Once upon a time, there was a dinosaur named Dippy, who for almost forty years called a place named the Hintze Hall home. In that hall and over all of those long, wonderful years, Dippy greeted millions of guests into the entrance of the Natural History Museum, smiling down at them through unseeing eyes and actually not minding if the small people stepped closer to touch him, though the adults around him forbid it.
Dippy lived a happy life, probably the happiest life of any Diplodocus, hearing whispers about him being an inspiration to all scientists and budding palaeontologists across the globe. Dippy was proud, of his species, the people that cared for and cleaned his fragile bones, and those millions of guests, whose thirst for knowledge never ceased to amaze him.
Dippy heard other whispers though, whispers that alarmed him. Discussions about ‘new exhibitions’ and ‘going on tour’ and ‘couldn’t we flatpack him away until we’re ready to move him?’ Dippy had no idea what flat packing meant, but didn’t very much like the sound of it.
And then came the news. They were going to move him, to disassemble his every bone, all 292 of them, and in his place was to be moved a lady blue whale, apparently posed in a diving position suspended from the ceiling. Which, Dippy pondered, with a sad heart, would look wonderful. He wasn’t much of a swimmer himself.
As he got used to the idea, something magical happened. Even more people than usual came to the museum, and not only to see the museum, but specifically to see him. He heard things about Trending Tweets and Facebook Groups that were beyond his quite-tiny mind, but they all talked about saving him, and if he could have cried tears of joy, and humility, then that is what Dippy would have done.
As it was, Dippy had become resigned to the idea of moving, having listened hard and long, and learned what was meant by ‘going on a tour’. He was thrilled by the idea of seeing parts of the country he had never seen before, and even more excited about a place called the Dorset County Museum, which he had heard was home to a gallery dedicated to the Jurassic Coast. Dippy wondered if he’d see any of his friends and family there, and was quite pleased at the thought.
The final day in his Hintze Hall beckoned, with people flashing bright lights at him and looking longingly over his long limbs. He received lots of secret pats and words of encouragement that day, and no one did anything to stop any of them, for which he was very thankful. It made him feel special, and helped prepare him for the long months to come before the tour started. A year waiting sounded like an awful long time, but then Dippy had experienced waiting before. And who knew what he could dream up in all that time, as he prepared for his next adventure to begin?
Dippy had better live happily ever after, otherwise we Dippy-lovers will be very angry indeed…