voices from the past


Dot and the Kangaroo

by Ethel C. Pedley (1860 - 1898)

. . . the story ends with . . .

When she went out in the morning, the kookooburras were gurgling and laughing, the magpies were warbling, the parrakeets made their twittering, and Willy Wagtail was most lively; but Dot was astonished to find that she could not understand what any of the creatures said, although they were all very friendly towards her. When the Kangaroo came to see her she made signs that she wanted some berries of understanding, but, strange as it may seem, the Kangaroo pretended not to understand. Dot has often wondered why the Kangaroo would not understand, but, remembering what that considerate animal had said when she first gave her the berries, she is inclined to think that the Kangaroo is afraid of her learning too much, and thereby getting indigestion. Dot and her parents have often sought for the berries, but up to now they have failed to find them. There is something very mysterious about those berries!

During that day every creature Dot had known in the Bush came to see her, for they all knew that their lives were safe now, so they were not afraid. It greatly surprised Dot's parents to see such numbers of birds and animals coming around their little girl, and they thought it very pretty when in the evening a flock of Native Companions settled down, and danced their graceful dance with the little girl joining in the game.

"It seems to me, wife," said Dot's father with a glad laugh, "that the place has become a regular

Later on, Dot's father made a dam to a hollow piece of ground near the house, which soon became full of water, and is surrounded by beautiful willow trees. There all the thirsty creatures come to drink in safety. And very pretty it is, to sit on the verandah of that happy home, and see Dot playing near the water surrounded by her Bush friends, who come and go as they please, and play with the little girl beside the pretty lake. And no one in all the Gabblebabble district hurts a bush creature, because they are all called "Dot's friends."


Before putting away the pen and closing the inkstand, now that Dot has said all she wishes to be recorded of her bewildering adventures, the writer would like to warn little people, that the best thing to do when one is lost in the bush, is to sit still in one place, and not to try to find one's way home at all. If Dot had done this, and had not gone off in the Kangaroo's pouch, she would have been found almost directly. As the more one tries to find one's way home, the more one gets lost, and as helpful Kangaroos like Dot's are very scarce, the best way to get found quickly, is to wait in one place until the search parties find one. Don't forget this advice! And don't eat any strange berries in the bush, unless a Kangaroo brings them to you.

Chapter 13 pages:  one   two   three   four   five
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