. But you you Michael-!”
“I don’t think I’m evil,” Calcifer protested.

He gave Sophie the smile which had no doubt charmed the Witch of the Waste and possibly Lettie too, firing it along the fork, across the cream, straight into Sophie’s eyes, dazzlingly. “If you can bully Calcifer, the King should give you no trouble at all.” Sophie stared through the dazzle and said nothing. This, she thought, was where she slithered out. She was leaving. It was too bad about Calcifer’s contract. She had had enough of Howl. First green slime, then glaring at her for something Calcifer had done quite freely, and now this! Tomorrow she would slip off to Upper Folding and tell Lettie all about it.

He gave Sophie the smile which had no doubt charmed the Witch of the Waste and possibly Lettie too, firing it along the fork, across the cream, straight into Sophie’s eyes, dazzlingly. “If you can bully Calcifer, the King should give you no trouble at all.”

Sophie stared through the dazzle and said nothing. This, she thought, was where she slithered out. She was leaving. It was too bad about Calcifer’s contract. She had had enough of Howl. First green slime, then glaring at her for something Calcifer had done quite freely, and now this! Tomorrow she would slip off to Upper Folding and tell Lettie all about it.

Inside, Howl was still sitting on the stool. He sat in an attitude of utter despair. And he was covered all over in thick green slime. There were horrendous, dramatic, violent quantities of green slime – oodles of it. It covered Howl completely. It draped his head and shoulders in sticky dollops, heaping on his knees and hands, trickling in glops down his legs and dripping off the stool in sticky strands. It was in oozing ponds and crawling pools over most of the floor. Long fingers of it had crept into the hearth. It smelled vile. “Save me!” Calcifer cried in a hoarse whisper. He was down to two desperately flickering small flames. “This stuff is going to put me out!” Sophie held up her skirt and marched as near Howl as she could get – which was not very near. “Stop it!” she said. “Stop it at once! You are behaving just like a baby!”

Inside, Howl was still sitting on the stool. He sat in an attitude of utter despair. And he was covered all over in thick green slime. There were horrendous, dramatic, violent quantities of green slime – oodles of it. It covered Howl completely. It draped his head and shoulders in sticky dollops, heaping on his knees and hands, trickling in glops down his legs and dripping off the stool in sticky strands. It was in oozing ponds and crawling pools over most of the floor. Long fingers of it had crept into the hearth. It smelled vile.

“Save me!” Calcifer cried in a hoarse whisper. He was down to two desperately flickering small flames. “This stuff is going to put me out!”

Sophie held up her skirt and marched as near Howl as she could get – which was not very near. “Stop it!” she said. “Stop it at once! You are behaving just like a baby!”

Go and catch a falling star, Get with child a mandrake root, Tell me where all past years are, Or who cleft the Devil’s foot. Teach me to hear the mermaids singing, Or to keep off envy’s stinging, And find What wind Serves to advance an honest mind. Decide what this is about Write a second verse yourself.

Go and catch a falling star, Get with child a mandrake root, Tell me where all past years are, Or who cleft the Devil’s foot. Teach me to hear the mermaids singing, Or to keep off envy’s stinging, And find What wind Serves to advance an honest mind. Decide what this is about Write a second verse yourself.

“I’m not being nosy!” Sophie protested. “That room—!” “Yes, you are nosy,” said Howl. “You’re a dreadfully nosy, horribly bossy, appallingly clean old woman. Control yourself. You’re victimizing us all.”

“I’m not being nosy!” Sophie protested. “That room—!”
“Yes, you are nosy,” said Howl. “You’re a dreadfully nosy, horribly bossy, appallingly clean old woman. Control yourself. You’re victimizing us all.”

“Howl’s very fickle,” said Calcifer. “He’s only interested until the girl falls in love with him. Then he can’t be bothered with her.”

“Howl’s very fickle,” said Calcifer. “He’s only interested until the girl falls in love with him. Then he can’t be bothered with her.”

He held out his hand to Sophie, just like Mrs. Pentstemmon, but a little less royally. Sophie levered herself up, wondering if she was meant to kiss this hand or not. But since she felt more like raising her stick and beating the King over the head with it, she shook the King's hand and gave a creaking little curtsy.

He held out his hand to Sophie, just like Mrs. Pentstemmon, but a little less royally. Sophie levered herself up, wondering if she was meant to kiss this hand or not. But since she felt more like raising her stick and beating the King over the head with it, she shook the King’s hand and gave a creaking little curtsy.

