The zebraffe twins Kiki and Kuku stand in Lush’s apartment behind his out-of-tune piano, while the impoverished, formerly law-abiding guardian of all animals plays Heart and Soul with Olivier the ocelot, who has chosen to close his bookshop early today.
A cosy, almost familial atmosphere. Kiki and Kuku are tapping their hoofed toes to the beat. They have just finished the scones and Fortnum & Mason tea which Olivier picked up on his way home from work. Everything seems perfect. Until suddenly, the apartment begins to shake. Prussia’s Glory is being played. It becomes more threatening and louder with every passing second. Our heroes rush to the window and poke their heads out the window.
“A parade!” suggests Kiki.
“This is no parade! This is the feminist patrol!” replies the ocelot.
Lush sees what must be at least one thousand women marching through the streets of London. Kuku is overjoyed and runs out into the street immediately. Lush realizes this one second too late and only has time to yell after her “No, Kuku! It is too dangerous!” Unfortunately, the zebraffe is already out of earshot. “We must go after her. We must get her back! “
Lush and Olivier hop on Kiki’s back and ride after Kuku. In the street, they are able to spot Kuku right away, as her head sticks out of the crowd. She has not gotten very far and seems to be busy asking the female soldiers all manner of questions. The ladies seem to be enjoying answering her questions.
Lush, clad in a fabulous double-breasted navy suit with a white-shirt and a navy tie, and Olivier ride on Kiki and manage to catch up with Kuku very quickly. Lush beckons briefly to the zebraffe, who turns away from him.
“Kuku, come back up. It is too dangerous!”, he says quickly – he is aware of the patrol’s reputation.
At once, one of the women in the march answers: “Why are you giving orders to the girl?”
Another: “Do you think that is your right as a man?”
“Ehm… No, but…”, Lush stammers.
Olivier tries to intervene: “We were just hoping to get her to finish a piece of music we had started.”
“The girl can make her own decisions.”
“Indubitably.” Olivier accepts defeat on this front and attempts a tactical pivot. “May I ask why you are marching today?”
“And just why shouldn’t we march?”
“I didn’t mean to suggest that you shouldn’t. I was just curious why you are marching.” Lush looks on dumbfounded.
“Why shouldn’t we do that?”
“Yes, I concede that point. However, may I enquire as to the purpose of this excursion?”
“That is none of your concern!”
At this point, Lush understands that his argument is unwinnable. What is more immediately concerning to him however, is the fact that the police have taken it upon themselves to direct proceedings at this march.
“Kuku, Out. Now.”, screams Kiki. Kuku looks up and breaks from the group. This is seen as a great affront to the marchers. Kiki gets up on his hind legs and gallops along with Lush and Olivier (and Kuku, a few yards behind) towards the police barricade. They are being chased by the amazons.
“What is your plan? We are going into the lion’s den.”
“We’re going to jump over it!”
Olivier is already clinging to Lush who has again grabbed onto Kiki’s neck. The police megaphones are screeching:
“Stop or we will shoot!”
“This is your final warning!”
A warning shot rings out and hits near Kuku’s hooves. She and her brother are undeterred and leap over the police cars. More shots are fired but not hit their mark.
Still moving at top speed, the ocelot chimes in: “First side-street on the right. We can access the underground tunnels from there.” They immediately turn to the right and the police do not seem to have seen them.
Lush couldn’t help but notice that, during their escape, the police dogs were taking notes and at least one had been communicating through a walkie-talkie. If they weren’t already, they are now most certainly ‘wanted’. MM/EG