When A father and a Grandad, finds out that the kids want to hear a story told to them by Grandad. What do you do?
A story for both children and adults. Featuring an extremely wise Owl, a gullible Wallaby, an upset Platypus, a Bilby that is trodden on by a Wild Brumby. and a Bower Bird that loses a shiny object. All ends Well for young Wallaby and friend when young wallaby discovers the chance of a lifetime
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Chance . . . . . . . . . .. .
Children's story by Patrick Davis Illustrations by Siarhei Haurylik
The Owl could have been either the King or the Queen of the forest, but none of the other animals knew if Owl was male or female. Owl was simply Owl.
Some of the animals thought that perhaps another Owl would have known if Owl was a boy or girl, but there weren't any other Owls in the forest. If there was, nobody had ever seen them.
A few of the animals said that they had never known Owl to lay an egg; some thought this was significant. Owl merely agreed that eggs could be excellent for breakfast, but had no relevance to his or her status.
The truth was that unless you were another Owl, it was extremely tricky to know these things. The only thing any of the forest animals knew was that Owl was very old and extremely wise. At least, the Owl was more knowledgeable than most of the other forest animals.
Owls usually just eat little creatures, like insects, spiders, earthworms, snails and crabs, fish, reptiles, and small birds. Some Owls eat mainly mice, shrews, and voles.
The particular Owl that ruled this forest was unusual because Owl did not like to eat friends. Owl preferred to eat Porridge. "Porridge is excellent on icy mornings." That's what Owl always said.
None of the animals cared much what other Owls ate, so everyone was happy. Porridge never grew in the forest, and it was quite a mystery to the other animals where Owl got the Porridge.
Owl was extremely intelligent, and this is precisely what Owl told everybody.
To prove the truth of this statement, one-afternoon Owl invented an entirely new colour.
It was Wallaby that discovered this when he asked Owl what he was doing perched on a tree branch.
"I am inventing a new colour," stated Owl.
"What colour is it?" asked Wallaby. It would seem that Wallaby had forgotten how silly it was to ask Owl questions. But Wallaby had asked, and it was therefore right and correct that Wallaby should suffer the consequences.
Owl puffed out some chest feathers, and stated arrogantly "My dear Wally, I am vastly more intelligent than you, I can see and understand complex concepts that your own small mind could never grasp. On even the merest physical level you can barely jump. On a purely intellectual level, you can scarcely hop. Me, myself," boasted Owl, "on both physical and intellectual status can fly and soar above and beyond anything you could possibly dream."
Then Owl continued speaking: "Wally, I sometimes wonder about the imaginations and awe you must feel every time we encounter one other. Tell me young Wallaby, when you look at me, what do you see?"
"I see one crazy bird," answered Wallaby humbly.
Wallaby was entirely correct in his assessment of Owl. The Owl was indeed as nutty as a fruit cake and like every other animal in the forest Wallaby accepted Owls superb intelligence as a powerful contribution to the whole existence of the forest and its inhabitants. Wallaby wondered what the new colour might look like and secretly hoped that one day he might get a glimpse of it.
It was at this precise point in time when Owl announced.
"BY MY ROYAL DECREE I WILL CREATE A CHANCE FOR EVERYBODY".
and then the Owl actual did, Owl created a huge chance. The most peculiar consequence was that young Wallaby actually saw it, but he never properly understood precisely where it was.
"Where is it ?" Asked Wallaby.
It was quite well known that Wally was a little bit gullible. This was most likely because he was quite young. He was a lively and enthusiastic animal, but sometimes he was inclined to jump first without knowing quite where he was going to land. It was for this very same reason that Wally had seen the Chance that the Owl had invented. Wallaby wanted to see the Chance very badly.
There had been many occasions that Wallabies mother had shaken her head in despair. There were times when Wally accidentally hopped into another Gum tree. Sometimes while Wallabies Mother was watching what Wallaby was attempting she quite regularly shouted at him "Wally you never had a Chance". Now things would be different. The Wise Old Owl had given Wallaby a lovely chance, and he did not intend to lose it.
The search for the Chance
It was only after a very short distance that Wallaby came across a horrible accident. Bilby had been hurt badly, and It had been completely sudden, A Brumby that had been trotting along the narrow track that winds it's way to the river had accidentally trod on Bilby. Bilby's leg was very sore.
"It all happened so quickly," said Mrs Bilby. She was in tears, "One minute he was happily sunbathing in the short grass, the next minute it was all over. It is all very upsetting. He never had a chance", Cried, Mrs Bilby.
"Never had a chance?" repeated Wallaby.
"Never had a chance !" repeated Mrs Bilby.
Quite naturally, Wallaby was in total shock and had to sit in the shade for a few minutes. It was only now that Wallaby started to realize how important it was to have a chance. Wally had seen the result first hand of what could happen, simply because Bilby never had one. Wally was starting to realize exactly how important it is to have a chance.
It was a quite long while before Mrs Bilby's friends had found her. With their comforting well in place, Wallaby felt it was about the right and reasonable time to leave.
