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Wallace the Wallaby

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31Wallace the Wallaby The End Written By: Andrea Summers Photos by: Andrea Summers Dedicated to: Amber and Richard Table of Contents I dedicate this book to my Children whom I think of daily and wish they could be with me to experience Australia the way I have. Beyond the black stump is an Australian term for middle of nowhere, also known as Whoop Whoop and the Never Never I miss and love you with all my heart and know one day well be a family again. Foreword:-----------------------------------------------------3 Chapter 1:Wallaces Big Adventure--------------------4 Chapter 2: The Bet------------------------------------------9 Chapter 3: Wallace Takes The Bet---------------------16 Chapter 4: Beyond The Black Stump------------------19 Chapter 5: Farmers Wife--------------------------------24 Chapter 6: Release-----------------------------------------28 ), Foreword Chapter 1Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Wallaces Big Adventure The Bet Wallace Takes The Bet Beyond the black stump Farmers Wife ReleaseIt was a sunny day in Kickyaballalong (kick-ya-ball-alongWallace the rock wallaby was out of the pouch for the first time and everything was very new and exciting. All the young animals had come to the billabong to cool off in the shade of the red gum tree while they splashed and played in the shallows of the cool drinking hole. This was Wallaces first time seeing all these other animals and experiencing anything outside his mums warm pouch. His first few minutes out of the pouch proved him shy and timid as everything he knew up until then had been taken from him. After a small time Wallace found himself in the shallows taking his first drink of water..SPLASH!!!! Wallace leaped away startled as a strange, scaly creature swam towards him. Oi the thing in the water shouted, this water is cold! My name is Frank by the way. Whats yours? Wallace slowly approached and sniffed at this funny-looking Frank and asked out of curiosity, Are you a wallaby too? Frank laughed at this thought and said apologetically: No, I am a frill neck lizard. I was napping in the red gum tree when Crikey the kookaburra shoved me off my branch which, in turn, caused you to get splashed. Wallace looked up at the tree and saw an even stranger creature than Frank. Wallace noticed that this creature had weird fur like nothing he had ever seen and a funny haircut to match.. Wallace leaped even higher than before as Crikey and Frank both started to laugh again. What an odd laugh you have said Wallace, a bit disgruntled as he tried to untangle his foot from the red gum root. Crikey started to laugh even harder now as he watched Wallace fight with the root of the big red gum tree Here, Frank said let me help you out of that. Thanks! said Wallace, a bit embarrassed that his first day out of the pouch had been a bit clumsy. My name is Wallace, its my first day out of the pouch and I seem to be making a mess of it. he added ashamedly. No worries. said Frank and Crikey as they both assured him at once, Everyone has a strange first day. You will find your feet in no time Mate. Yeah, well help when we can, as we have all been there. So, Wallace says with a bit more confidence, What kind of fur are you covered in Crikey? Is it soft and warm? Crikey tried really hard not to laugh at this offensive question as he knew Wallace meant well. This, Crikey explained as he spread his wings is my plumage. It is made of feathers which keep me warm and after molting they do come back very soft. Wallace was even more puzzled, but didnt ask any more questions as another creature had caught his eye. Wow, what an adventure I am having today! exclaimed Wallace. Wallace was looking at Crikeys feathers when he saw something move out of the corner of his eye. He turned his head and looked and there in the space above him was a strange creature with wings like Crikeys, only something was different. What are you? he yelled up to the flying thing in the sky. I am Bomber, the flying fox, but that would be Captain Bomber to you he retorted as he settled onto a low lying branch of the red gum tree. To Wallaces amazement, Bomber (thats Captain Bomber to you) hung upside down from the branch and wrapped his wings around himself. Wow Wallace said as he watched, can I do that too? Captain Bomber looked down at the young wallaby and said in a very military way, NO! Wallaces or any other wallaby for that matter DO NOT hang upside down! It is a secret maneuver that cannot be taught or spoken of. Why not? asked Wallace. Suddenly Crikey and Frank both started laughing really hard at what seemed to be an inside joke between the two of them. Bomber looked down at Frank and with a voice of importance demanded to know what was so funny. Suddenly Frank hiccupped and the frills around his neck fanned out AAAAAAAAAHHH! screamed Wallace in fright, What is that? Do you have wings too? No, no, no said Frank as he tried to control his hiccups, this is a frill used to warn off anything I am not sure about that enters my space, and it is also used to scare off anything that tries to eat me. Oh, said Wallace, well I didnt try to eat you and it worked very well on me. With that everyone started explaining the differences between wallabies, flying foxes, kookaburras and frill neck lizards as they all settled in for an afternoon nap. Bats