It's Creatures Galore!

with Billie Piper!


It's me again - Billie!!! Last time, I said I was going to the Natural History Museum, where I might have some adventures. So, now I've been there, and guess what? - I did have lots of adventures!!

Here is what happened to me there.

Do you remember how I took in 73 poor little monkeys? Well, I still have most of them, and they're doing fine, thanks!! Unfortunately, I lost eight of the lemurs when my wardrobe fell over and crushed them. Oh well!!! My honey seems to be really good for the rest of them, and they're going from strength to strength!! I must admit that they are all very boisterous and lively, and it's quite a job to keep an eye on them all, I can tell you! Why, just now a baby gibbon tried to eat my pen!! Give it back, Henry, I'm writing! Tsk!!

Now, it all started when Richie came round for his tea. He was dumbfounded when I opened the door and a grumpy mandrill grabbed him and pulled him inside! Within seconds, a gang of frisky proboscis monkeys had done wees all over him!!

"Eugh! Get them off me, they're revolting!" he said. "How can you live like this?"

"They are not revolting!" I retorted angrily. "Anyway, we're all related to them. Even you! They're your monkey cousins and you have a duty to care for them so get used to it!"

And I left him under a pile of macaques until he'd had a good think about what he had said.

Ten minutes later, he came into the kitchen where I was making some Nesquik. Strawberry, of course!

"Look - I'm sorry about calling your monkeys revolting" he said sheepishly "I suppose they are quite cute in a way. But we're not related to them - that's a stupid idea! God made us all seperately. Six thousand years ago. Out of clay."

"I'm sure that's not right!" I cried. "Look - we've got the same number of fingers and everything." I was feeding Mr Choo-Choo the chimp, and I held up his sticky, honey-covered hand as proof.

"Yeah, well read the Bible!" crowed Richie. I was buggered if I was going to do that - have you seen how long it is? I stirred the Nesquik and thought of a better idea.

"I know - I'll go to the Natural History Museum and bring back some postcards!" I shouted. That'll show him, I thought.

"You just do that!" yelled Ritchie, and he left in tears (as usual). I didn't mind - two glasses of Nesquik for me!

The very next day, I went straight to the Natural History Museum as soon as it opened. "I'll show that make-up wearing creationist idiot!" I fumed to myself. He wears more lippy than I do! I took all my monkeys along - I can't leave them home alone yet! But as I was getting onto my bike I accidentally trod on one of the baboon's heads and squashed it flat. There was no time to clean up, so I scraped my foot on the kerb and pedalled off like billy-o! When I arrived at the ticket booth I was very relieved to find that monkeys get in for free! Hooray!

We had a great day looking at all the skellingtons and creatures, and my monkeys were very well behaved. Some of the spider monkeys cried when they saw the monkey skellingtons, but I cheered them up with some banana ice-cream. Looking at the displays, I learned that fish grew up to be frogs who grew up to be dinosaurs and also mice, and then the dinosaurs turned into snakes and the mice turned into monkeys then us!!! I bought some postcards which would prove without a doubt that I am right and best. I planned to give it to Ritchie to read. If he can read, which I don't think he can.

I also learned lots about how we shouldn't let stupid people have babies, because then the world will be overrun with idiots! The thought of that made me shiver, and I hugged my monkeys close to me.

The day passed very quickly, and before I knew it, it was five o'clock. We were all a bit tired and my monkeys were hungry and needed feeding!! I found a 'mother and baby' room (it didn't say 'mother and monkey' room, but I didn't think anyone would mind!) and I started suckling my monkey children two at a time.

When I was halfway through the remaining 64 monkeys, I heard an announcement on the intercom: "The museum is about to close. Please leave in the next ten minutes, or you will be locked in, and the skellingtons will come to life!"

Oo-er! I knew I had to get out, but I hadn't finished feeding my monkeys! I gathered up my little ones and ran for the exit, but I was too late. Just as I reached the great iron doors, a great big bell tolled and they slammed shut in my face!! I heard the sound of metal on metal, and I knew that it was the massive bolt being drawn. The museum was sealed up for the night, and would not be opened under any circumstances until the next day!

I was frightened and cold, and so were my babies. We huddled together in the alcove with the big foetus and I finished feeding them, while trying to think of how I could escape. I could hear creaking sounds coming from all over the museum, and I knew that it was true - the skellingtons were coming to life!

