Dot and the Kangaroo
by Ethel C. Pedley (1860 - 1898)
. . . the story continues . . .
"That was when I took you in my pouch!" exclaimed the Kangaroo.
"Now," said the Wagtail, "most of them have given up the search. Just this evening Dot's father and a few other Humans came back, and the yellow sheep dog told me the last big party is to start at noon to-morrow, and after that there will be no more attempt to find Dot. Only the sheep dog said he heard his master say he would go on hunting alone, until he found her body. I haven't been over there to-day," wound up the bird, "they are all so miserable and tired, it gave me the blues yesterday."
"What are we to do? It is quite dark and late!" asked the Kangaroo.
"You had better stay here," counselled the Wagtail. "One night more or less doesn't matter, and I don't like leaving Chip-pi-ti-chip at night-time. She likes me to sing to her all night, because she is nervous. I will go with you to-morrow morning early, if you will wait here until then."
"Having found your lost way so far!" said the Kangaroo to Dot, "it would be a pity to risk losing it again, so we had better wait for Willy Wagtail to guide us to-morrow."
To tell the truth, the Kangaroo was very glad of the excuse to keep Dot one night more before parting from her. "It will seem like losing my little Joey again, when I am once more alone," she said sadly.
"But you will never go far away," said Dot. "I should cry, if I thought you would never come to see me. You will live on our selection, won't you?"
But the Kangaroo looked very doubtful, and said that she loved Dot, but she was afraid of Humans and their dogs.
After a supper of berries and grass, Dot and the Kangaroo lay down for the night in a little bower of bushes. But they talked until very late, of how they were to manage to reach Dot's home without danger from guns and dogs. At last when they tried to sleep, they could not do so on account of Willy Wagtail's singing to his sweetheart, "Sweet pretty creature! Sweet pretty creature!" without stopping for more than five minutes at a time.
"I wonder Chip-pi-ti-chip doesn't get tired of that song," said Dot.
"She never does," yawned the Kangaroo, "and he never tires of singing it."
"Sweet pretty creature," sang Willy Wagtail.