For a moment it seemed as if he was going to lose his temper too. His strange, pale eyes all but glared at Sophie. But he controlled himself and said, "Now trot along indoors, you overactive old thing, and find something else to play with before I get angry. I hate getting angry."

For a moment it seemed as if he was going to lose his temper too. His strange, pale eyes all but glared at Sophie. But he controlled himself and said, “Now trot along indoors, you overactive old thing, and find something else to play with before I get angry. I hate getting angry.”

"I'm delirious," said Howl. "Spots are crawling before my eyes." "Those are spiders," said Sophie. "Why can't you cure yourself with a spell?" "Because there is no cure for a cold," Howl said dolefully.

“I’m delirious,” said Howl. “Spots are crawling before my eyes.”
“Those are spiders,” said Sophie. “Why can’t you cure yourself with a spell?”
“Because there is no cure for a cold,” Howl said dolefully.

"I've got a hangover!" "No, you hit your head on the floor," Sophie said. Howl rose up on his hands and knees with a scramble. "I can't stay," he said. "I've got to rescue that fool Sophie." "I'm here!" Sophie shook his shoulder. "But so is Miss Angorian! Get up and do something about her!"

“I’ve got a hangover!” “No, you hit your head on the floor,” Sophie said. Howl rose up on his hands and knees with a scramble. “I can’t stay,” he said. “I’ve got to rescue that fool Sophie.” “I’m here!” Sophie shook his shoulder. “But so is Miss Angorian! Get up and do something about her!”

"If you're thinking of calling on that Mrs. Pentstemmon, you can save yourself the trouble. The old biddy's dead." "Dead?" said Sophie. She had a silly impulse to add, But she was alive an hour ago! And she stopped herself, because death is like that: people are alive until they die.

“If you’re thinking of calling on that Mrs. Pentstemmon, you can save yourself the trouble. The old biddy’s dead.”
“Dead?” said Sophie. She had a silly impulse to add, But she was alive an hour ago! And she stopped herself, because death is like that: people are alive until they die.

“Of course you hate getting angry!” she retorted. “You don’t like anything unpleasant, do you? You’re a slitherer-outer, that’s what you are! You slither away from anything you don’t like!”

“Of course you hate getting angry!” she retorted. “You don’t like anything unpleasant, do you? You’re a slitherer-outer, that’s what you are! You slither away from anything you don’t like!”

“...if the spell was off, I’d have my heart eaten before I could turn around.” “Don’t you want your heart eaten?” asked the fire. [...] “Naturally I don’t,” Sophie answered.

“…if the spell was off, I’d have my heart eaten before I could turn around.”
“Don’t you want your heart eaten?” asked the fire. […]
“Naturally I don’t,” Sophie answered.

"Oh confound that gray-and-scarlet suit!" Sophie said. "I refuse to believe that I was the one that got caught with it!"

“Oh confound that gray-and-scarlet suit!” Sophie said. “I refuse to believe that I was the one that got caught with it!”

It was odd. As a girl, Sophie would have shriveled with embarrassment at the way she was behaving. As an old woman, she did not mind what she did or said. She found that a great relief.

It was odd. As a girl, Sophie would have shriveled with embarrassment at the way she was behaving. As an old woman, she did not mind what she did or said. She found that a great relief.

"Calcifer," Sophie said, "I shall have to break your contract. Will it kill you?" "It would if anyone else broke it," Calcifer said hoarsely. "That's why I asked you to do it."

“Calcifer,” Sophie said, “I shall have to break your contract. Will it kill you?” “It would if anyone else broke it,” Calcifer said hoarsely. “That’s why I asked you to do it.”

“Typical!” he said to Sophie. “I break my neck to get here, and I find you peacefully tidying up!” Sophie looked up at him. As she had feared, the hard black-and white light coming through the broken wall showed her that Howl had not bothered to shave or tidy his hair. His eyes were still red-rimmed and his black sleeves were torn in several place. There was not much to choose between Howl and the scarecrow. Oh, dear! Sophie thought. He must love Miss Angorian very much. “I came for Miss Angorian,” she explained. “And I thought if I arranged for your family to visit you, it would keep you quiet for once!” Howl said disgustedly. “But no---.”

