The Tale of the Bouncy Kangaroo
By Claire Bradshaw
Once upon a time in the open grasslands of Australia there lived a family of bouncy kangaroos. The Kangaroos had lived in this part of Australia for generations and considered it their homeland. They knew each tuft and tree, each dip and dell like the back of their very large paws and each day, they followed the same, well-trodden paths to find food. The paths were rocky and hard underfoot and the scrub to which they led was bitter and dry. Yet the instinct of the kangaroos to follow their traditions was strong and, even when they observed other families exploring alternative routes, they stuck to their well-established habits without noticing the how arduous and dreary their ways had become.
A youngster from the kangaroo family had once been drawn away from the well-worn path by the guttural sound of a joey in distress, a distant cry which touched her heart. She had followed the sound and, before long, found herself in a lush and beautiful valley she’d never seen before. She noticed how her senses awoke to her new environment and as she breathed in the sweet, warm air and listened to the harmonies of the birds and the trees around her, she caught sight of the joey ahead of her, struggling to free itself from a tangle of reeds. The young kangaroo used all her energy and strength to free the joey, energy and strength she had not perceived before that day. And as the joey bounced away along her own path back to her mother, the young kangaroo felt a great sense of triumph and warmth which very soon gave way to an overwhelming sense of hunger. She hadn’t eaten for hours! The kangaroo looked around for her old favourites to eat but could see nothing which looked familiar to her. So, tentatively at first, she began to feast on the treasures around her. As she tasted the sweetness of the grass and sensed the goodness run through her body, she knew that this was a place to which she would one day return.