I love animals: I'm always talking about animals, I love 'em. But the thing is that, you know, whenever you see animals on the telly, it's always the show-off animals. Yeah? It's always the leopards and panthers and crocodiles. Lions milling about, going "Oh, I'm very good, I'm on everything", and it really makes me annoyed, you know? Because what about the English animals, you know? The British mammals, yeah? Hah, what about the muskrat, or the tiny northern root-vole, with his little banjo and hat made of elastic bands, yeah? Who's representing them, eh? No-one, that's who.
I was furious! I went round all the heavily wooded regions in England. I just went round with this small pamphlet, recruiting like a huge slave rebellion. I was like Spartacus. I was there, going, "Okay, we're gonna go to Africa! We're gonna kick their arses", and I got a huge sort of tiny little mammal slave rebellion. They were all wearing tunics, we were there rummaging about in Greece... Well, Kent. And I said, "Come on, we're gonna go over there, and we're gonna show 'em. I'm sick of the lions, I'm sick of the crocodiles! You must be too. Come on, now!"
So I got them all in a big rusty bomber, and we flew over to Africa. But we needed a strategy. We couldn't just go over there, you know, go "COME ON!", and give them some aggro. We needed a strategy. So what we did was, um, we built a huge wooden shrew, like the wooden horse of Troy, but with just a little bit more stoat in it, with tiny little stoat's arms holding the spear, and what we did, was we lined it - to make it double dangerous - we lined it all with kitkat wrappers.
Ah, it was fantastic, it was like a glossy bitch. It was so bright, it was a metallic wonder. Small boys would rather eat a pair of scissors than go near the glossy bitch. "Don't make me go near it, I'll eat another pair of scissors. I can’t look at it, it’s doin’ me pupils in!" Ah, it was fantastic, it was very warlike, the body was very warlike. But the eyes? They were telling a different story. Hardly warlike: eyes, like the eyes of an old russian lady, who had seen too much. An old russian lady, with her arm caught in a loom, and big sailors would walk past and go "Hello!" and she'd go "No, not hello. My arm - it's in a loom." And they'd go, "Yes, hello!", and she'd go, "No, not hello. It's gone maroon. My arm, it is in a loom." And they'd go "Yes, hello!", and she'd go "No, not hello -", and in the end she'd have to pick up the two-ton loom, and walk them, follow them home, and knock on their front window, and they'd be going "Oh, you're scaring me a little bit now". That's what the eyes were like: dangerous, but beautiful at the same time.
And what we did, was we cut two circles out of the base of the shrew, so that Martin Pinemarten could stick his little stoaty, weaselly legs through, and wheel us around - it was fantastic. And there weren't any windows, so we were crashing into antique shops, knocking over stationary yachts. We were having a nightmare!
And eventually we found the plains, and we waited till dusk - waited till it got a little bit dark - and we looked through a crack in the shrew, and they were all out there, lions milling about, and we thought, "Yeah, we're going to get you, you freak nuts."
So, what we did, was, we waited till it was dark, and we went out, and we went "CHAAAARGE!" and we ran at them, and when we got out there, we couldn't believe it, they were HUGE! Lions the size of transit vans, we couldn't... we didn't know what was happening! Leopards like marquees, "Oh, he's like a Victorian tennis house, look at the size of him!" Martin the pine marten was in a right state, he said, "No, I'm not going out there again, they were bloody huge, you didn't say anything about them going to be that huge!" Martin, what's happening to your voice? "I don't know, but I'm a bit scared."
So we all ran back into the shrew, we were like, "Oh, no, what are we going to do?", and we had to come up with Plan B. Luckily, Morris, the wood-pigeon, went, "I've got an idea". Now, he'd brought some Japanese Tourist costumes along, and we popped them on, went out there, and we took photos of them all. But we used them cameras that fly water! Oh yeah! Some of the zebras were soaked, cheetahs wringing out their gussets. We went over there and we kicked their arses.
Best weekend I've ever had.