12 NOVEMBER 2005, Page 39

Surprising literary ventures

Gary Dexter


by Woodrow Wyatt

LORD WYATT of Weeford, Chairman of the Tote, the ‘Voice of Reason’, and the only member of the British peerage whose cigars could remain alight underwater, says in the preface to this tale, ‘Mr Saucy Squirrel has an alert and enquiring mind. That is how he discovered a hoard of gold sovereigns though he did not know what they were at the time. His curiosity prompts him to live in the style of a human being and to find out what goes on in the world. His belief that everybody is entitled to have a good time provided that they don’t hurt other people encourages him to set about having a good time himself.’ This insistence on individual liberties resurfaces when he petitions the Minister for the Environment on a question of tree-top planning permission. The story was written for Petronella Wyatt when she was seven. Among other things it contains a great deal of information about the correct way to keep port, but, probably in deference to young Petronella’s lungs, nothing about cigars.