Suddenly, I saw a shadowy figure dart behind the massive model brain. It looked like a mysterious old man with a big white beard! I scooped up my monkeys and followed him. He ran on ahead, as I hurried after him down the corridors. "Hey!" I shouted, "Who's there?"

The old man did not reply, and scurried towards the main hall. I put on a spurt of speed and sprinted after him, scattering baby primates behind me. But, it was too late - as I stepped into the hall the old man was gone, and the sight that greeted my eyes made my blood run cold.

The hall was full of skellingtons moving around in some hideous dance of death! The triceratops skellington was cavorting with the giraffe skellington while the bird skellingtons snapped their beaks and flapped their bony wings. The tyrannasaurus rex skellington was dancing around with the donkey skellington on his back, which brayed silently with it's bleached, naked skull. There was a conga winding across the hall, made up of skellingtons of all different creatures - I saw a kangaroo skellington, a bear skellington, a rat skellington and a gorilla skellington. All the time, the caveman skellingtons were playing a tune on the whale skellingtons ribs, and the elephant skellington banged the glass cases with a horse's leg bone!

I was frightened, but I knew that my monkeys needed me. If I could just sneak past the cadaverous cavalcade, I could hide safely in the Earth Galleries, where the only skellington is the skellington of the world. I hardly think that would want to hurt me!!

Suddenly, I spotted the old man again!!! He motioned for me to sneak around the side of the hall with the monkeys, and then disappeared into the corridor on the other side. It was my only chance!! I darted out from my hiding place, with the monkey's on my back. Keeping as quiet as a little mouse, I crept around the perimeter of the hall. I must have taken only a few seconds, but it seemed like that journey was the longest of my life!!! We edged along the wall, carefully, carefully...

Suddenly, one of my marmosets cried out! He was terrified, the poor little mite!! I clamped his mouth shut and hoped that we had not been seen. A skellington stegosaurus looked at me, and I pretended to be stuffed. I stood stock-still and my monkeys followed suit!!! All that training at Sylvia Young's School of Acting must have paid off, because the skellington looked away and joined a skellington camel in a tango. We slinked onwards towards freedom...

We were just stepping into the exit to the Earth Galleries, and I was ready to breathe again, when all of a sudden the music stopped. I didn't dare turn around, but knew that I must. A deathly silence lay over the museum. I turned my head very, very slowly and saw that I was done for. Hundreds of pairs of skellington eye sockets looked at me from polished headbones. We had been spotted and I closed my eyes to await the fate that I knew would come.

'I'm sorry Richie!' I thought. 'I will never storm off to prove you wrong again!'

I could feel the skellington breath of the tyrannasaurus rex on my face. Suddenly there was a howl!! I opened my eyes to see my faithful babies streaming towards the skellingtons yelling and howling in fury!!! They were protecting their mother!!

Within moments, the hall was a cacophony of monkey screams and splintering bones. My little ones were making headway against the ossified horde, but it was a close fought thing. Baby monkey clashed with skellington with the bitter ferocity of age-old adversaries. I saw a woolly monkey biting the face-bone of a hen skellington, only to be dashed to the ground by a giant sloth skellington. I saw the mammoth skellington running with monkey blood, as a horde of capuchins brought him down with their tiny fists. It was a maelstrom of senseless slaughter and I wanted it to end.

Once again I spied the old man beckoning to me from behind a pillar. I knew that I would catch him this time, and I sprang forward towards him. As I rounded the pillar, that cheeky old man was gone!! Again!!! In his place I saw a giant skellington of a brontosaurus, resting his great head bone in his paws. My fear turned into compassion as I saw that he was crying. Huge skellington tears rolled down his massive skellington cheeks, and I moved to comfort him as only a 16-year-old girl pop star knows how.

"'What is it?" I asked. "What's wrong?"

He raised his skull to look at me, and said "The fighting. When will they ever stop? It's all so pointless, so brutal. Why can't skellingtons and monkeys live in harmony?" He broke into sobs, and I gave him my hanky.

"There there." I soothed. I thought quickly. "I may have a plan to stop all this. Once and for all."

"What is it?" queried the fleshless prehistoric giant.

"Just bend down here, and I'll tell you..." And I whispered into his skellington ear.