can fly, but they are not birds. Bats have fur whereas birds have feathers, and bats have arms and hands like humans, birds do not. Wallace interrupted with a serious question, Whats a human? Bomber (thats Captain Bomber to you) looked a bit startled about this question and began to explain what a human is. Humans are mammals like you Wallace and me. He started. Wallace interrupted again So they are furry with big feet and wings? he asked. Crikey bursted out with a loud laughter, but it wasnt a very long laugh as his long beak poked his belly and the shock of the poke made his laugh sound really, really funny. So funny in fact that everyone, even Captain Bomber, had to laugh as well. Mammals are warm blooded creatures (that means they can control their body temperature) and they give birth to live young. Birds, although warm blooded, lay eggs. Just then another strange animal with fur and a funny looking bill popped his head up out of the water. But I lay eggs and I am a mammal, and Ericka the echidna is a mammal with hard dense fur that forms spikes lays eggs too. Wallace stared at this weird animal and curiosity took over again, What are you? Why, I am Penny the Platypus said Penny in a shocked tone, I thought everyone knew that. My name is Wallace, said Wallace and this is my first day out of my pouch. Just then there was an indignant sound of rustling and throat clearing in the tree above. As I was saying started Captain Bomber birds, although warm blooded, lay eggs and have feathers. Mammals give birth to live young, NEVER have feathers but in 2 species of mammals egg laying does occur. Cold blooded creatures like Frank cannot control their body temperature and rely on the sun and shade to keep their temperature controlled. They are reptiles, reptiles can lay eggs or give birth to live young. OOOH! I think I understand now. said Wallace. They all agreed that Wallace should have a nap and sleep on all the information they have given him and take turns watching over him as he napped. As he started to nod off, he heard a soft twanging (twang, tinkle, tinkle, twang) in the fallen branch behind his head. Wallace looked around to find the source of the soothing lullaby and after a few minutes spotted the source. There between two very small twigs on the branch was a creature even stranger than any of the ones he had met so far. Hello. said Wallace, I like the sounds youre making, but what are you? I am Rhonda the red back spider. came the small whispery reply; I am an arachnid, which means eight legged. I have a cousin in a different place with similar markings as me, but not as toxic, called the black widow. The noise I am making is me plucking the strings of my web to soothe my egg sack which has thousands of my babies in it. So, said Wallace, are you a reptile or a bird? Rhonda started twanging her web again as she explained that arachnids are eight legged, egg laying, and wingless creatures with more than 2 eyes. By this time Wallace had already dozed off from the melodic strumming of Rhondas web. Wallace woke up to the other animals discussing the Black Stump and the dangers that lay beyond it. What is so dangerous? asked Wallace as he opened his eyes. With a new found confidence and a better knowledge of the world, he bragged that he wasnt afraid. Crikey took the opportunity to make a bet with the young wallaby. I bet you wont make it past the Black Stump without getting scared. Where is the Black Stump? asked Wallace, feeling braver by the minute. What would I need to do? Wallace waited to hear all about the Black Stump and the dangers behind it. The Black Stump, explained Frank the frill neck lizard, is right on the edge of Kickyaballalong on the other side of the billabong. It is called the Black Stump, not because it really is a black stump, but because humans and nothing but wide open space, I think the humans call it crops or farms, populate the space behind the Black Stump. Most animals like you go past the Black Stump, but many never come back explained Crikey the kookaburra, and I only ever fly over it at dusk says Bomber ( thats Captain Bomber to you) to hunt for fruit and insects so I really cant describe it from a non birds eye view. So to be honest, we cant really help you if you do take the bet and go past the black stump They all say at once, hoping that Wallace decides not to take the bet. After a few moments of thought, Wallace looks around to everyone and declares as loud as he can, Ill do it, I will take the bet and travel past the black stump and see whats outside of Kickyaballalong (kick-ya-ball-along) on the other side of the Billabong. At this, the other animals decided that Wallace had made up his mind and there was nothing they could do to persuade the young Wallace to stay. We wont be able to go with you, but we will take turns standing guard at the black stump to help you find your way back, and at Dusk, Captain Bomber can fly over the area and see how your progressing, we would love to hear all about whats out then when you come back, says Frank. They all spent that night together making plans for Wallaces big adventure and went over safety and maneuvering tactics in case Wallace came across a predator. The more they talked, the more Wallace realized that he was about to do something dangerous, yet exciting, he was scared but curious and kept his resolve , I will do this I can do this Wallace kept telling himself, soon after dusk, when Captain