It's Creatures Galore!

with Billie Piper!


It's me - Billie - back again! With some more monkey business!!

Remember a couple of weeks ago when Richie said my monkeys were revolting? And how he soon changed his tune when he found out that he was related to them? Well, he's been helping with my monkeys again, but nothing seems to go right when Richey helps!! Oh dear!!!

Here is all about what happened.

I was getting ready to give my dear monkeys a bath - although I love them, they do get smelly!!! - when there was a knock at the door. I left the bath running, and, telling my monkeys to stay there and behave themselves, went to answer it. It was Richey. He had no make-up on, which I thought was a bit odd, and he was smiling.

"Richey, I'm just about to give the babies a bath!!" I said. I was all hot and bothered already! "It's really not convenient."

"Oh, sorry Billie!" he said smarmily. "Can I just give you this, then? It's for your monkeys." And he gave me a small, odd-shaped parcel, wrapped in shiny paper. I gave him a look.

"I thought you weren't so fond of my monkeys..? First the special blankets, now this!"

"Oh, I know, just, well, they weren't so keen on the blankets, were they? That's why I got this present!" I looked suspiciously at him. "Go on - open it!"

I ripped off the shoddy paper and found a small rubber duck with a sly smile on its beak.

"Oh - oh, thank you, Richie. I suppose it is quite cute. I think my babies will like him. Thank you."

"That's OK!" said Richie, and he closed his eyes and offered his cheek to me to kiss. Just then, there was a shrieking from above, and a stream of steaming liquid poured from the bathroom window into Richey's face. One of my monkeys was having a little game!!!

"Eughhhhh!!! Get it off!!!" cried Richey, grimacing and rubbing his face on his sleeve.

"Ha ha ha ha ha! Serves you right!" I laughed. "You should know I'm not that kind of girl."

"Ugh! Ugh! I'm all wet!!" Richey was now wiping his wet sleeve on his other sleeve. Stupid boy!

"Oh, you big girl, it was probably only bath water! I expect."

Richey muttered "See ya" and walked off in a sulk.

"Thanks for the present!" I called after him, and laughed. Sometimes I wonder why I'm going out with Richey at all.

* * * * *

A few minutes later I was in the bath with all my monkeys. I was wearing my bikini, of course - naughty!!! I don't know if you've ever shared a bath with 33 playful monkeys, but it's always mayhem! Already, the howler monkeys had ganged up on the smallest spider monkey and were cheekily ducking his head under the water! Alice the bonobo was trying to stick the shower-head down the back of my bikini bottoms and yikes! it was icy cold!!!

"Calm down, you lot!!!" I shouted, but they couldn't hear me over the splashing!! Then I had an idea - Richey's rubber duck might distract them long enough for me to get them clean...

I hopped out and got the duck from the floor where I'd thrown it, then rushed back to the bath, noting sadly that the littlest spider monkey seemed to be lying face down on the surface of the bath. 'Oh, well, he was off his honey anyway,' I thought, and popped the little rubber duck into the bath. Immediately, a hush fell over the monkeys. They began to stare transfixed at the enigmatic-looking duck as it bobbed around in the water!

'Well, Richey, this is the most useful present you've ever bought me!' I thought, and began to wash Mr Choo Choo the chimp, whose chin-fur was stickiest of all! As usual! The other monkeys were suspiciously well-behaved as I scrubbed congealed honey out of Mr Choo Choo's face, and Mr Choo Choo himself only grizzled a little bit. They all just stared at the little smiling duck.

Then I noticed I'd been terribly forgetful - I hadn't added any bubbles to the bath!!! I couldn't bath my monkeys without soft bubbles! Quickly, I added the Matey, and sloshed the water around. Soon, there was a lovely froth of snowy bubbles everywhere! Hooray!!!

Then just as I was about to hop in and get down to some vigorous monkey-washing, something strange and horrible happened. As Richey's little duck become engulfed in bubbles, it started to glow!!! It's eyes throbbed with a malevolent, hellish light, and it's beak opened to reveal a hideous dark maw!!! There was a noise like the tearing of space itself and concentric waves of eldritch energy emanated from the gaping beak!!!

