Wednesday 17th May 2006

So it was the first Tuesday Woodland Youth Club yesterday and by 2pm we were ready for any animals that might turn up. Hedgehog was confident that there would be some. Squirrel and I privately had said we were worried that none of the parents would let their youngsters come in case hedgehog was a bad influence. We were prepared in case he was disappointed, ready to say the right things. Well in fairness squirrel was ready to say the right things but I was ready to stand behind her whilst she did! Oh ye of little faith! As soon as the cuckoo chimed two you could hear the rustling amongst the leaves and firstly the deer that had come and helped us look for hedgehog arrived with one of his sisters and then three of rabbit’s bunnies bounced in. By half past two we had a couple of stoats and a mole as well and they were all having a great time. By 7pm when it was time to go home they were all good friends and looking forward to coming back next week. Part way through the fun hedgehog cleared his throat and attracted all the youngsters attention. “squirrel and I were wondering” he said “ if you could possibly help us with finding some names.” He explained what he was on about but before he could get as far as the Scrabble letters one of the bunnies shouted out “You should be called Harry, Uncle Harry. Uncle Harry Hedgehog” The others picked up on it immediately and hedgehog grinned from ear to ear. Squirrel was looking very sad and starting to move away to a quiet corner when the deer called out “And squirrel should be something really beautiful, because she is beautiful” A little cheer went up and then all sorts of suggestions started to be made until someone suggested Nicole and squirrel said she liked that very much, so that was that. Now I just have to remember to use their names, it will take a while to get the hang of. As the youngsters all left to go home they shouted after them, “Goodnight Uncle Harry, goodnight Nicole, goodnight Alfie.” We all collapsed exhausted but happy once they had gone and raised our glasses to the success of the Woodland Youth Club.

At a more mundane level I have discovered some rather tasty plant roots in the garden. I have tried suggesting to my mistress that she might like to try them but she doesn’t seem so keen. If I chew on them for a while they really do seem to be very mellowing, I wonder what they are but I do seem to have some very nice naps afterwards. I have been wondering about some of the wild mushrooms we see on our walks, whether they might be worth trying, however my mistress has warned me that some of them can be poisonous so I might go and get a book out of the library before trying any of them.