Word reaches Love Wapping that Brown Paws and Thin Tail, two of Wapping’s brightest squirrels, are considering proposing their own Neighbourhood Forum. They have decided to call this ‘Network Nuts’ to reflect its core mission. Nuts.
This description of a recent conversation between the leaders of Network Nuts was sent to us anonymously, but as the brown envelope was also full of empty monkey nut shells we think it may be a planned ‘leak’ from one of the other squirrels.
Although we cannot independently verify this transcript we believe it to be genuine.
The scene: Wapping Woods
The tree: Big one just to the right of the two smaller ones.
The time: Sometime last week.
“So have all the other squirrels agreed to our plan then?” asked Brown Paws. Thin Tail scratched his ear and looked puzzled.
“What do you mean by other squirrels agreeing to our plan?” he asked. Brown Paws sighed and put his nut to one side.
“Well we need to consult with all the other squirrels about our plan as it not only covers Wapping Woods but all the trees and nut stashing places between Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf.”
There was silence for a moment then Thin Tail spoke.
“Well in the strict sense of the meaning of the word ‘agreed’ that would be no. But then as we didn’t actual consult with them they can’t agree or disagree can they? Cos they don’t know about it.”
Brown Paws smacked his head with a paw.
“So you didn’t send do a leaflet drop then?”
“Did you contact the other squirrel groups in the area?”
Thin Tail looked pleased with himself.
The Big Book of Planning
“Actually I did. I sent Nut-O-Grams to all of the main squirrel groups” Brown Paws opened his Big Book of Planning and began to scribble notes.
“So what did the other squirrel groups say?” he asked Thin Tail.
“Not very much actually. Because I sent it via Nut-O-Gram they all ate the nuts on which the messages were written before reading them. So I haven’t heard a word since.” This did not surprise Brown Paws. Every since the invention of the Nut-O-Gram there had been teething problem with it. Or to be precise nibbling and gnawing problems. In fact of 1,324 Nut-O-Gram messages sent precisely 1,324 had been eaten on delivery.
Brown Paws took his ruler and drew a line in his Big Book of Planning.
“So in summary then no one else knows about our plan for Network Nuts. No one is aware of our aim to dig up all the roads and make them into Nut Lanes. Or knows about the proposed Squirrel Law that will force all the pubs to sell Nut Beer in acorn shells. Or the requirement for all magpies and crows to stop eating our nuts that we buried. Or our plan for a nut shell powered hydro-electric dam in Shadwell Basin which will mean demolishing the Thames Barrier? Or the Wapping Nut Academy?” Thin Tail nodded.
“Yes that’s correct. No one knows about any of this apart from us two squirrels. Which when you think for a moment is ideal. Because if no other squirrels are aware of our plans they can’t object.” Brown Paws put his pen down, closed the Big Book of Planning and shelled a nut. Then he shelled another one. And another.
Thin Tail decided to shell some nuts as well. As squirrels they both spent a lot of time doing just this. Almost as much time as they had spent recently spent reading the Localism Act 2011. It wasn’t as much fun as eating nuts but they had learnt a lot about what they could do if Network Nuts was approved.
Planning? Planting? What’s the difference?
Brown Paws held the application form for Network Nuts in his paws and started to read it again. Well actually this was the first time he had started to read it. Squirrels are not big readers. His brow furrowed. He looked puzzled.
“I think we might have made a mistake Thin Tail. This application form is for a Neighbourhood Planning forum – I though it was for a Neighbourhood Planting forum!” Thin Tail shrugged.
“Planning, planting, what’s the difference?” he asked. Brown Paws looked at his friend and sighed.
“Well I don’t precisely know what planning is but I do know that it is not planting and planting means planting nuts. For Network Nuts to succeed it has to be about nuts. And nothing else. Nuts here, nuts there, nuts everywhere!”
Thin Tail bounced across their nest and picked up Brown Paw’s Big Book of Planning. He handed it to his friend.
“I think you need to change the title of your book,” he said. Brown Paws nodded. “Yes I suppose so.” He took his pen out and crossed out an n and replaced it with a t. That’s better he thought.
“Now Thin Tail I think we should continue operating in a democratic and transparent manner and tell everyone that Network Nuts is a planting forum and not a planning forum,” said Brown Paws in his most official sounding voice. “What’s the best way to do that? Thin Tail thought for a little while.
“Exactly!” said Brown Paws.