How my tale of a whale came true

It is often said that life imitates art. Nevertheless I was more than surprised by the news of the whale in the Thames - and much saddened at hearing of the outcome.

For in my picture book - Stanley Bagshaw and the 22 ton whale (recently republished by Barn Owl Books) in which a whale comes up the Huddersgate canal, the outcome is a happy one.

Due to the fact that Stan's friend Edward can understand whale talk "a bit"

it gets back to the Pole safe and sound.

I never imagined when I wrote the story that it might one day actually happen. I have always thought of myself as a "maker-up" of stories rather than a prophet.

I am presently writing a book about a group of children and teachers who set out on a school mini-bus trip - and end up in outer space - and will now continue to do so with trepidation. Any teachers planning to take a party of children on a trip to a science museum or astronomical observatory would be well advised to contact me first: I can then give them fair warning as to what just might happen.

Bob Wilson Upper Brook Barn, Snelston Ashbourne, Derbyshire

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