The Princess and the Pea
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It was a sunny day in the Australian bush and a happy place indeed for the many animals that lived there. There was a lot of activity and the animals were playing and having fun.
Koala was still sleepy because he had just woken up from a nap. Kangaroo was having a drink from the stream were Platypus was swimming and splashing around. Emu was talking to Wombat about something exciting that had happened to her that day. They were all very busy. No- one saw the little animal sitting alone under a small tree. He sat there quietly watching the other animals play and run around. The little animal had a long, black tail with a white tip. His fur was mostly bluish- grey and he had a white belly.
But it was his ears that stood out the most. They were rather long and looked a little bit like rabbits’ ears. Suddenly the laughter and noise stopped. The other animals had noticed the little creature and wandered over to where sat under a tree.
“Who are you” said the Kangaroo. “What are you doing here in our bush?”
The little animal was frightened but answered in a soft voice “My name is Bilby.”
“Bilby!” exclaimed the other animals.
“Why have you come here?” Platypus asked anxiously. I’m looking for a home”, said Bilby. “I usually sleep during the day but I haven’t got many family left now so I need to find somewhere to live.” “Well I live on the plains. It’s where I hop and jump around,” Kangaroo said rather impatiently. “I suits me because I have very strong legs and I need lots of room to go about my business.” He pointed towards the plains and said, “That’s my home and it’s no place for a Bilby.” “My home is along that fence,” said Emu, pointing her leg. “I run very fast and I need to stretch my long legs so the fence line is the place for me. Sometime I run with the other emus and we don’t always see small animals in our way.” In a very huffy manner she added,” You can see it’s no place for a Bilby.” Koala looked at Bilby with a sympathetic look in his eyes. “You see that gum tree with all the leaves on it? I live there,” he said, pointing to the tree. “I eat the eucalyptus leaves and it is a safe home for me. But it is no place for a Bilby,” he said sadly.
Wombat stood up and pointed to his burrow at the base of a large tree. “That’s my home, “he said. “ It’s where I go and spend time by myself.” As he ambled towards his borrow, he called out in a gruff voice, “And I’m telling you now, it’s no place for a Bilby!” Finally Platypus said,” I live in the stream. It’s a cool place where I swim and build nests from weeds and sticks with my long, flat, beak- like nose.” With a flap of his tail, he looked at Bilby and said,” I already share my stream with fish so it’s no place for a Bilby.” After listening to the animals, Bilby hung his head and began to move away. A small tear ran down his cheek and his long ears hung down in a rather sad way. The other animals huddled around. They felt sorry for the little Bilby and after a short talk came up with an idea. “Wait!” yelled Koala.” We may have a home for you after all, if you’re interested.” Bilby turned around. “Where?” he asked excitedly.” Where do you think I can make my home?” Kangaroo pointed to a small shrub. “Over there, behind that shrub,” he told Bilby. Bilby went over to the shrub and pulled it aside. There before him lay a pile of dirt. With his claws, he began to dig and before long he had carved out a splendid borrow. He even found some insects and seeds to eat. It was perfect. At last he found a new home and new friends. Just the right place for a Bilby!
When a wolf actually does appear, the villagers do not believe the boy’s cries for help, and the flock is destroyed. The moral of the story is that untruths will not be rewarded; even if they tell the truth, no one believes them.