It was a worried little girl that went to bed that night.
She couldn’t sleep. She got up to get a glass of water from the kitchen… and as she passed the telephone in the hall—it rang! Dyspepsia snatched it up, in case it woke Mummy and Daddy.
Very soon Spookie was next to her, pressing her ear to the other side of the telephone. It was a transatlantic phone call.
“Please hold the line,” said a White House aide. “I have the President of the United States to speak to you.” And there she was, speaking to President Lacey Lee.
“And how’s the weather in li’l old England?” asked the President. She’d been told that’s how you speak to British people.
“It’s the middle of the night here,” said Dyspepsia. Spookie nudged her, but too late.
“I—am—so—sorry!” said President Lee. She’d been counting five hours backwards instead of forwards. It’s an easy mistake to make, because no American can ever believe England is ahead of them in anything.
“Is it still all right to talk?”
“Oh yes, go on,” said Dyspepsia.
“Well… we’ve heard about your Monstosaurus,” said the President. “And we’d like to give you the money to finish the job. Will two billion dollars be enough, or should that be three?”
Dyspepsia couldn’t speak for surprise. Spookie gently clawed the telephone from her grasp and said down it, “Three, I think. Just to be on the safe side.”
Dyspepsia found her voice and snatched the telephone back from Spookie. “That’s terribly kind of you, Ma’am,” she managed to blurt out.
“You’re very welcome,” said President Lacey Lee.
She then went on to explain that the USA couldn’t bear to think of anyone having a bigger dinosaur than they did. So Congress had authorised her to do what it took to get the bones out of the ground—and then packed up and sent off to the USA.
Dyspepsia thought it was only fair to say that the real bones had already been promised to China. Or part-promised, but it was too hard to explain all that over the phone.
“Oh, well,” drawled the President, “let’s not have a war about it. When it’s all dug up, we’ll have an international conference instead.”
And that’s exactly what happened.
…to be continued.