Dot and the Kangaroo
by Ethel C. Pedley (1860 - 1898)
. . . the story continues . . .
"You must not eat any more of these berries," said the Kangaroo, anxiously.
"Why?" asked Dot, "they are very nice, and I'm very hungry."
The Kangaroo gently took the spray out of Dot's hand, and threw it away. "You see," she said, "if you eat too many of them, you'll know too much."
"One can't know too much," argued the little girl.
"Yes you can, though," said the Kangaroo, quickly. "If you eat too many of those berries, you'll learn too much, and that gives you indigestion, and then you become miserable. I don't want you to be miserable any more, for I'm going to find your lost way."
The mention of finding her way reminded the little girl of her sad position, which, in her wonder at talking with the Kangaroo, had been quite forgotten for a little while. She became sad again; and seeing how dim the light was getting, her thoughts went back to her parents. She longed to be with them to be kissed and cuddled, and her blue eyes filled with tears.
"Your eyes just now remind me of two fringed violets, with the morning dew on them, or after a shower," said the Kangaroo. "Why are you crying?"
"I was thinking," said Dot.
"Oh! don't think!" pleaded the Kangaroo; "I never do myself."
"I can't help it!" explained the little girl. "What do you do instead?" she asked.
"I always jump to conclusions," said the Kangaroo, and she promptly bounded ten feet at one hop. Lightly springing back again to her position in front of the child, she added, "and that's why I never have a headache."
"Dear Kangaroo," said Dot, "do you know where I can get some water? I'm very thirsty!"
"Of course you are," said her friend; "everyone is at sundown. I'm thirsty myself. But the nearest water-hole is a longish way off, so we had better start at once."
Little Dot got up with an effort. After her long run and fatigue, she was very stiff, and her little legs were so tired and weak, that after a few steps she staggered and fell.
The Kangaroo looked at the child compassionately. "Poor little Human," she said, "your legs aren't much good, and, for the life of me, I don't understand how you can expect to get along without a tail. The water-hole is a good way off," she added, with a sigh, as she looked down at Dot, lying on the ground, and she was very puzzled what to do. But suddenly she brightened up. "I have an idea," she said joyfully. "Just step into my pouch, and I'll hop you down to the water-hole in less time than it takes a locust to shrill."