Day 265: Mrs Bott’s Birthday Present

The facts

“Haven’t you thought of thomething yet?” Violet Elizabeth would ask him sternly.
“Gosh, no! Why should I?” William would retort indignantly.
“Well, why thouldn’t you?” retorted Violet Elizabeth with equal indignation.
So persistent was she that William, to his own annoyance, began to feel a certain responsibility for Mrs Bott’s birthday present.

  • Number: 25.2
  • Published: 1945 (1942 in magazine form)
  • Book: William and the Brains Trust
  • Synopsis: William and Violet Elizabeth decide to give Mrs Bott a living birthday present.


Overhearing Mrs Bott in one of her characteristic whinges about the difficulties of life in blitzed Britain, William learns that she can no longer obtain horses to pull her carriage, and that, in fact, she “wouldn’t even mind a nanny goat”.

So he knows, now, what to get her as a birthday present.

She doesn’t entirely appreciate it, but the whole operation manages to kill two other birds with the goat-stone.