"What a lovely day for a walk in the
bush!" Daku smiled.
"Daku, we’re not walking in the
bush! We’re lost! You’re a silly wombat," Tinka sighed.
"We’re not even walking. We’re
inside Wandi’s pouch and she’s hopping. I don’t now if I even remember
what it’s like to walk," Jiba mumbled.
"Stop your complaining. Just because
we’ve been wandering around in the bush for days, is no reason to moan
about everything. Where are we anyway?" Banjora asked, looking at Kiah.
Wandi stopped hopping and stood in
the shade of a tall eucalyptus tree. "You might as well get out, all of
you. I’m tired and want to rest."
"At least there’s food," the koala
grinned and climbed out of Wandi’s pouch. He headed straight to the top of
the tree and began nibbling on its tender leaves.
The others stretched and yawned and
walked around. Yindi flapped her wings up and down and flew up to a tree
"Where are we, Mum?" Boomerang
asked, looking around. "All I see is sand and rocks."
"I don’t know where we are. One of
these days we’ll make it back to the baobab forest, where we met Maya. Why
don’t you hop around and see if you can find some water, but watch out for
crocs," Wandi warned. The joey leapt away behind some rocks.
An hour passed and they all seemed
to be well rested. "Time to get a move on. Everyone back in the pouch,"
Wandi said. Banjori climbed down from the eucalyptus. He brought a few
small branches to nibble on as they traveled. Daku had a handful of bugs
that he’d found under a stone. Jiba had a snout full of wriggling black
ants. Tinka had a moth in her mouth. Yindi had a beak full of long, slimy
worms. Kiah was too hot to eat and Nimu had finished off a large fly and
seemed content. "Are we ready to go?" Wandi asked.
Crowded, yet satisfied, the animals
found a comfortable spot in the pouch. "Let’s go," Tinka shouted and Wandi
hopped away. The animals slept soundly as the sun rose high in the sky.
One of Jiba’s spikes started poking
into Kiah’s bill. "Jiba, stop that. Your spikes are sharp. Turn around.
Poke Boomerang for a while."
Jiba opened her eyes and suddenly
shouted, "Stop jumping, Wandi! Right now! Boomerang’s not here."
Wandi stood still. "Boomerang’s not
there? Look in the pouch. He might be sleeping under Yindi’s wing or
The animals moved about, but there
was no sign of Boomerang. "Yikes! We left him back at the eucalyptus
tree," Banjori gulped.
"He went to find some water and we
left him. Oh no!" Wandi cried. "We’ve got to go back and look for him!"
She hopped as quickly as she could. It was hot. It was dusty. She was
tired, but nothing would stop her from finding her joey.
They came to the eucalyptus tree.
"Everybody out!" Wandi ordered. "Find my joey. He’s looking for water. Oh,
my poor joey," she wailed.
"I hope a croc didn’t eat him," Jiba
"Don’t say things like that. I hope
that Old Man and Boomer didn’t get him," Kiah added.
"I’m sure Boomerang’s fine. He’s
probably curled up in a ball sleeping soundly," Nimu said.
"Spread out and look for him. When
you find him, give us a shout!" Banjori said.
The animals went off in search of
Boomerang. Banjori climbed to the top of the eucalyptus trees and looked
from north to south and from east to west. "He’s not anywhere in sight,"
he shouted to the others.
Daku crawled through the dark
underground tunnels. He found some witchetty grubs, a few slugs and snails
but there was no sign of Boomerang. "He’s not down here!" the wombat
Jiba walked slowly through the bush.
Her spikes tore at the leaves as she passed them. She lifted up fallen
branches, crawled around rocks, and looked underneath tree roots.
"Boomerang’s not down here!" she called.
Tinka ran across the ground. Nimu
sat on her back, holding onto her thick scales. "Not so fast," Nimu said.
"You don’t want me to fall off do you?" he asked the skink.
Tinka’s blue tongue slipped in and
out of her mouth as she ran around the tree trunks. "Do you see
Boomerang?" she asked the trap door spider.
"No joey here," Nimu answered.
Yindi flew into the branches. "Banjora,
I’ll fly around and look for the little joey. He’s got to be close by.
Wandi must be frantic with worry," the kookaburra said. She flapped her
wings and flew from tree to tree, looking at the ground.
Wandi hopped down to the billabong.
It wasn’t the same one they’d spent the night at; it was a much smaller
one. "Boomerang! Boomerang!" she called to her baby.
Kiah came waddling out of the water.
"He’s not in the billabong," she told Wandi, "but there sure are a lot of
"Where is he?" Wandi cried.
Just then Wandi heard a noise.
"Mum," something whispered.
"Boomerang? Is that you?" Her ears
stood straight up, turning from side to side.
"Mum, I’m stuck in here," he
"Boomerang? Where are you?" Wandi
"I’m stuck in this hole," he
Wandi hopped toward the voice.
"Boomerang, how on earth did you get stuck in there?" She was very happy
to see him. His head was sticking out of one end and his tail from the
other. His body was wedged tightly in between two large rocks. "I’m glad
you’re all right. We were worried about you. I’m sorry I left you behind."
"Mum, just get me out of here. I’m
thirsty," the joey said.
Yindi flew overhead and saw Wandi.
"You’ve found him?" she laughed.
"Yes! Get the others. I’m going to
need some help," Wandi shouted.
Kiah, Tinka, Jiba, Daku, and Banjori
all went around back and started pushing from behind. Wandi, Yindi and
Nimu pulled the little joey’s arms. "All together now, one, two, three,
push," Kiah said. The animals pushed as hard as they could. Tinka’s tongue
hung out of her mouth and she nearly bit it off. Daku’s fur got covered
with dirt. His back dragged along the ground as he pushed. Jiba’s spikes
poked straight up into the air. Banjori’s face turned purple. He was
pushing with all his might.
"Pull!" shouted Wandi. The spider
and the kookaburra helped her pull Boomerang’s arms. Wandi felt him move.
"Keep pushing back there. He’s coming loose!" Just then Boomerang popped
out of the hole. The animals in back fell into the reddish-brown dirt as
the joey came loose from the rock’s tight grip. Yindi flew backwards and
landed on her feathers, bending a few of them in half. Nimu went flying
through the air and landed against a tree. "You’re free," Wandi giggled,
hugging her joey. "Why did you go into that hole anyway?" she asked.
"I was chasing a guana. It ran into
the hole and I went in after it and got stuck. I kept shouting, but you
never came," Boomerang frowned. His mum gave him another hug. "Mum, can I
have a drink now?" the thirsty joey asked. He hopped down to the billabong
and drank until he was full.
"I think we’d better be on our way.
We’ve got an hour or two of daylight left. We might get lucky this
afternoon and find the baobab forest. I’m ready to go home," Wandi sighed.
"Climb in the pouch, one by one," Wandi said.
"Boomerang, you can get in first and
find the most comfortable place," Banjori said. The koala squeezed in next
to him. Once the joey was inside, he fell fast asleep. The others gently
climbed inside the pouch.
"Everybody there? Banjori, count
them all. I don’t want to leave anyone else behind," Wandi said.
Banjori started to count,
"Boomerang’s here, so is Daku, Jiba, Tinka, Yindi, Kiah and Nimu, and of
course me. That’s eight of us, and you, Wandi make nine. We’re all here!"
Wandi hopped towards the setting
sun, happy to have her joey safe and sound, sleeping inside her pouch with