Influential Otters: Lutra Longwhiskers

Hello everyone, I am Lucy Littlepaws, lead reporter with the Otterbank Times, I can’t tell you how excited I was to to be asked to write this for the lovely readers of PorterGirl a while ago. I was extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to interview Lutra Longwhiskers, High Commander of the UK Otter Raft and I thought now was the time to share it with you lovely people!

Lutra is a well‐spoken, aristocratic otter with a distinguished look, he habitually sports a top hat and monocle and that day was no exception. He arrived promptly for his interview and was keen to get on with it without delay as he said he had some pressing hamster doubling concerns…so without further ado I posed the first question.

Commander Longwhiskers, as you are aware we have a readership today that doesn’t only consist of otters. For the non‐otter contingent can you explain what the UK Otter Raft is?
Ahh yes, very good question, let me see, the UK Otter Raft is the governing community for the otters in the UK. It is made up from governmental ministers but also research and development departments, security and policing sections and otter education colleges. It has a paw in all swims of otter life. It is housed in The Holt, an underground stronghold of considerable size.

What is it like to be the High Commander of such a prestigious and far reaching Raft?
First I must say that it was a great honour to be chosen to lead the fine otters of the UK. Otters are democratic and fair minded creatures and to get a position of power you must be nominated by your peers and voted for by the general otter community!
As for what it is like…well, it involves lots of reading. All the research otters and ministerial otters are producing reports left right and centre all of which need my attention. Aside from that it is mainly listening to my team of advisors and deciding what to do. Looking good in a top hat helps. It is the official hat of office you know!

A hat of office you say? This is a fine thing, do any of the other posts have on official hat of office?
Well Lucy you yourself are sporting a very fetching bowler, which although unofficial, is excellent. But as for posts with official hats, I believe the otter Police service have lovely hats, and the kittens of the school for gifted otters have little caps. The other otters of the raft are free to choose their own hats, they seem very fond of headwear of all sorts. Bows and hats and such all over the place.

Can you tell me about any of the research projects going on in the Holt?
My word yes, I certainly can! There are some splendid things going on at the moment. We have a very fine temporal research and experimentation team, young Debbie Swifttail and Brian Russetcoat. They are very close to a break through and some live otter time travel trials I am told. Fantastic stuff going on down there, big wheels and water tanks and suchlike! Very exciting I can tell you! Then of course there are the Otterman Prophecies, the translation team has every known verse translated now and are working furiously on trying to make sense of it all. It is very intriguing, I had a go at making sense of it myself you know. All about the demise of Tuesday it seems, and some sort of apocalypse.

Is the UK raft working on these things alone or are other otters of the world involved?
Alone? Yes definitely, and also no. We do have some international projects here at the raft, we are in communication with the Pacific Otter Raft at the moment with the possibility of an exchange programme with some Canadian Sea Otters. Each Raft has its own speciality you know. It makes sense to share skills for the good of Otterkind.

So what does the UK raft specialise in?
We have some of the world’s foremost linguists here in Simon Swifttail and Seska Fleetfoot. Our Temporal team is second to none and of course our hats are unrivalled

Now Commander Longwhiskers I’d like to ask you a couple of questions to let our readers get to know the otter under the hat:
What is your favourite fish for a late night supper?

My goodness, that’s a poser! I’d have to say perch, very tasty the perch. I am also quite partial to a minnow sandwich.

What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
I am afraid I don’t get as much spare time as I would like, however, I have quite a reputation for rambling. The fresh air you know, it’s good for your health. It is marvellous to get out and about!

Lastly, does the High Commander of the UK Otter Raft have to participate in decoy otter duty?
Absolutely I do! It is a strict rota system and every otter takes a turn. Great fun it is too, a nice change of pace!

Thank you Commander Longwhiskers this has been extremely enlightening!
Lucy Littlepaws (Journalist)

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