… an otter?  Not the obvious simile, but according to this, true.  This curious fact lies alongside the revelation that when the otter decided it was time to get up, his human handler had to get up to – the animal went through an elaborate process of removing all bedding around the reclining and increasingly annoyed human.

Why 08.20?  Anybody’s guess.

Mij slept in my bed … and would wake with bizarre punctuality at exactly twenty past eight in the morning … whatever the reason, his waking time, then and until the end of his life, summer or winter, remained precisely twenty past eight.  Having woken, he would come up to the pillow and nuzzle my face and neck with small attenuated squeaks of pleasure and affection.  If I did not rouse myself very soon he would set about getting me out of bed.

A delightful story, but see here my reservations about making a pet of this wild animal.  And enjoy our quote-packed celebration of one of the greatest animal classics, Williamson’s Tarka.

Source: Gavin Maxwell, Ring of Bright Water (London: Penguin, 1974), p. 122

Photo credit: Wil Stewart at unsplash


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