I watched, frozen in horror, as the energy waves swept over my petrified monkeys - they were shrinking before my very eyes!!! It was some kind of magic monkey-shrinking duck!

"Nooooooooo!!!!!!!!" I yelled, and I lunged toward the evil duck. I had to stop it! But my toe got caught in the plug chain, and out came the plug! The water started to swirl into the plughole, taking my miniaturized monkeys with it!!! I tried to gather up my babies in my arms, but they were dwindling all the time!!! Several lemurs were already the size of ants, and they just slipped through my fingers!! I cried at the sight of my petrified monkeys helplessly buffeted around in a whirlpool of death!! Then I looked up and - aiiieee!!! - the side of the bath seemed to tower above me like a great ceramic cliff!!! The duck was shrinking me too!!!

Suddenly, I felt very calm. The dimension-rending noise of the demonic duck and the cacaphony of my flailing monkeys faded away as I tried to plan what I could do to get out of this situation. There was no way I was going to get up out of the bath now, so I would just have to let myself be carried away down the plug hole and see if I could find a way out down there. I couldn't help my monkey babies just now - they would have to fend for themselves. Maybe they could swim underwater, I didn't know.

Surfacing a moment, I took a deep breath, then plunged down into the watery maelstrom. I held my arms out in front of me like a minute Supergirl, and sped down through the spiral of bathwater, down, down, down into the plug hole. Who knew what adventures awaited me?

Then I clonked my tiny head on the side of the plug hole and everything went black.

* * * * *

I came to with a terrible headache! I felt awful, and I didn't know where I was! I seemed to be lying on some damp, sandy metal. I could hear dripping water, and it was stuffy and smelly. I thought I'd better open my eyes. There wasn't much light, but I seemed to be in some massive metal pipe! It must have been as high as a double decker bus! Then I remembered - I had been shrunk by that depraved rubber toy! I must have been about two inches tall.

I felt very afraid and alone. What was I going to do now? I buried my head in my hands and started to cry. Just then, I felt a warm little hand on my shoulder. I looked up into the concerned face of Mr Choo Choo the chimp!

"Mr Choo Choo, am I glad to see you!" I breathed. I hugged him close to me. Then I felt lots of other tiny hands on me - one, two, three .... fifteen of my monkey babies had been washed up here, too!!! Yay!!! I held all my monkeys tight, and thought hard. I had to be strong for them now, and get us all out of this fix, even if we didn't know where we were and we were all tiny and everything. After all, I was seventeen now.

The monkeys were all trembling with fright, but I managed to calm them down by humming some soothing tunes. After Two Little Boys, we were ready to move on. There seemed to be some light coming from the end of the pipe, so we headed toward that. I made my monkeys form a line behind me, all holding hands so that no-one would get lost! I felt a bit like a teacher on a school trip, except it was a school for monkeys, and the trip was to a sewer, and we'd all been shrunk to homunculi by a wicked magical duck. Have you ever been on a school trip like that? I'd be very surprised if you had!!!

The pipe seemed to go on for miles, although it was probably only a few yards, and our microscopic legs were getting very tired. But then, suddenly, we came out, blinking, into daylight! The pipe came out on a beach! I could see shells as big as cars scattered over the beach, which lead down to the massive sea. We were out of the pipe, but now we had to get back home! And back to our normal size! We needed to find someone to help us - that is , if we could attract someone's attention without them squashing us first!

I couldn't see anyone around, but I could hear the happy chimes of an ice cream van from the top of the beach, so I headed toward that sound, my monkeys trailing behind me in a row. The beach was tricky to walk on - the sand grains seemed like big rocks to my tiny feet!