“Typical!” he said to Sophie. “I break my neck to get here, and I find you peacefully tidying up!”
Sophie looked up at him. As she had feared, the hard black-and white light coming through the broken wall showed her that Howl had not bothered to shave or tidy his hair. His eyes were still red-rimmed and his black sleeves were torn in several place. There was not much to choose between Howl and the scarecrow. Oh, dear! Sophie thought. He must love Miss Angorian very much. “I came for Miss Angorian,” she explained.
“And I thought if I arranged for your family to visit you, it would keep you quiet for once!” Howl said disgustedly. “But no—.”

‘Don’t interrupt,’ one of the boys said. ‘He’ll lose his life.’ Seeing it was a matter of life and death, Sophie and Michael backed toward the door. But Howl, quite unperturbed at killing his nephew, strode over to the wall and pulled the boxes up by the roots.

‘Don’t interrupt,’ one of the boys said. ‘He’ll lose his life.’
Seeing it was a matter of life and death, Sophie and Michael backed toward the door. But Howl, quite unperturbed at killing his nephew, strode over to the wall and pulled the boxes up by the roots.

Sophie did not care to think how Howl might react if Fanny woke him by stabbing him with her parasol. “No, no!” she said. “Howl has been very kind to me.” And this was true, Sophie realized. Howl showed his kindness rather strangely, but, considering all Sophie did to annoy him, he had been very good to her indeed. “Do listen. He’s not wicked at all!” There was a bit of a fizz from the grate at this, where Calcifer was watching with some interest. “He isn’t!” Sophie said, to Calcifer as much as to Fanny..

Sophie did not care to think how Howl might react if Fanny woke him by stabbing him with her parasol.
“No, no!” she said. “Howl has been very kind to me.” And this was true, Sophie realized. Howl showed his kindness rather strangely, but, considering all Sophie did to annoy him, he had been very good to her indeed.

“Do listen. He’s not wicked at all!” There was a bit of a fizz from the grate at this, where Calcifer was watching with some interest. “He isn’t!” Sophie said, to Calcifer as much as to Fanny..

“Annoyed?” said Sophie. “Why should I be annoyed? Someone only filled the castle with rotten aspic, and deafened everyone in Porthaven, and scared Calcifer to a cinder, and broke a few hundred hearts. Why should that annoy me?”

“Annoyed?” said Sophie. “Why should I be annoyed? Someone only filled the castle with rotten aspic, and deafened everyone in Porthaven, and scared Calcifer to a cinder, and broke a few hundred hearts. Why should that annoy me?”

"Alas, poor Yorick!" he said. "She heard mermaids, so it follows that there is something rotten in the state of Denmark. I have caught an everlasting cold, but luckily I am terribly dishonest. I cling to that."

“Alas, poor Yorick!” he said. “She heard mermaids, so it follows that there is something rotten in the state of Denmark. I have caught an everlasting cold, but luckily I am terribly dishonest. I cling to that.”

It was a perfectly normal May Day, but Sophie was scared of that too. And when a young man in a fantastical blue-and-silver costume spotted Sophie and decided to accost her as well, Sophie shrank into a shop doorway and tried to hide. The young man looked at her in surprise. "It's all right, you little gray mouse," he said laughing rather pityingly. "I only want to buy you a drink. Don't look so scared."

It was a perfectly normal May Day, but Sophie was scared of that too. And when a young man in a fantastical blue-and-silver costume spotted Sophie and decided to accost her as well, Sophie shrank into a shop doorway and tried to hide. The young man looked at her in surprise. “It’s all right, you little gray mouse,” he said laughing rather pityingly. “I only want to buy you a drink. Don’t look so scared.”

Howl backed into the door to shut it and leaned there in a tragic attitude. "Look at you all!" he said. "Ruin stares me in the face. I slave all day for you. And not one of you, even Calcifer, can spare time to say hello!" Calcifer said, "I never do say hello." "Is something wrong?" asked Sophie. "That's better," Howl said. "Some of you are pretending to notice me at last. Yes, something is wrong."

Howl backed into the door to shut it and leaned there in a tragic attitude. “Look at you all!” he said. “Ruin stares me in the face. I slave all day for you. And not one of you, even Calcifer, can spare time to say hello!”
Calcifer said, “I never do say hello.”
“Is something wrong?” asked Sophie.
“That’s better,” Howl said. “Some of you are pretending to notice me at last. Yes, something is wrong.”

