Dot and the Kangaroo
by Ethel C. Pedley (1860 - 1898)
. . . the story continues . . .
"They wouldn't be happy," observed the Koala, "they are so fond of one another."
"Then why do they quarrel?" asked Dot.
"Because they live in the same tree of course," said the Koala. "If they lived in different trees, and never quarrelled, they wouldn't like it at all. They'd find life dull, and they'd get sulky. There's nothing worse than a sulky possum. They are champions at that."
"They make a dreadful noise with their quarrelling," said Dot. "They are nearly as bad as the Flying Foxes over there. I wonder if they made that fearful sound I heard just before you came?"
"I expect what you heard was from me," said the Koala; "I had just awakened, and when I saw the moon was up I felt pleased."
"Was all that sound and many noises yours?" asked Dot with astonishment, as she regarded the shaggy little animal on the tree trunk.
The Koala smiled modestly. "Yes!" it said; "when I am pleased there is no creature in the bush can make such a noise, or so many different noises at once. I waken every one for a quarter of a mile round. You wouldn't think it, to see me as I am, would you?" The Koala was evidently very pleased with this accomplishment.
"It isn't kind of you to wake up all the sleeping creatures," said Dot.
"Why not?" asked the Koala. "You are a night creature, I suppose, or you wouldn't be awake now. Well, don't you think it unfair the way everything is arranged for the day creatures?"
"But then," said Dot. "there are so many more day creatures."
"That doesn't make any difference," observed the Koala.
"But it does," said Dot.
"How?" asked the native Bear.
"Because if you had the day it wouldn't be any good to you, and if they had the night it wouldn't be any good to them. So your night couldn't be their day, and their day couldn't be your night."
"You make my head feel empty," said the Koala. "But you'd think differently if a flock of Kookooburras settled on your tree, and guffawed idiotically when you wanted to sleep."
"As you don't like being waked yourself, why do you wake others then?" asked Dot.
"Because this is a free country," said the Koala. While Dot was trying to understand why the Koala's reason should suffice for one animal making another's life uncomfortable, she was rejoiced to see the Kangaroo bound into sight. She forgot all about the Koala, and rushed forward to meet it.