When the baby arrived, nobody had thought of a suitable name for her, so they wrapped her up in blanket and called her Peanut.
That was a bad idea.
‘Peanut? Peanut? Percy want peanut!’ shrieked the parrot, overcome with joy, for he loved peanuts and they were a very rare treat.
It took them a long time to make him understand that there were no peanuts to eat.
‘Peanut! Peanut!’ yelled the monkey who sometimes liked to eat peanuts and sometimes liked to throw them at the parrot. He was so delighted at the prospect that he fell off the back of the sofa. When he understood that there would be no eating or throwing, he stayed there and sulked for a whole day.
‘Peanuts, peanuts,’ said her brother and found some bowls and got himself dressed in his party shirt and wizard’s cape, all by himself. Whenever the peanuts came out, there was a party and he was not a boy to miss a party. When he discovered there was to be no party, he took the monkey and the parrot and they had their own party in the shed which was very loud and left a lot of clearing up.
When Grandma heard the word peanut she just kept saying, ‘oh yes please, thank you dear,’ until someone had to explain very loudly that it was a baby name, not a snack. Then she looked rather cross and was heard to mutter, ‘What’s wrong with Jane?’
The baby heard her new name and liked it. ‘I’ve no idea what it means,’ she thought, ‘or whether it even really suits me. Perhaps I’ll spend the rest of my life telling people to use my middle name, or call me Pea, or Nut. But for now, it is a very fine name indeed.’
They called her Jane.