The Hartlepool Examiner and Evening Argus was exultant tonight as DNA analysis finally proved that the monkey hung by the people of the town in Napoleonic times was indeed French. "This is a great vindication for the people of the town" claimed editor Noel Rotherhithe, "for far too long we have been a laughing stock because of this, but now the truth has come out and we were right all along!"
The monkey was found in a grave in the town's main cemetery under a headstone with the inscription 'French Monkey RIP'. It had lain undiscovered for hundreds of years as it was neither near the path that led to the pub nor the one that led to the chip shop.
Debate over the legal ownership of the remains has already begun, with representatives from the Cotes de Gascogne claiming the monkey should be returned for burial with full military honours but Hartlepool mayor George Sheffield is determined to hang on to the town's iconic simian. "He came here of his own accord" declaimed Mr Sheffield "and by eck here is where he'll stop!"