Wednesday, 25 July 2012


If you read my last blog entry,you will know why this is important. Look:
Arthur, Found: safe in the arm of his best friend
I was at the Bod Quad, Oxford, watching Hamlet when I received the text message. It read, "Son has found Squirrel Monkey in his blue suitcase". What wild and whirling words are these? - This is the blue suitcase in which the dressing-up clothes are kept, and in which I never thought to look. Son is clearly growing up, moving beyond dressing up; but not, happily, beyond his little mate Arthur the Squirrel Monkey.  

I would like to thank everyone who tweeted and retweeted my blog entry, particularly Scumblebee and Demotivatrix, both of whom made kind suggestions for possible replacements.  

I asked Son if he would like to take Arthur to Grandma's when he visited her this week.  "No," he said straightaway, "I wouldn't want to risk it."

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Saimiri sciureus: he's not common at all

This blog entry has nothing to do with Poetry.  Or Shoes. Or anything glittery.  Or Shakespeare.  Or even Cake. 
(but watch me squeeze Douglas Adams in later)

This is about Squirrel Monkeys. Or one particular squirrel monkey, which is not merely endangered but would appear to be beyond extinct. It is so rare that no photograph of it exists... within the realms of Google, anyway.

Arthur was a Zoological Society of London-branded mini plush squirrel monkey. Arthur belonged to my son, and they were best mates for half a lifetime - that's four years.

The Google search yielded only second-rate Arthurs
Here are some squirrel monkeys. Arthur doesn't look like any of these - not quite. They're all wrong. I cannot show you what Arthur actually looks like, because Arthur has been missing for nearly a year.  I wouldn't bother you with a story which must seem so footling, but tonight my son found this (below) on his bookshelf.  Arthur wasn't lost, back then: it's a birthday invitation from two years ago, featuring another squirrel monkey - which isn't Arthur either - but it makes us think of him.    
This makes us sad
So, tonight, he held the invitation in his hand for a while; then turned it over and, laying it aside, said, "I'm not ready to look at that yet."  

I bought him another squirrel monkey a few months ago.  It wasn't the same.  The ears are wrong.  And the paws.  He's fond of it; but, but, but. Arthur is his Douglas Adams, I conclude: my son is still mourning the loss of someone he wasn't ready to lose. Admittedly, Douglas Adams didn't sit on my pillow or ride in my shopping trolley, but it's the same thing. I'd barely begun to appreciate him, then he'd gone.  And the Zoological Society of London doesn't provide a replacement service. 
That's a spider monkey. Not the same thing
These are what Arthur should look like.  The style, anyway.  That is a spider monkey, which is just wrong.  I can buy one of these, or any of about nine other creatures instead, from the gift shop at London Zoo. No: no good.

I'm blogging this because I have looked at no fewer than 2,087 pictures of plush simians tonight, looking for a new Arthur. I should learn to let go, I suppose.  After all, this will not be my boy's last hurt that Mummy cannot make better. 

Have you seen Arthur? He has a crumpled little face and fits in the palm of your hand. Let us know. We miss him.