voices from the past


Dot and the Kangaroo

by Ethel C. Pedley (1860 - 1898)

. . . the story continues . . .

"It's quite true that animals and birds kill one another," said the Magpie, who thought he ought to say something in Dot's defence, as that was his part in the trial, "therefore it is the same nature that makes Humans kill us. If it is the nature of Humans to kill, the same as it is the nature of birds and animals to kill, where is the sense and justice of trying the prisoner for what she can't help doing?"

"Good!" said the Welcome Swallow, "argued like a lawyer."

At this unexpected turn of the trial the Judge softly whistled to himself, "Pop goes the weasel."

"Don't talk to us about nature and justice and sense," replied the Pelican, contemptuously. "This is a Court of law, we have nothing to do with any of them!"

The Court all cheered at this reply, and the Magpie subsided in the sulks.

"Call the Kangaroo!" cried the white Ibis.

"It's no good," jeered the Kookooburra.

"Kangaroo and Dot are great friends. She won't come if you called "

"Till all's blue!" interrupted the judge and he went on with "Pop goes the Weasel." This news caused a buzz of excitement. Everyone was astounded that the Kangaroo, who had the heaviest grievances of all, wouldn't appear against the prisoner.

"Is it possible," said the Pelican, addressing the Kookooburra in slow stern accents, "Is it possible that the Kangaroo has forgiven all her grievances?"

"All," said the Kookooburra.

"The hunting?" asked the Pelican.

"Yes," answered the Kookooburra.

"The rugs?"


"The boots?"


"And," said the Pelican, still more solemnly and slowly, while all the Court listened in breathless attention, "and has she forgiven KANGAROO-TAIL SOUP?"

"Yes! she's forgiven that too," answered the Kookooburra cheerfully.

"Then," said the Pelican, hotly, "I throw up the case," and he spread his huge black wings, and flapped his way up into the sky and away.

"What a go!" said the judge; and he might have said more, only Dot could not hear anything on account of the racket and confusion. The trial had failed, and every creature was making all the noise it could, and preparing to hurry away. In the middle of the turmoil, Dot's Kangaroo bounded into the open space, panting with excitement and delight.

"Dot! Dot!" she cried, "I've found Willy Wagtail, and he knows your way! Come along at once!" And, putting Dot in her pouch, the Kangaroo leaped clean over the judge and carried her off!

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