Every Christmas the BBC Radio 4 Today programme has guest editors who take over and force people to listen to stuff they have not the slightest interest in. This policy has recently been extended to the animal kingdom and the Wapping Squirrels have been asked to be the guest editors.
The first editorial conference was held in Wapping Gardens a couple of weeks back and the Wapping Mole has been sent a report of what was discussed. The names of individual squirrels have been changed to protect their identities.
The Brex Pit
“A brex pit? Who has been thrown into a brex pit? How big is this pit and where is it?” Brown Paws, the only one of the Wapping Squirrels to have a degree from a decent university, was not amused.
He was also not amused while hanging upside down from a tree.
The Wapping Squirrels, like every scurry of squirrels, held all their meetings while hanging upside down as it was an easy way to annoy the local dogs who could not climb trees and were just thick.
“No, not a brex pit, it’s a brex it,” said Thin Tail. “None of the humans seem to know what a brex it is either, but they talk about it a lot.”
Brown Paws scratched his ear. He did that a lot, sometimes right in the middle of a conversation, but never when eating a nut.
“Some of the humans think it is wonderful, some of them think it is a complete disaster,” continued Thin Tail. “Almost as bad as this Pam Demic woman it seems.”
At the mention of Pam Demic all the squirrels stopped scratching themselves. It was a scratchy sort of day. They had all heard a lot about Pam Demic and none of it was good.
This was in contrast to Mishal Husain and Justin Webb who they all heard most days on the Today programme and they were great. Unlike Pam Demic. Martha Kearney and Nick Robinson were great too but the Wapping Squirrels really enjoyed Mishal and Justin the most.
Unlike the Radio 4 Today presenters Pam Demic was somehow stopping quite a few of the humans from giving the Wapping Squirrels nuts. As there was no other reason for humans to exist other than to give squirrels nuts this problematic.
“So has Pam Demic dug this Brex Pit then? Or has Pam Demic not got anything to do with Brex Pit?,” asked Brown Paws looking around at his fellow squirrels. “Has Pam Demic fallen into the Brex Pit and can’t get out maybe?”
The squirrels hung upside down in silence and had a think. It was not often they thought about anything other than nuts but this was an important issue and was nut related. Whoever Pam Demic was she was making humans stay inside their homes far too much and shop even less. Result? They did not buy nuts as much as they usually did.
Suddenly White Ear looked up and squeaked.
“I know! The nuts are in the Brex Pit! Pam Demic has been buying them all up, dug a big hole and thrown the nuts in,” she shouted.
The rest of the Wapping Squirrels looked at White Ear in disbelief. If a human like Pam Demic was doing a squirrel and burying nuts this was disastrous. If the other humans started doing the same thing the Wapping scurry, in fact every scurry, would be forced to buy their own nuts. And where was the fun in that?
Brown Paws cleared his throat.
“OK, lets not get carried away. Look at the facts. Has anyone actually seen this Pam Demic?,” he asked.
Two paws were raised, or lowered as the squirrels were upside down, but slowly lowered. Or raised. Whatever.
“Exactly! Nobody has ever seen Pam Demic. Nobody has ever seen the Brex Pit! So why are we hanging from trees talking about things we aren’t sure even exist?” he said.
Father Christmas is real
“But the humans talk about Father Christmas, nobody has ever seen him either, but he exists,” said Thin Tail.
Brown Paws opened his mouth to speak, paused, then closed it. Thin Tail had a very good point. Father Christmas was real but had never been spotted so Pam Demic could be real too. And the Brex Pit.
Brown Paws drew himself up (or lowered himself down depending on your view) to his full height and started to speak.
“Look the issue is that we have been asked to guest edit the Radio 4 Today programme and we need to decide what we want to talk about. What is the big issue that concerns us that may not be part of the news cycle that often? Nuts of course!”
The Wapping Squirrels nodded as one. Partly this was because Brown Paws was talking sense and partly because they were all getting a little peckish and wanted some nuts. Or a half-eaten croissant from the Turks’ Head cafe bins.
Sensing that he had the attention of his friends and family Brown Paws continued.
“All the Today producer needs to know is what subject are we going to cover when we do the guest edit thing? Pickle Paws, you are in charge of BBC Liaison, how were things left last time you talked to them?”
“Well, the producer sent me a text asking what our subject would be and I replied “Nuts!”. And just to be sure I sent her 342 texts all saying the same thing. In an hour”
Pickle Paws was very proud of herself. Squirrel paws were not designed for sending text messages, especially on a iPhone, but were perfect for anything to do with trees. Or nuts. Or both.
“Well done Pickle, very thorough indeed,” said Brown Paws. “And when was this?”
Before the discussion could continue the sound of a camera shutter being triggered on the ground far below floated up to the squirrels.
As one they stopped and looked down, not because they had any genuine interest in photography but usually where there was a camera there was a human with squirrel nuts, sometimes a whole bag of nuts.
Brown Paws rapidly assessed the situation and gave out commands.
“OK, four of you go down and start acting cute. When she starts handing out the nuts remember to pose a bit then the rest of us will come down and take over and…” Brown Paws realised he was speaking to empty trees as every other squirrel was zooming along branches and down tree trunks. This particular human had been known to buy Waitrose money nuts for them and they were the best.
Brown Paws sat back (or forwards) and watched as the rest of the Wapping Squirrels clustered around the human with the camera and the nuts. Looking cute in exchange for nuts? Bargain.
Is Vac Sheen here yet?
Two other humans, who Brown Paws could tell were nutless, walked past below him, deep in conversation. Despite the face masks they both wore Brown Paws could hear most of what they were talking about.
He almost fell out of his tree. And that never happens to a squirrel.
Thin Tail returned with some nuts for him and almost, but not quite, forgot them as Brown Paws told him what he had just heard.
“There is some Polish guy called Vac Sheen about to arrive who seems to be Mr Popular,” said Brown Paws. “The humans are all waiting to get jabbed by Vac Sheen and that seems to be very bad news for that Pam Demic woman!”
“Jabbed?” asked Thin Tail as he ate the nuts he had hauled up the tree for Brown Paws. “That does not sound like any fun at all. Humans are so weird aren’t they? Will that fill in the Brex Pit too?”
Brown Paws shrugged his shoulders and flicked his tail.
“I don’t know really, but from what I have heard Brex Pit is going to be so nasty it might be worth a try.”
The two squirrels sat in silence as they tried to make sense of the world. Brown Paws finally spoke.
“Did you bring me any nice nuts?” Thin Tail looked askance at Brown Paws and wiped nut shell from around his mouth.
“Sod off, go and get your own.”
It was evident that Thin Tail had been spending too much time around humans.
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