It was only a short while later that Wally found himself sitting in the afternoon sun in a very comfortable place on the hill quite near the river. A sprinkling of shade from a big Gum Tree made it an excellent place to view along the riverbank in search of the Chance. Wally began Looking left and right, into the grass, along with the riverbank, up the trees and even into the clouds.
Wally had not travelled very far before he came across a young platypus with his sister. The two platypuses were playing in the river, frolicking, splashing and causing quite a ruckus.
Suddenly. young Platypus called out to his sister. "look Sister" I am getting very big, and I can even swim to the bottom of the river and fetch a big rock now."
Big Sister Platypus quickly stopped what she was doing and floated on the surface. She began carefully watching her young brother as he prepared to dive to the bottom.
Then big Platypus suddenly surged forward and pushed Young Platypus out of the way. "It is too deep" She shouted. "I will get the rock for you" without waiting for a second she disappeared under the water. Little Platypus was quite upset. He sullenly swam over to Wally who was slowly hopping along the river bank on his quest to find his Chance.
Young Platypus threw himself on the bank of the river. He looked at Wally and then to the ground.
"I wanted to get my own rock. My sister never gives me a chance".
"A Chance?" Questioned Wally. He was just starting to understand that the woods that he lived in were full of many different chances. There were chances that he never dreamed existed. It seemed to Wally that Chances were everywhere. But even if he looked very hard, They were very difficult to see.
"NO" cried Young Platypus. "She never gives me a chance",
Wally pondered for a minute at this new discovery and decided to get back to finding his own Chance. It seemed to Wally that looking at everyone else's chances was a bit silly. He had his own Chance to discover,
Wally set off hopping again, leaving Young Platypus to sulk quietly.
Wally thought it was important to check out the clouds. It seemed quite important to search in the clouds. It seemed quite sensible. If you did not know what you were looking for, then it might be quite easily missed. If you thought you were looking for something big and round, and it was actually small and fluffy, maybe even floating, Then missing it would be quite easy, Wally did not see anything that looked remotely like a chance
It was not long before Miss Wallaby came hopping into the small clearing.
"Hello," said Miss Wallaby when she saw Wally. "Hello' Said Wally, And then he added "I am looking for my Chance. Owl told me there is one somewhere around here by the river, especially for me. I intend to find it."
Miss wallaby was a bit suspicious of Wally, but she thought she should find out precisely what Wally was talking about.
"What does it look like?"
"I expect it is very beautiful," Said Wally.
"I expect it is," said miss Wallaby.
"Did you know that Big Platypus never gives Little Platypus chances."
"no. Really?' said miss, wallaby.
"yes and now he seems sad" Wally paused for a moment;
"and did you know that Mr bilby never had a one either? Mrs Bilby told me he never had a chance."
"No," said miss wallaby.
"Well, he didn't, and now his leg hurts," Wally shed a small tear.
The two sat quietly under a gum tree thinking about Mrs Bilby.
It was about this time when Bower Bird was searching for something pretty to decorate his new nest. This was something Bower Bird always did this time of the year. Bowerbirds wife absolutely loved bright colours and shiny things so Bower Bird collected as many glittering objects as he could find to make their new home look pretty.
It was extremely lucky that bower bird came across a small silver teaspoon glinting in the sunlight that somebody had probably lost while having a picnic beside the river. It was almost exactly what he was looking for. The teaspoon was a little on the bigger side than he could comfortably fly with, but he decided he wanted it anyway. It was quite of a struggle to take off into the sky, but he did make a successful take-off. As it happened, the teaspoon was just a little bit harder to fly with than Bowerbird had hoped for. It slipped a little bit in Bowerbirds beak, and it was impossible to keep hold of. The small silver spoon dropped from the sky, spinning and twirling, glinting and flashing in the sunlight.
The glinting of the falling spoon reflected in the sky like a falling star or even a sparkling diamond. Spinning and twisting downwards into the small clearing where Wally and his new friend were looking upwards. Wallaby Shouted out loud, or maybe it was more a scream of delight. Little Miss Wallaby saw it too. She shouted to Wallaby so loudly that he could easily have heard her even if he had been back where the Owl was sitting in the tree. "It is the chance !"
Miss wallaby and wally looked at the chance with amazement. Neither of them had ever seen anything as magnificent.
Little Miss Wallaby and Wally looked at the Chance with amazement. Neither of them had ever seen anything as beautiful as this, ever.
"Do you want to share it with me?" Asked Wally.
Miss Wallaby smiled and said, "We can build a beautiful place to keep it on the hill among the rocks."
"I am a Rock Wallaby," said Wally
" So am I, " said little Miss Wallaby.
It was quite a long time later that Owl called around to visit the Wallabies. The couple had built a beautiful house on the hill to keep their Chance. When Owl called in to visit, they were not alone. There were several little Wallies hopping around.
The Chance had been mounted on the main wall of their home. When the Owl inspected it, he said. " This is the best Chance I have ever seen In the whole forest."
.................................More stories to come from The Owls Wood.............................
© 2020 Pat Davis
Beth Perry from Tennesee on May 10, 2020:
Some very interesting characters! And I like the optimism of the Wallaby family.