"Nearly there!" I said. The crest of the beach was just up ahead. Then suddenly - snip! - there was a horrible sound behind me. I whirled around to see a pair of giant crabs menacing my monkeys! They'd sneaked up and snipped a colobus clean in two with their enormous claws!!! I was frozen in fear as the crabs attacked my babies! My little ones had no chance.


I managed to gather up Mr Choo Choo and some of the macaques, and we darted behind a mussel shell. In an instant, the shrieking of my monkey children was over. I peeped out, and wept as I saw twenty bloody monkey halves spasming on the beach. The two fearsome crabs reared up on their hind legs and performed a frightening victory jig amongst the grisly wreckage of my little ones.

I thought they hadn't spotted me and the monkey survivors, but then one of them swivelled its eyestalks down to the ground. He could see our footprints! Leading right to our hidey-hole behind the mussel shell!!! We were done for!!!

I shivered and hugged Mr Choo Choo and the macaques close to me - they were shivering, too, and trying not to whimper, poor darlings. I heard the crabs scuttle toward us and braced myself for the inevitable head-popping I was to receive.

But then I felt something grab my arm - surprisingly gently. One of the crabs was tenderly pulling me up by the wrist. The other crab was gathering up the terrified monkeys in its massive claws. They weren't going to hurt us, they were taking us prisoner! Maybe they could see that a little pop star like me was no threat to them.

The crabs lead us, gently but firmly, across the sand dunes, away from where I thought the ice cream van was. It seemed like ages, and my feet were getting tired, but it can only have been a few yards. I was sick of being so small! Suddenly, we crested a dune, and I saw a sight before me that took my breath away!!!

It was a vast castle made entirely of sand, with four huge towers, turrets, crenellations, and a deep moat. The walls were gaily decorated with shells and dried-up starfish. I suppose it can only have been a foot or so high, but to poor shrunken me it was as big as a Sphinx!!!

The crabs lead us right toward the castle - it must be their lair! We crossed the moat by means of a drawbridge made of lolly-sticks (Mini-Milks, judging by the smell) but I was too scared and awe-struck to appreciate the jokes written on them. We were marched past two crab guards, who snapped to attention, and into a magnificent throne room.

The chamber was a huge, hollow octahedron. Dazzling light - emitted from no source that I could see - glittered off every wall, decorated as they were with the shiniest pebbles and shells. Suspended in the centre of the room on a kind of web made out of seaweed (kelp, I think) was the hugest, most ginormous crab I had ever seen!!!! It was like a tank in comparison to my titchy frame!!!

Our two crab escorts indicated that we kneel in front of this dire crustacean. My knees were so weak with fright that I was almost collapsing anyway!!

The two smaller crabs started to click and clack their claws, and the gigantic crab clicked and clacked its claws back, loud as whip-cracks. I think they were talking to each other!!! They clicked and clacked and clacked and clicked for some time, and I began to pick up this click-based language. Those finger-clicking lessons at Sylvia Young's School of Acting had finally come in useful!!!

From what I gathered, the crabs who caught us were telling the big crab (who was the Crab Queen, Queen of the Crabs!!!) that they had found some furry quadropeds (they meant me and the monkeys!!) trespassing in the Tidal Zone. They would normally have killed us all on sight, but when they had seen the Beautiful One (I was blushing - that was me!!!) they had stopped their slaughter and captured the trespassers. I was pleased at being thought beautiful, even by a crab, but then my blood ran cold as the Crab Queen, Queen of the Crabs, click-clacked her judgement on the matter with her hinged claws.

"Get rid of the hairy things. They offend me," she clicked. "The Beautiful One amuses me. Tether her with seaweed - she can be my pet."

"No!!!" I yelled. One of the crabs grabbed me, while the other snatched two macaques by their ankles and dangled them gloatingly in my face.

Then I had an idea. These things couldn't understand my shouting, so I concentrated hard and had a stab at talking to them in their own language. Had I picked up enough of their words from the conversation I had just heard?