Bomber and Crikey the Kookaburra went out to scout beyond the black stump for Wallace . Wallace soon fell asleep again for the night as he knew when he woke up in the morning, his adventure would begin. He dreamt that he was in his mothers pouch, and that he was warm and safe and that everything he had done during the day was just a dream. Suddenly there was the bright light, the loud noise, the feeling of being thrown into space and the landing on soft sand. Wallace woke up scared and alone for his mother was not there and his dream wasnt a dream at all. Wallace did not know where his mother was, he hadnt seen her since the night before last. Dawn was just starting to break so he knew he had little time to eat, drink and get ready for his next great adventure to the land behind the black stump, where hopefully he would find his mother and everything would be ok again. Wallace sets off for the other side of the billabong after having had a decent meal of grass and a decent drink of water from the billabong. As he nears the farthest edge of the billabong he hears a crashing sound to the left of where he stood, he glances over with curiosity but ready to use his safety maneuvers if he needed to escape, there in the shadows of low laying brush he sees a large black figure staring at him, he hears the snort and a squeal from the creature suddenly it lunges at him in a maddening speed, Wallace leaps for his life towards the nearest patch of brush and lays low, waiting to see what was chasing him. It did not take long as the huge, bristled, hairy hide of a creature he had heard about earlier this morning, it was Vinnie the Razorback out and about patrolling his territory, which Wallace had stumbled into on his way to the black stump. Frank had explained that Vinnie was a razorback, a large and dangerous creature who runs down anyone or anything that is in his territory, he was also told the humans hunted animals like Vinnie, because they eat them, and because Razorbacks destroyed the human crops and killed their livestock. Wallace did not want to meet Vinnie face to face, but he needed to get to the black stump soon, otherwise, he would miss out on the bet. Wallace rushed out from behind the brush and leapt as fast as he could to where he was told the black stump was. He hoped desperately that Vinnie would not follow him past the black stump. It did not take long for Vinnie the Razorback to find the wallaby that encroached on his turf and Vinnie was angry. He rushed after the wallaby, tearing up ground, and breaking young saplings (baby trees) that were in his way. Wallace sees the black Stump finally and with a burst of speed runs past the Black Stump knowing he could not turn back now. Within moments, Wallace found himself in a wide open space that was so large; he could hardly see the trees forming a wind break on the other side. (Wind breaks help prevent crop damage and soil erosion for large crops) The Razorback was still fast behind him, just crashing through the trees behind him, he had no hope of running much longer, and there was no where for him to hide, as the crop was already collected and the land freshly plowed Suddenly Wallace sees a fast movement coming towards him from the center of the large space, it was low to the ground and was a big blur it looked like a red flash coming straight for him, he froze in place and waited for the end... Suddenly the red flash jumped and Wallace ducked in fear, he heard scary sounds behind him as red furry thing and Big Black Vinnie battled, it was loud and frightening to him, but almost instantly the sounds stopped, Vinnie had taken to the bush again running away as fast as he had chased poor Wallace if not faster. Wallace laid down trying to catch his breath as he knew that he was safe for now. After a short while, Wallace heard a crashing and a strange noise behind him, as he looked, the red furryblob that had chased off Vinnie had returned. Wallace tensed up, ready to run. Relax kid, I wont hurt ya, said the red creature now standing right behind him. My name is Ginger, I am the Humans farm dog and I protect these crops from pests like ole Vinnie. Whats your name? Wallace swallowed really hard and tried to find his voice, I am Wallace, the rock wallaby and I am looking for my mother. I took a bet from Crikey the kookaburra, Frank the frill neck and Captain Bomber the flying fox. To see what was on the other side of the black stump. Do you know the story of the black stump? Asked Ginger in a genuinely curious way. No, replied Wallace, I was told that not many cross past it, and many that do dont return. Very true said Ginger, Ill tell you why, when wildlife (thats you Wallace) comes onto the farm, especially when the crops are planted, the Farmer captures them and releases them away from the farm so they dont damage his crops, most of them that is. Some arent as lucky, sometimes they get hit by the tractors, Or worse. The Farmer enjoys watching the wildlife during this time of year because when you guys come out, you weed the field and fertilize it, which helps the soil. But during the growing season, its best to stay on the other side of the black stump. I bet I know where your mum is as well, we were coming home the other night from hunting Vinnie and his mob when we were crossing the bridge over the billabong, the farmer tried to miss her, but she jumped right in front of him.. Follow me, Ill take you to her, and dont mind the