Pirate - The barking Kookaburra
hear a faint thunder, rolling up the valley of Tantaraboo. The rain had dumped lots
of water onto the backyard with its tiny vegetable patch and dozens of flower pots.
The vegetables and the flowers weighed down by heavy water drops looked sad, as
if they were crying. But soon they would suck in the water, stand up straight again
and look more beautiful than ever before.
Not so the little bird standing between the lettuce and the carrots. It was
soaked, its feathers pointing away from its shivering body like crooked needles.
“What the blooming tail is it, mate?” Buddha asked. Buddha was the black cat
who knew almost everything. He knew instantly what kind of baby bird it was he
was looking at. But he pretended not to know, because he wanted to tease the
dogs. The dogs would not know the answer, Buddha knew that. In his opinion
dogs knew nothing and they definitely were stupid.
“I don’t know,” Hoover answered. Hoover was the neighbour's dog. “But it
looks like lunch to me,” he quickly added and leaped forward, his mouth wide
open. Just before his fat paws would crush the little bird, Ajax unexpectedly made
a dart for the bird, picked it up and threw it into the air.
“It's a great toy,” Ajax said. Ajax was the other neighbour’s dog. He wagged
his tail, swayed his bottom back and forth, ready to jump and catching the bird
midair. Ajax was not aware of Stelze sneaking up on him from behind. Stelze was
the dog who belonged to the farm, like Buddha, the cat. She placed her big paw on
Ajax’s tail as he jumped.
“Ouch!” he yelped and fell flat onto his snout.
“It is not lunch and it is not a toy,” Stelze said with her deep and firm voice.
With a splish-splash the soaked bird landed on her snout.
“It’s a baby bird,” she now said as softly as she could.
Buddha rolled his eyes. “It's a kookaburra, mate. They are birds you only find
here in Australia and also in New Guinea. They eat fish, frogs, lizards and snakes.”
“Yuk!” Ajax said, shaking his head.
“Yum!” Hoover said, licking his lips.
Buddha started to yawn. He seemed to be bored with lecturing the dogs about
Australian bird life. But looking closer you could see that he enjoyed it. “Yeah,
mate,” he concluded, “it is a bloody kookaburra.”