Desperately, I tried to say "No, wait, please stop!" in a sequence of finger-clicks. The crab in front of me was just about to slam the two macaques skulls together, when the Crab Queen, Queen of the Crabs raised her great claw and made a single sharp crack, like a pistol. It must have meant "Stop!", as the crabs froze instantly! Yay!

"It speaks!" click-clacked the Crab Queen, Queen of the Crabs. "How curious!"

"Yes," I managed to click back, nervously. "Please don't hurt us, your Aquatic Highness!!! We didn't know we were trespassing in the Tidal Zone. We're ever so sorry, we got there by accident!" And I clicked out the whole story to her, until my fingers were covered in callouses.

"Well, that is a moving tale!" snipped the Crab Queen, Queen of the Crabs, when I had finished, and a tear rolled out of her eye-stalk. "You are a very brave little creature, and I have decided to help you get home."

"Oh, thank you, Ma'am!" I clicked gratefully. "I don't know how I'd get back on my own!"

"Come on, you can ride on my back!" And the Crab Queen, Queen of the Crabs, scuttled down from her web of kelp. The crab guards lifted the macaques, Mr Choo Choo and me onto her horny old carapace.

"This is all rather rushed," I finger-clicked.

"Yes, it is rather!" snapped the Crab Queen, Queen of the Crabs, and she swivelled an eye-stalk round to wink at me.

* * * * *

After a surprisingly swift and trouble-free trip through the sewers, we were back in my bath at home. Yay!!! But we were still only two inches high!! Booo!!!!

"Ohh, what are we going to do? We're too little to climb out of the bath!!" I clicked, and started to sob.

"Hmm," clacked the Crab Queen, Queen of the Crabs, quizzically. "That duck had something to do with shrinking you, didn't it?"

"I think so," I clicked. The rubber duck was still there in the bath, grinning its appalling grin.

"Well, we'll make short work of that!!"

And without further ado, the Crab Queen, Queen of the Crabs, set about the devilsome bath toy with her razor-sharp claws. Within moments, she had shredded its rubber flesh away to reveal a robot skellington made of cogs and wires!!!! The duck's metal innards started to spark alarmingly, but soon they too were ripped assunder by the Crab Queen, Queen of the Crabs' claws, and the duck was still.

"Hooray!" I shouted and clicked. Then I felt dizzy - I looked down, and saw the bath floor, the Crab Queen, Queen of the Crabs, and the remains of the rubber duck dwindle below me as if I were taking off in a helicopter!!! Then I realised - the duck's uncanny powers were broken, and I was growing back to my proper size!!! A surprised looking Mr Choo Choo shot up beside me, and when our dimensions stabilised, I gave him a big hug.

There was no sign of the macaques - then I noticed that I had tread on one of them before he had got very far back to his normal size, and the others seemed to have been playing under an up-turned cup when the magic wore off, judging by the compacted, squishy mess of bone and flesh I found. At least they had one last adventure before they died!

Then I remembered the Crab Queen, Queen of the Crabs - she hadn't grown, of course, and she sat in the bottom of the bath, only a few inches big. I laughed when I remembered how scared I had been of her!!

"Oh, your highness, everything's back to normal now!! I'm so happy, and it's all thanks to you!!! How can I ever repay you?"

"Oh, don't mention it," she clicked, blushing.

"I must give you something in return, but what..? Hold on!" And I rushed to my room.

I came back quickly, and, kneeling over the bath, presented the Crab Queen, Queen of the Crabs, with her present - what to you or me would have been just a tiny button badge of my face and my special logo, but to a tiny crab was a large and shiny castle decoration! And a token of my appreciation, I hoped.

She took the badge in her claw and admired it with both eye-stalks. "Oh, thank you, thank you - this will look the bees knees in my throne room!" And with a wink, she was gone, down the plughole!

"Well! I guess it's just you and me now, Mr Choo Choo!" I sighed. "You must be hungry."

And he was!

loads of luv and be h-a-p-p-y!

Billie xxx

PS Don't forget to come back soon and read about my new animal friend!!!

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Billie appears courtesy of Mirai Seiko