But Sophie and Howl were holding one another's hand and smiling and smiling, quite unable to stop. "Don't bother me know," said Howl. "I only did it for the money." "Liar!" said Sophie. "I said," Michael said, "that Calcifer's come back!" That did get Howl's attention and Sophie's too.

But Sophie and Howl were holding one another’s hand and smiling and smiling, quite unable to stop. “Don’t bother me know,” said Howl. “I only did it for the money.”
“Liar!” said Sophie. “I said,” Michael said, “that Calcifer’s come back!” That did get Howl’s attention and Sophie’s too.

Howl said to Sophie, "I've been wondering all along if you would turn out to be that lovely girl I met on May Day. Why were you scared then?"

Howl said to Sophie, “I’ve been wondering all along if you would turn out to be that lovely girl I met on May Day. Why were you scared then?”

'You are a terror, aren't you? Leave this yard alone. I know just where everything is in it, and I won't be able to find the things I need for my transport spells if you tidy them up.' So there was probably a bundle of souls or a box of chewed hearts somewhere out here, Sophie thought. She felt really thwarted. ‘Tidying up is what I’m here for!’ she shouted at Howl. ‘Then you must think of a new meaning for your life,’ Howl said.

‘You are a terror, aren’t you? Leave this yard alone. I know just where everything is in it, and I won’t be able to find the things I need for my transport spells if you tidy them up.’
So there was probably a bundle of souls or a box of chewed hearts somewhere out here, Sophie thought. She felt really thwarted. ‘Tidying up is what I’m here for!’ she shouted at Howl.
‘Then you must think of a new meaning for your life,’ Howl said.

"Look at this!" he shouted "Look at it! what has that one-woman force of chaos done to these spells?" Sophie and Michael whirled round and looked at Howl. His hair was wet, but, apart from that, neither of them could see that it looked any different. "If you mean me-" Sophie began. "I do mean you! Look!" Howl shrieked. He sat down with a thump on the three-legged stool and jabbed at his wet head with his fingers. "Look. Survey. Inspect. My hair is ruined! I look like a pan of bacon and eggs!" Michael and Sophie bent nervously over Howl's head. It seemed the usual flaxen color right down to the roots. The only difference might have been a slight, very slight, trace of red. Sophie found that agreeable. It reminded her a little of the color her own hair should have been. "I think it's nice," she said. "Nice!" screamed Howl. "You would! You did it on purpose. You couldn't rest until you made me miserable too. Look at it! It's ginger! I shall have to hide until it's grown out!" He spread his arms out passionately. "Dispair!" he yelled. "Anguish! Horror!"

“Look at this!” he shouted “Look at it! what has that one-woman force of chaos done to these spells?”
Sophie and Michael whirled round and looked at Howl. His hair was wet, but, apart from that, neither of them could see that it looked any different.
“If you mean me-” Sophie began.
“I do mean you! Look!” Howl shrieked. He sat down with a thump on the three-legged stool and jabbed at his wet head with his fingers. “Look. Survey. Inspect. My hair is ruined! I look like a pan of bacon and eggs!”
Michael and Sophie bent nervously over Howl’s head. It seemed the usual flaxen color right down to the roots. The only difference might have been a slight, very slight, trace of red. Sophie found that agreeable. It reminded her a little of the color her own hair should have been.
“I think it’s nice,” she said.
“Nice!” screamed Howl. “You would! You did it on purpose. You couldn’t rest until you made me miserable too. Look at it! It’s ginger! I shall have to hide until it’s grown out!” He spread his arms out passionately. “Dispair!” he yelled. “Anguish! Horror!”

He picked up the skull and knocked an onion ring out of its eye socket. "I see Sophie has been busy again. Couldn't you have restrained her, my friend?" The skull yattered its teeth at him. Howl put it down rather hastily.

He picked up the skull and knocked an onion ring out of its eye socket.
“I see Sophie has been busy again. Couldn’t you have restrained her, my friend?” The skull yattered its teeth at him. Howl put it down rather hastily.

Howl said, "I think we ought to live happily ever after," and she thought he meant it. Sophie knew that living happily ever after with Howl would make a good deal more eventful than any story made it sound, though she was determined to try. "It should be hair-raising," added Howl. "And you'll exploit me," Sophie said. "And then you'll cut up all my suits to teach me," added Howl.

Howl said, “I think we ought to live happily ever after,” and she thought he meant it. Sophie knew that living happily ever after with Howl would make a good deal more eventful than any story made it sound, though she was determined to try. “It should be hair-raising,” added Howl. “And you’ll exploit me,” Sophie said. “And then you’ll cut up all my suits to teach me,” added Howl.