* * * * *

Back in the hall the battle raged on. Dead monkeys mingled with shattered bones on the floor of the museum, and the great buildings corridors echoed with the cries of the dying. The survivors fought on furiously, only hatred and war in their eyes and eye-holes.

Suddenly, a beautiful sound split the air.

The fighting slowed to a stop, and the combatants stood enraptured. Their heads turned, monkey and skellington alike, to see where the sound was coming from. I rode around the corner on the back of the brontosaurus skellington, like Lady Godiva (only with clothes on - naughty!) "War is over, if you want it!" I sang. I did it acapella because my band weren't there.


Here's me on the Brontosaurus of Peace! (Reuters Picture Agency)

I performed a medley of anti-fighting songs. "War. Uh-huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nuthin'! Say it again!" I trilled. As I reached the second verse of What's Going On? by Marvin Gaye, I noticed an amazing thing.

The monkeys and the skellingtons were joining in and linking arms. The dog skellington was hugging the red colobus, and two gibbons played football with a human skull, which was laughing at the fun. The hall reverberated with the sound of monkey, skellington and me, joined in sweet song.

Just then, a cough echoed around the great hall. All the monkeys and the skellingtons stopped singing, and turned their heads to look as one - walking slowly down the grand stairs was the mysterious old man with the white beard!!

"I think you can all go back to your places, now, don't you?" he said, in a kindly, but authoratative voice.

Quick as a flash, the skellingtons raced back to their positions. The friendly old brontosaurus picked me up with his tail and placed me gently on the floor. He gave me a bony wink, then he too was gone. It was almost as if nothing strange had happened! Except then I saw the bludgeoned bodies of 23 of my little ones, and knew that it was real.

And the old man was still here! He was right in front of me!!

"Well, Miss Piper, you have had an eventful evening, haven't you?"

He knew my name! Perhaps he'd seen me on SMTV.

"Yes - and I just wanted to prove that humans and monkeys are family - I didn't want any monkeys or skellingtons to die!"

"Well, it's unavoidable. It's nature's way! Here - a present for you, for being so courageous and clever."

And he handed me a book - an old, hardback book with a picture of a monkey on the front. The title was picked out in golden thread - Oranges Are Not The Only Species. "It should help show that 'make-up cake' that he's not quite as special as he thinks he is."

"Oh, thank you!" I cried, looking through the book. "But who...?"

I stopped - there was a photo on the back of the book of the author, a man called Charles Darwin. And he looked uncannily like a younger version of ....

Of course, when I looked up, he was gone.

* * * * *

I suddenly felt very sleepy - what a day I'd had! - and most of the remaining 41 monkeys were starting to nod off, too! I felt safe in the museum now, and so I gathered up my monkeys and we curled up together in a cosy model termite mound. Using the kindly Mr Darwin's book as a pillow!!

I woke up to the chattering noises of a party of schoolchildren, and quickly sneaked out with all my monkeys. We must have looked like very strange termites!!

I raced home on my bike, monkeys clinging on tight as we skidded round corners and whizzed between taxis. I think a baby rhesus monkey may have been knocked off by a despatch rider's wing mirror, but there was no time to stop!! I had to show Richie that I was right and he was wrong - now I had proof!

When we got back to the flat, Richie was waiting outside. His mascara was all smudged and he smelled like he'd been sick.

"Where have you been?" he wailed. "I've been so worried!!"

"Never you mind!" I said, and handed him the book. "Read this!"

Richie sat on the front step and started to read the book, while I fed my monkeys. I won't let anything stop them getting their breakfast!! As Richey read, I could almost see his stupid ideas falling out of his brain through his ears and nose. He finished just as the last pair of baby bonobos stopped guzzling.

"Oh, Billie, I'm sorry!" he moaned. "I've been so silly. You were right and I was wrong - what was I thinking? Oh, Billie, I do love you, you're so clever!"

And he stood up to hug me.

"Oi, you're squashing my monkeys!!!"

He backed off. "Sorry - I won't be hurting our monkey bretheren ever again!!"

"You'd better not!!" I said. And winked.



PS Make sure you check back soon, when I'll tell you all about a strange nocturnal visitor I had!!!!

PPS And look out for my next record, too!! After this adventure, it'll be a fossil record!!!! Ha ha!!! Only joking!!!

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Billie appears courtesy of Alternative Tentacles