Bunyip’s Night

Bunyip in his watery bed tossed and turned, groaned and grunted, wriggled and wiggled, fidgeted and flicked his tail.
He yawned and yawned again.
But still Bunyip couldn’t sleep.
“Who’s making so much noise?” he said.

Bunyip checked his fish were sleeping tight and then splished and splashed out of his dam.

He saw Platypus floating on top of the water.
“Are you making that noise?” Bunyip said.
“Not me,” said Platypus, splashing out of sight.

Bunyip stomped between the pale Eucalypt trees and saw Possum over head.
“Are you making that noise?” Bunyip said.
“Not me,” said Possum, leaping away through the leaves.

Bunyip stomped towards the edge of the forest, whipping his tail behind him, and saw Wombat snuffling in the leaf litter.
“Are you making that noise?” Bunyip said.
“Not me,” said Wombat, backing away into the shadows.

The noise was louder now. It bopped and it zinged, it flew and it crashed, it thudded and it sang.
Bunyip stepped out into the clearing. His enormous mouth dropped open.

There were Bunyips everywhere.

Big ones and small ones, ones with feathers and ones with fur, ones with shimmery scales and ones with twisting tales. Bunyips of every colour and hue. All of them prancing and spinning, dancing and grinning. All of them having a wonderful time.

And Bunyip’s feet started tapping, his hands started clapping, his hips started swaying and his head started bobbing.
“Wow, you look great!” said a Bunyip passing by, “Come dance with us.”

And Bunyip did. He twisted and he twirled, he grinned and he guffawed, he waved and he winked, he fandangoed and he flounced. He was having such wonderful time that he didn’t notice the other Bunyips were drifting away until he heard a low roar and then another and then another!

There were bright lights that made Bunyip blink and thuds and growls that made Bunyip jump. The other bunyips were taking off their tails and their ears and getting into growling boxes.

Monsters! Monsters everywhere!

With a shudder and a shriek Bunyip ran back into the forest, through the Eucalypt trees, and splashed back into his dam. He sank to the bottom and his fish snuggled in around him.
To think! He’d been dancing with monsters and he never even knew it.

It had been a lot of fun though.

He yawned. He didn’t toss or turn, grunt or groan, wriggle or wiggle, fidget or flick his tail. He just snored, snored, snored.

A Hat For Every Day

My mum doesn’t have a hair on her head.

Not one strand.

Not one kink.

Not one curl.

But she does have a lot of hats.

She has hats with flowers and hats with feathers. Hats with brims and hats with bows.

Staw hats, lace hats, big hats and small hats.

Wooly hats, leather hats, cloth hats, sparkly hats.

She has hats for hot days and hats for cold days, hats for summer days and hats for winter days. Hats for normal days and hats for special days.

But she only has one hat for hospital days.

It’s soft and warm, it fits just right, and she wears to hospitals where she must sit, sit, sit.

She wears it and watches her medicine go drip, drip, drip.

Then there’s no hat days. They’re ginger tea days and sleepy days, cuddly days and snuggle on the couch days when I stroke Mum’s head and my tummy feels a little bit funny.

But mum says, when her hair grows back again, she’ll grow it all the way down her back. She’ll dye it blue and pink and green. She smooth it, spike it, spring it and spruce it. She’ll wear it up, she’ll wear it down, she’ll wear it half way in between. She’ll have ribbons, she’ll have bows, she’ll have tiaras and clips, bands and grips.

Mum says, when her hair grows back and she’s feeling good again, she’ll have a hair style for every occasion, a do for everyday.

She’ll have as many ways of doing her hair as she has hats, and we know all about that.

Lilly and Anna

Lilly and Anna were best friends.

They ate their breakfast together and they had their bath together.

They both had their hair plaited and they both wore shiny black shoes.

They told each other everything and they played together all day.

At night Mum would tuck them both into Lilly’s bed and they’d cuddle up together and go to sleep.

 

One day Mum took Lilly and Anna to the park to play.

They swung on the swings and touched the sky with their toes.

They whizzed down the slide with giggles and squeals.

They jumped into the sandpit with both feet and then they stopped.

There was a new girl in the sandpit.

 

“I like your dolly, can I hold her” said the girl.

Lilly squeezed Anna but she didn’t want to be rude.

The girl pulled at Anna’s arms and knocked one of her shiny black shoes off . She tugged the ribbon out of her plait and got sand in her hair.

Butterflies swooped in Lilly’s tummy. “Can I have her back now,” she asked.

The girl shook her head, “I’m going to keep her.”

“But she’s mine.”

“She’s mine now,” said the girl, “And you can’t tell. It’s a secret.”

