I am distraught. After all that hard work by squirrel, hedgehog and me, my planning application for a den has been refused. The reason that the forest council have given is that ‘It is not a necessary dwelling’. Well where is hedgehog going to live? That’s what I want to know. He comes out of prison next week and although he couldn’t have moved straight in at least it was something to look forward to. I can resubmit my application with any amendments to the next meeting as long as I pay another fee. What is the point? I had done everything I could to make sure it would blend in and just look like a pile of logs. The smoke from the chimney might have been a bit of a giveaway and my acorn collecting device on the roof was a little ‘modern’ in appearance but they are just minor points. They could have asked me to make changes instead of rejecting the application. Squirrel was with me when I got the news and she was as upset as I was. I think she could see the advantages of an automatic system to collect acorns even more than I could. When we saw the notice she just hugged me and started to cry. Well I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have a hanky on me for her to wipe her eyes and I am really not sure whether in those situations I should just leave her to be on her own or put my paw round her. I get really confused by this boy / girl thing. If it was me in tears I would just want to be left alone with my grief. Not of course that you would ever catch me in tears. My mistress has tried explaining to me that girls are different, well more to the point I have sat and listened when she has tried explaining this to my master, but I really don’t get it. I did try talking to my master about it but he said ‘It beats me.’ And that was the end of the conversation. So there I was with squirrel in tears, all I wanted to do was slope off and find a corner to sulk in and instead I was trying to dry her eyes on my fur and say the right things (whatever they are). It was funny though, trying to cheer her up and make her feel better actually started to make me feel brighter and in the end we went for a lovely walk and played hide and seek in the trees. She even agreed to sticking to playing at ground level so that she didn’t have an unfair advantage. The next problem is how I am going to break the news to hedgehog on Saturday. I am not sure whether to try and play it down and say that with a few revisions I think we will get it through next time or whether to be completely honest and say I don’t think we stand a hope. Whatever I say I am sure he isn’t going to like it.