It were such a shock. I thought me time had come.
It were round about the time of evening when any sensible animal is eating its dinner or putting its little ones to sleep in their nests, bless 'em, and I'd taken a little walk to the shore. It had been a sunny day, and I wanted something new for me 'at, and I reckoned shells might be a nice change. There's some little curly wurly ones just now, ever so pretty, so off I went to the shore by way of Watchtop Hill, as I were dropping off some scones and cordial with my old hedgehog friend Winniple as she aint been very well. Winniple is very fond of my cordial, she says it's as good as her mother used to make, and I feel sorry for her, because, bless her, she's never 'ad no sense of smell since she fell down a mole tunnel and had a nasty landing. So we shared a glass or two and off I went through the wood, and as you know if you've been there, you get a good view of the bay from Watchtop Hill.
Well, my dears, I had the palpitations. Out there in the middle of water was Princess Almondflower, and she weren't swimming, she were standing up. True as I'm standing - sitting down - here, there she were, riding on the water like a ship in full sail, her arms out and a big smile on her face, and even as I watched she turned around, face towards the mists, and stood on one leg like a ballet dancer. Let me tell you, I ain't run that fast since our Urchin fell out of a tree when he was little, I didn't get there in time, but never mind, 'e landed right way up. I didn't stop till I got to the sand and she's still there, on the water, drifting in to the shore, on tiptoe on the waves. Oh my whiskers, I thought, there's magic happening or it's a wonder or I'm going peculiar, and I wondered if I'd put anything in that cordial that I shouldn't have.
And then there's some bubbles and a head pops up in front of her, and it's that Fingal, he's giving 'er rides on his back. Ooh, I come over all of a whatnot! When they got into the shallows she jumped off and paddled to the sand, and Fingal rolled over and over.
"Did you see me, Mistress Apple?" says Princess Almondflower, and she's beaming all over her face.
"I certainly did, and you had me worried," I says. I think Fingal were laughing, but you can't tell, can you, with Fingal.
"Don't tell!" she says. "I'm practising for the Summer Festival. Tide and Swanfeather are going to help, and there's me, and my friend Scrapple, and Pitter says she'll..."
There's going to be whole flotilla of 'em apparently. Squirrels riding on otters and dancing about and everything. If I were the young squirrel I used to was, I'd have a go myself. I couldn't do it now, no, not me. Fingal's a nice chap, it were 'im what rescued my hat in all that wild weather, and I wouldn't want to sink 'im.