Chapter Twenty One

"So where are we going?" Rose said as she followed the Doctor through the Console Room.

"Oh, I had an idea, a fabulous idea and you and Snuffy Lumpkins are going to be part of it," the Doctor said over his shoulder.

He held his elephant in one hand and a black bowler hat in the other. Around Snuffy's neck was a collar and a lead led off it. The lead hung down from the Doctor's hand and came back up to the loop around his wrist. He handed the bowler hat to Rose before he opened the door with his free hand.

"Behold, Rose Tyler, Hollywood!" he said as they stepped out of the TARDIS. "Where dreams come true."

"And crowds are enormous," Rose said as they stepped out of an alleyway into a sea of bodies. "Ugh..." she added, looking at all the souvenier shops and museums around them. Talk about a tourist trap."

She noticed that there were several people wandering around dressed up as characters from film, tv and video games. She saw someone dressed as Batman, Spider-Man, Jack Sparrow and Sonic the Hedgehog mingling with the crowds and pausing for photos. There were also singers, dancers and other street performers spread out along the sidewalk, performing for money. The Doctor beckoned to Rose and she followed him to an unoccupied space on the sidewalk.

"Hold the hat out," he instructed her. "Snuffy is going to be a street performer today and we'll see if we can't get some money for lunch."

Rose stood beside him and held out the hat with one hand while the Doctor called for everyone's attention.


He held Snuffy up and immediately those in the vicinity of the Doctor slowed down and pointed at Snuffy. The Doctor set Snuffy down on the ground, keeping the loop of her lead around his wrist while he called for the crowd to gather around. He commanded Snuffy to go up on her hind legs and fed her a raisin after she did it and everyone applauded. He had her do a few more tricks and walked her around so everyone could see her. By this time people were beginning to put change and dollar bills into Rose's hat. She thanked them graciously when they did so while the Doctor picked Snuffy up and brought her over to a group of children. He let them stroke her and feed her raisins while he beamed at the joy on the children's faces. Then he noticed a young black girl sitting in a wheelchair off to his left. She was nine years old with her hair in braided pigtails and light brown skin. He noticed she was leaning forward, trying to get a glance at Snuffy so he took his elephant over to her.

"What's your name?" the Doctor asked her.

"Annie," she said shyly.

"Annie, this is Snuffy," the Doctor said, putting her in Annie's lap. "Would you like to pet her?"

Annie nodded and smiled while she gently stroked Snuffy's back. The Doctor glanced up and saw a middle aged woman standing behind the wheelchair. He guessed this was her mother and she nodded and smiled at her when they made eye contact. By this time, the children had walked back over and the Doctor gave Annie and some of the children raisins to feed Snuffy. They giggled when Snuffy ate them and then meed at them.

"Where did you get her?" Annie's mother asked the Doctor as she pointed to Snuffy.

"'s a robot, a very sophisticated robot," the Doctor said after a moment's thought.

"Wow, that's wonderful," Annie's mother said as she reached down to feel Snuffy's back. "It even feels real."

"Yup, I paid a pretty penny to get it but it's worth it to see the children smile."

He glanced back at Rose.

"How much did we get?" he mouthed to her.

Rose tipped the hat up and showed it to him. the bottom was filled with money. The Doctor nodded and told the disappointed crowd that it was time for them to go.

"Sorry, everyone, but the little diva here needs a bit of rest but we'll be back soon," he said, picking Snuffy up.

He held Snuffy aloft and let the crowd say goodbye to her. To his delight, Snuffy meed back at them and feeling joy in his hearts at making the crowd smile, he walked over to Rose.

"Very good work, my trust companion," he said, glancing at the considerable amount of money in the hat. "Told you it would work. Now...let's let the diva have a bit of rest back in the TARDIS and you and I will spend a day in Hollywood."

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