St Mary Magdalene's, Dundee

The Magic Garden: the animals arrive

If Josie thought birds were a problem, there was worse in store... When she opened her eyes, the next morning, she saw a small brown hairy face peering at her through the flap of her tent. "Hello," she said. "Who are you?" But before she had even asked her question, it had gone. She had a nasty feeling the animals had already been in her tent, trying on her dress and using her lipstick. She got up quickly — and went to see Augustus.

Child's picture of the Creation Child's picture of the Creation Child's picture of the Creation

"What's happening today?" she asked. "Animals," said the parrot. "I think God's gone mad. He's making everything at once. I'm surprised you didn't wake up earlier. All these animals have been trying out their new voices. The lions have been roaring (Roar). The dogs have been barking (All bark). The cats have been saying miaow (you get the idea). The cows have been mooing, the pigs have been snorting and the mice have been squeaking. It's a bit quieter now." "But where are they?" asked Josie. "Having a sleep, I reckon. Creation's a pretty exhausting business. I think God himself is probably having a kip."

Josie said: "There was a small brown hairy thing in my tent. I think it's been trying on my clothes." "Oh, them!" said Augustus — as if he knew everything. "That'll probably have been a monkey. They look very like the Captain. Mischievous little things. They might pull your hair. God's made all sorts of monkeys. Baboons! Chimps! Apes! Even gorillas! (Gorillas! All jump). I think God's still trying to make something better. One of my parrot friends told me... There should be a super monkey being created tomorrow!"

"Where is the Captain?" asked Josie. "Have the lions eaten him?" "Not yet," said Augustus. "When I last spoke to him, he said he was going to milk a cow." "Milking a cow!!" Augustus nodded. "That wheat stuff has been growing rather nicely. You should be having cornflakes and milk for breakfast."

Josie looked around. "Where shall we go first? That way?" "Tigers!" said the parrot. "Very sharp teeth." Josie looked north. "What's there up there?" "Meerkats," said Augustus. "They're busy selling insurance! But we could go west. Then you'll see the hippos having a bath in the river. Huge things. The size of a bus. Made of rubber." Augustus smiled. "They go under the water — and blow bubbles." (Cue for song: "I'm for ever blowing bubbles".)

Augustus continued: "What I'm really worried about is the plane. What happens if the dinosaurs stand on it?" "Dinosaurs!" exclaimed Josie. "What are they?" "Sixty feet long — weighing 20 tons! God is sending out the first ones at half past three. The Tyrannosaurus Rex will be coming out of his shell at ten to eight. They're really frightening creatures. I think God will have to put them down — somehow." The parrot shook his head. Josie felt goosey shivers running up her spine. She wondered.... Was God really in control of his creation? It sounded as if things might turn horribly wrong — and quite soon.