voices from the past


Dot and the Kangaroo

by Ethel C. Pedley (1860 - 1898)

. . . the story continues . . .

"Hurrah!" shouted the Wallaby, as it leaped off. "What luck!" laughed the Opossum, as it cleared into the nearest tree. "I am glad," sighed the Koala, as it slowly moved away; "that trial made my head feel empty."

"Well, there go three of the most important witnesses," grumbled the Pelican.

"My eye, what a spree!" said the judge.

A Galah amongst the jury, wishing to be thought intelligent, enquired what charge the Wallaby, Native Bear, and Opossum were to bear witness to.

"It is a matter of skins, included in the fur rugs clause, and the wickedness known as 'Sport'," answered the Pelican.

Whilst the Pelican was making this explanation, the judge, who had been longing to have his poll scratched again, sidled up to Dot, and whispered softly, "Scratch Cockie's poll!" But, just as he was enjoying the delicious sensation Dot's fingers produced amongst his neck feathers, as he held his head down, the Pelican caught sight of the proceeding. The Pelican said nothing, but stared at the judge with an eye of such astonishment and stern contempt, that the Cockatoo Instantly remembered that he was a judge, and, getting into a proper attitude, said hastily, "Advance Australia! Who's the next witness?" And again the Kookooburra laughed to himself on the tree.

"Fur first!" exclaimed a white Ibis. "Call the Platypus!"

"The Platypus won't come!" cried the Kangaroo Rat.

"Well, I never!" exclaimed the judge.

"It says that if a Court is held at all, it should be conducted by the representative of Antediluvian custom, the most ancient and learned creatures, such as the Iguana, the Snake, and Ornithorhyncus Paradoxus. That it would prefer to associate with the meanest Troglodite, rather than appear amongst the present company. I understood it to say," continued the Kangaroo Rat, "that real law could only be understood by those deeply learned in fossils."

"'Pon my word!" ejaculated the judge. "Shiver my timbers. What blooming impudence!"

"Oh you naughty bird to use such words!" exclaimed Dot. But all the Court murmured "How clever!" and the Cockatoo was pleased.

"Native Cat, next!" shouted the white Ibis. But at the first mention of the Native Cat nearly every bird, and all the small game, prepared to get away.

"Why don't you call the Dingo at once?" laughed the Kookooburra, who was really keeping guard over Dot, although she did not know it. "Humans kill Dingoes."

"The Dingo! The Dingo!" every creature repeated in horror and consternation; and they all looked about in fear, while the Kookooburra chuckled to himself at all the stir his words had made.

Chapter 11 pages:  one   two   three   four   five   six   seven   eight
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