"Really, these wizards! You'd think no one had ever had a cold before! Well, what is it?" she asked, hobbling through the bedroom door onto the filthy carpet. "I'm dying of boredom," Howl said pathetically. "Or maybe just dying."

“Really, these wizards! You’d think no one had ever had a cold before! Well, what is it?” she asked, hobbling through the bedroom door onto the filthy carpet.
“I’m dying of boredom,” Howl said pathetically. “Or maybe just dying.”

“I feel ill,” he announced. “I’m going to bed, where I may die.” He tottered piteously to the stairs. “Bury me beside Mrs. Pentstemmon,” he croaked as he went up then to bed.

“I feel ill,” he announced. “I’m going to bed, where I may die.” He tottered piteously to the stairs. “Bury me beside Mrs. Pentstemmon,” he croaked as he went up then to bed.

In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of the three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes.

In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, it is quite a misfortune to be born the eldest of the three. Everyone knows you are the one who will fail first, and worst, if the three of you set out to seek your fortunes.

"You have an instinct, Sophie, that's how," said Howl. "Nothing is safe from you. If I were to court a girl who lived on an iceberg in the middle of the ocean, sooner or later — probably sooner — I'd look up to see you swooping overhead on a broomstick. In fact, by now I'd be disappointed in you if I didn't see you." "Are you off to the iceberg today?" Sophie retorted.

“You have an instinct, Sophie, that’s how,” said Howl. “Nothing is safe from you. If I were to court a girl who lived on an iceberg in the middle of the ocean, sooner or later — probably sooner — I’d look up to see you swooping overhead on a broomstick. In fact, by now I’d be disappointed in you if I didn’t see you.”
“Are you off to the iceberg today?” Sophie retorted.

More about Howl? Sophie thought desperately. I have to blacken his name! Her mind was such a blank that for a second it actually seemed to her that Howl had no faults at all. How stupid! 'Well, he's fickle, careless, selfish, and hysterical,' she said. 'Half the time I think he doesn't care what happens to anyone as long as he's alright--but then I find out how awfully kind he's been to someone. Then I think he's kind just when it suits him--only then I find out he undercharges poor people. I don't know, Your Majesty. He's a mess.'

More about Howl? Sophie thought desperately. I have to blacken his name! Her mind was such a blank that for a second it actually seemed to her that Howl had no faults at all. How stupid! ‘Well, he’s fickle, careless, selfish, and hysterical,’ she said. ‘Half the time I think he doesn’t care what happens to anyone as long as he’s alright–but then I find out how awfully kind he’s been to someone. Then I think he’s kind just when it suits him–only then I find out he undercharges poor people. I don’t know, Your Majesty. He’s a mess.’

“Go to bed, you fool,” Calcifer said sleepily. “You’re drunk.” “Who, me?” said Howl. “I assure you, my friends, I am cone sold stober.” He got up and stalked upstairs, feeling for the wall as if he thought it might escape him unless he kept in touch with it. His bedroom door did escape him. “What a lie that was!” Howl remarked as he walked into the wall. “My shining dishonesty will be the salvation of me.” He walked into the wall several times more, in several different places, before he discovered his bedroom door and crashed his way through it. Sophie could hear him falling about, saying that his bed was dodging.

“Go to bed, you fool,” Calcifer said sleepily. “You’re drunk.” “Who, me?” said Howl. “I assure you, my friends, I am cone sold stober.” He got up and stalked upstairs, feeling for the wall as if he thought it might escape him unless he kept in touch with it. His bedroom door did escape him. “What a lie that was!” Howl remarked as he walked into the wall. “My shining dishonesty will be the salvation of me.” He walked into the wall several times more, in several different places, before he discovered his bedroom door and crashed his way through it. Sophie could hear him falling about, saying that his bed was dodging.

By now it was clear that Howl was in a mood to produce green slime any second. Sophie hurriedly put her sewing away. "I'll make some hot buttered toast," she said. "Is that all you can do in the face of tragedy??" Howl asked. "Make toast!"

By now it was clear that Howl was in a mood to produce green slime any second. Sophie hurriedly put her sewing away. “I’ll make some hot buttered toast,” she said. “Is that all you can do in the face of tragedy??” Howl asked. “Make toast!”

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