If you’ve read Katy’s story, A Safe Place, in Once Upon a Touch…Story Massage for Children by Mary Atkinson and Sandra Hooper, you will know how much red squirrels inspire Chichester Copywriter’s writing. This poem, which can be enjoyed as an interactive massage story, is about a little red squirrel who knows that she can always stay warm and dry in her drey and is a prequel to Katy’s children’s book about fairies and wildlife on Brownsea Island.
After memorable encounters with the tiny red folk during trips to Brownsea in the last few years, when Katy had the chance to stay at a holiday camp on the Isle of Wight famed for its woodland walks and red squirrel sightings she jumped at the chance. The creative copywriter packed her bags, hopped on the ferry and crossed the Solent in anticipation of seeing one of the Island’s famed treetop dwellers.
As well as trips to Isle of Wight Zoo to see a rare white tiger, an orange striped tiger and white lions, Katy took a walk through Shanklin Chine at dusk. Past tinkling waterfalls, over rickety bridges and through lush flora, Katy walked down to the seashore where she ate a delicious supper at the Fisherman’s Cottage. After watching the sun set over the water, she sauntered back up the Chine, which glows like a fairy kingdom of magical coloured lights after dark.
Katy also enjoyed a sightseeing trip to the Needles, tasty stops at The Garlic Farm and The Folly Inn and an adventure at Amazon World where she spied her beloved tapirs and red pandas. Despite numerous walks through the Island’s woodlands where sightings of red squirrels are rumoured to be “easy” and although she could hear their warning calls and nut cracking capers from the canopy, Katy did not glimpse a fluffy hoarder until… she climbed aboard a steam train at Havenstreet.
As she enjoyed the countryside passing her by, Katy happened to look in to a forest clearing at the same moment that a red squirrel stopped and fled from the noise of the approaching engine. What are the chances? Then, as the vista turned to fields, she saw what looked like a marsh harrier soaring above. All of this with the smell of coal and the chuff of the train made for a truly enchanting and inspiring day out! Our Chichester Copywriter did not manage to photograph an Isle of Wight squirrel this time but you can see one of their cousins from Brownsea in her photo above.
Once Upon a Touch…Story Massage for Children, which has achieved global success and praise, is now available as an eBook (which Chichester Copywriter also copy-edited) and as an easy-to-flick-through spiral bound book. There is also a DVD to accompany the books.