Gaskell House Blogs

Squirrel Knutsford’s Unhappy Day

13th January 2023
in blogsNnews, Garden, Literature

It was not a good day for Squirrel Knutsford. The week had started well. The man had newly planted some tulips in a pot in the sunshine, and Squirrel Knutsford had had a lovely digging forage, which rewarded him with a juicy bite of a plump bulb. But when he went back later in the week, the man had returned to lay chicken wire just under the surface of the earth in the pot and the bulbs were unreachable. Then, a day or so later, he had emerged from the warmth of his dray to see the ground white and frozen, the juicy bulbs locked away under both frozen earth and chicken wire.

He returned to his snug dray and cheered himself with daydreaming about his aristocratic family and the squirrel coat of arms he had seen through the window of the big house.

With time on his paws he thought he’d look at something his young nephew had told him about, the Internut. His nephew could be a nuisance, rushing up trees for no purpose, digging holes with no pre-planning, coming back into the dray long after the time to start sleeping. But sometimes he was worth listening to. “Hey, Unc”, he had said “You ought to try this Internut.  It’s got an app called Acorn where you can mark where your hazelnuts are buried. Also one that tells you where to find the nearest fresh tulip bulb and gives them scores out of 5”.

Squirrel Knutsford had a look. He wished he hadn’t. Never mind fresh tulip bulbs. There was a Professor Michael Ross at the University of Minnesota, who had written that it was not a squirrel on the coat of arms but a wolf!! (click here for more information) Squirrel Knutsford’s world collapsed about him. The crenelated velvet-lined dray at the end of an avenue of oak trees, the acres of meadows planted with bulbs. All a fantasy. Wait till he saw that nephew of his again! “Unc” indeed! It was about time the lad did something useful with his life. Indignant, Squirrel Knutsford snuggled deeper into the warm lining of his dray and had a doze.

Chris Tucker, Garden Volunteer

Plans are like a card-house-if one gives way, all the others come rattling about your head

Elizabeth Gaskell, 1864