It’s not often that you wake up to the news that 10 new groups of (imaginary if you’re new to this) Cheetahs have moved in. Neither do you expect, on the same day, to receive the “very good news” that the Banana People have given birth to 10 babies today. So, as far as I’m aware, here’s the current roll-call in the Cheetah Keeper’s menagerie…
19 groups of 10 Cheetahs. Each group contains at least 3 generations (ie those young enough to go to school, the parents working/looking after the little ones and then grandparents for the fun stuff). That’s 190 Cheetahs now. Oh, and there’s another one moving in at midnight tonight. He’s going to run from where he’s living now (in a road the other side of town from here), through town under the Christmas lights, jump on the roof and come down the chimney. He’s then going to sleep on the sofa tonight ready for us to meet in the morning. All the new ones will be going to school in the morning – super, must be prepared to repack the lunch box.
14 Banana People. That’s the 4 grown up ones and 10 new babies – who are upstairs tucked up under blankets as just their yellow skins won’t keep them warm enough when they’re little.
96 Dinos. The original 4 groups of 12 that came from Knebworth back in the summer and then the next 4 groups of 12 that flew in under the watchful guidance of their leader Strike, from Spain. They liked the warmth of Spain but want to be here so are now wearing orange winter coats and waterproof trousers. Of course.
The Cheetahs have sold their original Banana Plane and upgraded to a much larger version that can accommodate everyone. It’s flown by some of the new Cheetahs that arrived today (they’re qualified pilots) and uses the same airport facilities as before – I’m so glad the runway is long enough. They’ve also upgraded their magic carpet as they were having problems balancing just a few Cheetahs on it, especially when it went really fast. Now they’ve got a much bigger one (it’s red, green and blue in case you were wondering) and they can all fit on – and whiz around corners and everything.
So what does one do on a Sunday morning when you suddenly have 190 Cheetahs to deal with? You leave the original 90 in bed (what a good idea, if only I could have joined them) and then take the new 100 and all the Dinos trampolining. It transpires that the new Cheetahs were living together in a house on the other side of town (in a road that oddly enough we’d been to a party in a couple of weeks back!) but they’re definitely staying here for ever and ever. They flew their aeroplane to trampolining – good job there wasn’t any fog and they had a jolly good time running around.
Then, on a not too cold, gorgeously sunny afternoon we took them all on a trip to the zoo (ZSL Whipsnade Zoo – of course). All 190 Cheetahs and the Dinos – the Banana People were going to come but decided to stay at home as the babies were a bit too small. They came in the car with us (so much easier that way, no one gets lost on the motorway) and were very keen to see the real Cheetahs, Hippos and Giraffes. They were also very keen to make sure they got lots of exercise so we walked all round the zoo – the bigger Cheetahs started tennis club yesterday and will be going again tomorrow after school so need to get fit.
The absolute highlight of the afternoon being when the Cheetah Keeper got to meet the REAL Cheetah Keeper! The one who really looks after the Cheetahs!!! (and what a jolly nice bloke he was too) – if you saw a sudden brightness in the sky over Bedfordshire at about 3.45pm this afternoon it was the beaming grin that came over his face.
All Cheetahs are now home and accounted for and the Cheetah Keeper has introduced his sister to the tiny Banana babies. We’ll see what the new one arriving down the chimney adds to the mix tomorrow…