The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise
A delightful tale of life within the walls of the Tower of London including nuggets of Tower history.
Balthazar Jones is a Beefeater, and as such he must live in one of the dusty, musty buildings within the Tower walls. He and his Greek wife Hebe live in the Salt Tower with Mrs. Cook, a one-hundred-eighty-one-year-old tortoise. Each day Hebe heads off to work at the London Underground Lost Property Office. Using an archaic and secret code known only to her and her co-worker Valerie, she reunites lost items with their owners (among them a glass eye, an urn full of ashes, Dustin Hoffman’s Academy Award, and racks of false teeth). Balthazar spends his day answering the same tourist questions.
One day he dresses in his finest uniform and goes to Buckingham Palace. The Queen has decided to re-establish the Royal Menagerie at the Tower, and Balthazar has been chosen as the keeper of animal gifts from around the world. The chaos which ensues is both touching and hilarious, as the penguins escape, the love birds attack each other with intense hatred, and the Komodo dragon attempts to eat any animal within reach.
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