Chris Grayling’s deputy at the Ministry of Incompetence, Dominic Raab, has admitted that he hasn’t yet finished reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar. He has promised to try to complete it before the cut-off date of March 29th.
“I must admit, there was more to it than at first I thought,” admitted a crestfallen Raab. “I mean, who would have guessed that a little caterpillar could eat so much? No wonder there are going to be food shortages!”
Raab revealed that he also tried to read The Tale Of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, but got bogged down in the detail. “Hedgehogs doing the ironing! Who knew?” he burbled.
Fellow members of Raab’s reading circle in Esher and Walton have been instructed not to tell Dominic the ending. Unfortunately, some of the less respectful 4-year-olds gleefully revealed the plot twist. True to form, Raab refused to believe it.
“What they are suggesting is truly magical thinking,” Raab argued. “I mean, it’s one thing to believe in unicorns, but to suggest that a caterpillar will smother itself in its own bodily excretions, only to emerge as an entirely different creature, is utterly nonsensical.”
Eminent entomologist Dr Ant Hill gave his thoughts on the matter. “The book is designed to appeal to children, and is not, scientifically speaking, wholly accurate,” said Dr Hill. “In the broadest sense, though, the sequence of events described is factually true. And please remind Mr Raab that I do not study ents. Ents are fictional creatures like unicorns!”
“Doctor Hill?” asked Raab. “What, the guy, no, woman now, isn’t it, that flies around in a blue box? It’s so hard to keep up these days.”
Mrs Raab confirmed this last point with a wistfulness suffused with a mixture of sadness and blessed relief.
As we left Raab, he was wrapping himself in a fine, silk-like substance. “I’ve no idea why I’m doing this,” he said. “But it must be done. I believe! I believe!”
Will the creepy-crawly emerge from his cocoon as a beautiful butterfly, or will he suffocate and die? You pays your money, and you chooses your Brexit metaphor.