While speaking to a class of Year 3s during Bookweek, I started telling them about Little Knut’s dog. As you can see , he’s a cute, white, West Highland Terrier. I had originally called him Wolverine to start with, but then when he becomes Knut’s trusted Viking Dog, always at his side, Knut changes his name to Hemrod, in honour of one of the Norse Gods. After talking to Cate, our publisher, we decided he could stay as Wolverine after all, so prevent any confusion.
I was about to launch into a spiel to these kids about how Wolverine wears a vegetable straining colander as a helmet, and has a dog collar with Thor’s Hammer as a pendant, and about how he is always brave, as long as Knut stands in front of him. Suddenly, one little girl’s hand shot into the air with a question that obviously could not wait one more second.
‘Yes?’ I asked. ‘You have a question?’
‘Did you know Mr Jorgensomething… that if you have a white dog, you can dye it pink? Me and my mum, we dyed our white dog pink, and now we have a pink dog.’
‘Oh,’ I stumbled, not quite knowing how to respond to that question. ‘What’s your pink dog called?’
Then another hand shot up. And another, and another, and another, and within three seconds every hand was pumping towards the ceiling.
‘I’ve got a dog.’
‘We got a cat.’
‘We’ve got a budgie.’
‘We had a cute kitten.’
‘Oh, did it die?’ I asked, sympathetically.
‘Nar, it turned in really ugly cat.’
So now James Foley, I’ve decided that you need to paint Wolverine pink, and replace his Thor dog collar with a tasteful pink satin Viking bow. And I’ll change the text to call Wolverine, Wolverette.