farmer, theres nothing to be afraid of, he only hunts Razorbacks because they destroy his crops and kill his livestock. Wallace followed Ginger across the large field and past the wind break, just on the other side was another clearing, but with a large square thing in the middle of it, with another larger square thing behind that. Wallace asked, What are those? Ginger answered, the small one is a house that is what the farmer lives in, with his wife and family. The much larger one is called a barn, thats the one we are going to. Some barns are used for storage and are open with nothing in them except whats being stored; other barns have smaller areas inside them called stalls. Stalls are used for keeping livestock confined and safe from the elements like rain or frost, the farmer believes that housing ( stalling) his livestock helps with producing better products, such as milk and meat . Replied Ginger As they approached the Barn, Wallace smelled something very familiar and wonderful, MUM!!! he yelled out, and not long after he heard her reply, as well as a soft and soothing voice like nothing he had heard. Ginger let out a bark and soon a very large, strange, 2 legged creature walked out of the barn and towards them. Wallace tensed and was ready for flight again, Relax, Ginger said, thats the farmers wife, and she is a veterinarian. But I thought humans were mammals said Wallace. Ginger went on to explain to Wallace that Humans are mammals, but that unlike most animals, they name their tasks, the Farmer is Human, his task is farming, his wife, the veterinarian heals and cares for sick and wounded animals, like your mother. The Human called veterinarian came closer and when she sensed that Wallace wasnt going to run, she came up and started poking, and petting him, Ginger explained that she was looking him over for injury or disease, Once the vet had finished, she picked Wallace up and started carrying him to the barn, this scared Wallace and he started kicking and struggling to get back on solid ground, he didnt like being carried at all. The vet held him firmly yet carefully and brought him into the barn, she put him on a table and strapped him down, Wallace was not liking this at all and didnt want to listen to what Ginger was saying which was that the Vet was going to draw a little bit of blood to check and see that Wallace was healthy. Wallace did not want to hear any of it and let out a loud cry, which of course got a reply from his mother. Wallace stopped and listened, long enough for the vet to draw the blood and carry him to his mothers stall, I bet youre the little Joey my husband was talking about, he couldnt find you so brought your mother back here for me to mend her leg said the Veterinarian. Wallace didnt understand a word of it, but knew he would be with his mother soon. As soon as he was released, he went straight for his mothers pouch where he had a nice long drink and slept comfortably for a good long nap. It seemed like an eternity before Wallace saw the sky and the dirt of the crops again, His mothers leg had healed and the Farmers wife had opened the stall door, by this time, Ginger, Wallace and Wallaces mother were best of friends. The Veterinarian told Ginger to take them home, of course Ginger couldnt understand her either, but she knew what was being said because of tone and body language. Ginger lead the family back across the wind break, through the huge crop field which had been replanted and new sprouts were budding up through the soil as a new crop was reaching for the sky and soaking in the suns rays for nourishment. The crop field was now very green and beautiful, it was tempting to stop and taste a few of the sprouts but Ginger warned Wallace and his Mother not to. As they neared the black Stump Wallace heard a familiar laugh and he looked up, on the stump sat Crikey the kookaburra, who was very happy to see Wallace. Wallace started laughing too as if it were an inside joke between the two of them. Soon other familiar voices followed from the woods, he heard Frank, Bomber ( thats Captain Bomber to you) Rhonda the red back was plucking the silk threads of her web, and he even heard Penny the platypus splashing away in the billabong not to far away. Wallace looked over at Ginger and invited her to the billabong to meet everyone and of course Ginger said yes, not just to meet them but to protect everyone from Vinnie whom she could smell nearby. Once at the billabong, Wallace introduced everyone to his mother and to Ginger, and they all became good friends. To this day, Ginger visits the Billabong and her friends, bringing news of what the farmer and the Veterinarian were up to, And during the off season, they would all go out past the black Stump to visit their friend Ginger and to help the Farmer fertilize and weed his crops.

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A book I wrote about a young wallaby and it's mother we rescued on the farm.

Comments





RebeccaJea...
9/8/2009 10:39 AM
Again...I am TOTALLLLY amazed at your beautiful story...you are apparently a extremely TALENTED individual...who has 2 (?) VERY lucky children waiting for you!!! :) I wish you luck not only in the contest...but in your venture :)! God Bless

 



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IsraDima


Votes: 7
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Date: 8/27/09
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Other: Writing