As friends who have visited our home in the last two years will know, there is a “real-life” Hector the Narwhal behind the latest arrival to the Pink Narwhal webcomic. Ever since our slightly strange obsession with narwhals began, myself and my husband have made a game of trying to source narwhal-related gifts for one another at birthdays and Christmas. When I discovered the Squishable Narwhal (also now available from a UK store!), I began dropping hints about it so obvious that even the slightly myopic blue whale couldn’t fail to pick up on them. Still, as Christmas that year neared, I wasn’t sure that a large fluffy narwhal would find its way under the tree – surprise, of course, being part of the enjoyment.
And then, Mr Whale used my Paypal account to make a payment to “Squishables.com”, which promptly appeared on my bank statement late in November. Somehow, a joke arose between us that this was in fact from “Mr Squish Able” (pronounced “Squee-Shabluh”), a Mongolian bookseller – Mongolian to explain the fact that the ‘volume’ was being sent by airmail. Of course, it transpired on Christmas Day that the large, definitely-not-book-shaped box did not contain a novel, and so was born Mr Squish Able’s whale school, and thus the backstory of the newest character in the webcomic.