That night Lilly couldn’t sleep. Her tummy hurt and her pillow was cold and damp. She sniffed. Her bed felt very big without Anna in it.

 

At breakfast she couldn’t eat her pancakes and she wouldn’t have a bath.

She didn’t want her hair plaited and she wouldn’t wear her shiny shoes.

“What’s wrong Lilly,” Dad asked but Lilly couldn’t say.

It was a secret.

 

“Mum?” Lilly asked, “do you have any secrets?”

Mum stopped making lunch, “I don’t think so. I don’t really like secrets, I prefer surprises. They’re much more fun.”

“Hmmm,” said Lilly.

 

“Dad? If you know a secret, is it alright to tell?”

Dad put down his newspaper, “That depends. If it’s a secret that makes you feel all yucky inside then it’s better to tell Mum or I, or another special grown-up, like Grandma or Pop.”

“Hmmm,” said Lilly.

 

That night she still couldn’t sleep. She felt yucky all over and she was sure Anna did too.

She got out of bed.

Mum and Dad were watching television.

“What’s wrong Lilly?”

Lilly took a deep breath and then she told them all about the girl, and Anna’s shoe and the sand in her hair. She told them all about the secret. And her tummy didn’t hurt any more.

“That was very brave,” said Mum.

“You did the right thing,” said Dad.

“I know,” said Lilly.

 

The next day Lilly and Dad went to the park. The little girl was there with her mum.

“It was a secret,” said the little girl as she handed Anna back to Lilly.

“I don’t keep secrets from Mum and Dad,” said Lilly, “especially not yucky secrets.”

That night Lilly snuggled under her blankets and Anna snuggled in beside her.

They yawned and they smiled.

They closed their eyes and they dreamed.

Yellow-Bellied Scaredy Cat – Ages 6 – 8

 

“Don’t move.”

Lewis froze.

“It’s huge! It’s the biggest spider I’ve ever seen!”

Lewis’s tummy tightened.

Danny tried not to giggle. He reached out with a long blade of grass and…

“Get it off, get it off, get it OFF!” Lewis screamed, clawing at his face.

Danny howled with laughter.

“You’re a Yellow-Bellied Scaredy Cat,” he gasped.

“That’s not fair!”

“Yes it is. You were so scared you couldn’t move. Yellow-Bellied Scaredy Cat! Yellow-Bellied Scaredy Cat!”

Lewis stormed off towards the house.

 

When Danny skipped into the kitchen a few minutes later, Lewis was sitting at the table with a spoon in his mouth. He pushed a bowl of ice-cream towards his brother.

“Yes!” Danny said, seizing a spoon.

Danny scraped his bowl clean. Underneath the ice-cream there was something small, and black and…leg-like.

Lewis sniggered.

Danny peered into the bowl. His stomach flip-flopped and his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth. There were a few more little legs, and antenna and…a wing. His chair toppled over as he stood up.

“Mum? Muuuuum,” he yelled.

 “You’re a Yellow-Bellied Scaredy Cat!” Lewis sang out as Danny raced upstairs.

 

“It was only marker,” Lewis muttered.

“I didn’t even do anything,” Danny added.

Thud!

Danny and Lewis flopped onto their beds. Mum left for work with a jangle of keys, her car growling into the distance. Their sister Jenny was babysitting and the murmur of the TV floated up through their floor. Rain began to lash the window…

Crackle-bz.

The lights went out. The house was very dark and very quiet except…

“Did you hear that?” asked Danny.

“Don’t try and trick me,” sniffed Lewis.

“I’m not. Listen…”

Scrape scrape scrape.

What is it?” Danny asked, climbing onto Lewis’s bed.

“I don’t know,” Lewis said, pulling Mr. Ted onto his lap.

Bdup bdup bdup…crash!

“It’s getting louder!”

“It’s coming closer!”

Lewhiss…Daaaaneee…Where arrrre you?

Quick,” Lewis said, pulling his doona over their heads.

They huddled together and held their breaths.

Creeeeak.

Stomp.

Stomp.

Stomp.

Something gripped the edge of the doona. They shivered and then…

“AAAAAAAAAAAAA!”

“You’re both Yellow-Bellied Scaredy Cats!” Jenny yelled, flinging the doona onto the floor.

Lewis’s heart danced in his chest. Danny’s tummy was filled with butterflies.

But it was only Jenny.

Bubbles of laughter floated up inside them.

“It’s time for dinner, I ordered pizza,” she said, ruffling their hair.

Lewis leapt off his bed, “Last one down stairs is a Pink-Toed Slow Coach,” he yelled as he bolted through the door.

“That’s not fair!” Danny cried, racing after him.