Kevin the Kangaroo just couldn’t hop and jump, whilst all his friends were playing he would sit there like a grump. They’d jump across the fences and jump across the land leaping and laughing and waving their small hands They’d race all around on their powerful back legs, then jump over washing lines with colourful little pegs. And when the day was over they’d have a rest, it seems, with a meal of fresh green leaves and Mexican jumping beans. His friends tried to teach him how to hop, skip and jump and though he tried and tried, he always ended with the hump. Nobody could explain why he had this terrible plight and many a time you could hear him crying long into the night. One day when he was shuffling about picking flowers for his Mum, he tripped and fell through a gate ending up dizzy, on his bum. Dusting off his big long tail, he noticed with dismay that the gate had closed behind him and was now blocking his way. His friends, they tried to open it with teeth and tails and feet, but it simply wouldn’t budge and they sat down in defeat. “You’ll have to jump the gate”, they said, “It’s easy if you try”. But try as he might he just couldn’t jump and instead he started to cry. Just then, a curious little Bilby, like a mouse with big pointy ears, crawled out of his hole in the dusty ground to see who was making the noise. Twitching his ears and snuffling his nose he eventually spotted poor Kevin, disturbing his peaceful afternoon nap, with all his noisy sobbing. He sneaked across to the raucous Roo, being careful not to be seen, until he arrived at the side of a rock from where he could take in the scene. “A Kangaroo that can’t jump, well that’s a strange to-do but we’ll soon have him sorted out, all he needs is a little chew”. His friends now saw the Bilby sneaking round behind poor Kevin but he couldn’t hear their warning shouts for he was making such a din. The Bilby then attacked sinking his teeth, up to his gums, right into the woeful Kangaroo’s big round hairy bum. Kevin screamed and took off in the air faster than a bullet from a gun, he cleared the gate and his friends cried, “WAIT!”, but he was off like a train on the run. Billy the Bilby, for that was his name, just held his tummy and laughed making his way back to his little hole for another short snooze then a bath. Kevin slowed then finally stopped waiting for his breathless friends, they all sat down and had a good laugh about the Bilby and his sharp little fangs. Jumping was no longer a problem for Kevin the Kangaroo but his friends could no longer keep up with him as across the outback he flew. Many long years later, he won a smashing award, he took part in the Animal Olympics after training very hard. A nice shiny golden cup and a medal made him smile, for he’d broken the record for high-jump as well as the one-minute mile. * Written by Darren Scanlon, 16thSeptember 2015. ©2015 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.