The Weekend Jar

I don’t know who invented weeks, but they didn’t do a very good job. A normal week has five days where Otter Keeper goes to work, and only two days for him to spend time with me. This is obviously unfair and it’s been bothering me and Teddy for some time. This Sunday we finally managed to get Otter Keeper to sit down and discuss the problem with us.

The meeting got off to a bad start. It turns out that although Otter Keeper is in charge of most things, he is not in any control whatsoever of how long the weekend lasts. I was about to cancel the meeting, when he said he had an idea: he suggested Teddy and I make a weekend jar!

Otter Keeper said we needed to take an empty jar from the kitchen and fill it with things that remind us of the weekend. This way, when we feel a little sad during the week we will still have a little bit of the weekend in a jar to make us happy. This was a fantastic idea, and we filled our weekend jar with the following happy weekend things:

  • A photo of Otter Keeper (The real Otter Keeper didn’t want to be put in the jar, and he wouldn’t fit anyway).

  • A leaf from the park (Otter Keeper takes us to the park every weekend).

  • The little cartoon bit from Otter Keeper’s Sunday paper.

  • A bit of toast (Otter Keeper didn’t want this to go in, and I had to point out that I was technically in charge of the weekend Jar. Otter Keeper said more things after this but they were boring and I put the toast in anyway.)

By the time we were finished it was time to go to bed, but I didn’t mind. I was actually looking forward to Monday, and that had never happened before!

Sadly, the next morning things didn’t go to plan. Otter Keeper left for work as usual and it still felt very much like a normal Monday. We tried spending time with the weekend jar, but it really didn’t seem to help very much. I left Teddy sitting with the jar for 38.5 minutes and he said he still felt exactly the same! We then tried hugging the jar, talking to it and even rolled it around on the floor, but nothing worked. Our weekend jar was broken and it was very disappointing.

When Otter Keeper got home I explained that the weekend jar needed his urgent attention, but he said he was busy. I realised the only option was to fix it myself. Luckily I’m very good at fixing things, and I made a few modifications later that evening.

Weekend Jar Modifications

Today is Tuesday, and the weekend jar is working much better now! This is because of two very clever Otter™ upgrades. Firstly, the weekend jar now contains Otter Keeper’s car keys. Secondly, it is buried at the bottom of the garden.

I’m pleased to report that it is now lunchtime and Otter Keeper is still at home! He’s spending a lot of time hunting around the house, being grumpy or talking to people on the phone, but he is technically spending time with us. I asked Teddy if he thought it felt like a Saturday, and he said it definitely did.

The only problem is that I have a strange feeling that this could be one of those days when I suddenly get into a lot of trouble when I’m not expecting it. As a precautionary measure I have left Giraffe outside next to where we buried the weekend jar. I also said he could look after the spade for the rest of the day.

Naughty Giraffe



  1. Adrienne June 17, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I love your book! Next time, mail the car keys to me in New York. I’ll bury them under the prickly pear cactus. Otto Keeper will never, ever find them!

  2. Jenny June 17, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Dear Otter and Teddy,

    I love your stories and would very much like to buy a copy of your book for my son (who is very fond of otters and has two who share his bed). I may be doing something wrong, but when I try your links I end up on US websites and, since I’m in the very middle of England, I’d rather buy from a British supplier. I can find a second hand copy, but would much prefer to buy a new one so that Otter Keeper will keep writing and publishing.

    Please would you ask Otter Keeper if he can recommend a website or book shop that I could use to buy your book.

    Thank you very much,

    Jenny and Family

  3. Linda June 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Giraffe must be awfully good-natured! You are a sly one, Otter!

  4. Diane June 17, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Dear Otter and Teddy,

    I love your book! I read it everyday and I look at the pictures and I always find something I did not see before in them. As for your plan regarding Otter Keeper’s car keys: don’t you think Otter Keeper will find it strange that Giraffe is standing there, outside, with a spade? Anyway, I hope you won’t get into too much trouble!

  5. Molly June 18, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I am an elementary school librarian, and I think the Weekend Jar is a brilliant idea! I am planning to read I Am Otter to my 1st and 2nd grade students next year, and then maybe we can make our own Weekend Jars. I would love to hear how other teachers or librarians are using the book in the classroom and what activities they are doing with it, too.
    Thanks for the giggles, and keep the cute coming!

  6. Swinebert Glockchester (@Swinebert_and_D) June 18, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Hi Otter,

    Your story reminds me of the time when I had my first acorn harvest in White Oak Acres. As you may or may not know, pigs love acorns, almost more than squirrels do, and the squirrels who live in my backyard (after we made nice, we didn’t get along at first) helped me harvest acorns for my private snacking stash.

    2013 was a bumper crop year for the oak tress in our backyard (that means you get thrice as much from a harvest than normal) and I had to put them in the bathtub, and boy was my human ticked off. He asked, “Why are you keeping acorns in the bathtub?”

    I said “Simple, there wasn’t room to keep them in the crate you gave me, and I have to rinse and sort out the rotten ones first, anyway, this saves me time.”

    After that, Ferenc (my aforementioned human) built me an acorn crate out of an old watering trough (a kind of water dish for horses) and I use the garden hose to rinse off the keeper acorns after putting the rotten ones in our compost bin.

    Have you ever eaten an acorn, Otter? You should try them. You might want to ask to roast some for you (like in the old Christmas song about chestnuts, which you call “Conkers” right?)

    All the best to you and Teddy,
    Swinebert G.

  7. bev otter June 18, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    We are going to make our own weekend jar to try and stop the weekend from ending.
    I have ordered your book at last – hurrah! xxx

  8. Victoria Goodwin January 3, 2015 at 4:24 am

    I MUST have this book!
    (And I also must remember this tactic when I want my mom to stay home–and me too, as she cannot drive me to school without them!)

  9. Courtney June 21, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Oh Otter! My husband and I have sore tummies from laughing so much at your post! You are a very funny Otter. We love your funny stories. I hope Giraffe didn’t get into too much trouble with Otter Keeper!

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