In this section, please find stories and songs that I have made over the years for you to enjoy and tell, but please acknowledge your source. Thanks. 🙂
The Bower Bird Tale
Jimmy was a very happy Satin Bowerbird who lived in Eastern Australia in a wood on the edge of a town. For the first time ever, he was building a bower and it would be the best bower any bowerbird had ever made. It was important for Jimmy to impress the ladies and one of the ways to do this was to create a very beautiful bower.
He was 7 years old and this was the first year he had his blue-black feathers of which he was most proud! Over the last years he had watched carefully to see bowers that older males had built and secretly he had begun to gather trinkets and hide them away for the time when he would build his own and now that day had come!
Being near a town there was always plenty of treasures lying around. Blue was the favourite colour of the satin bowerbird and last year Jimmy was excited to discover a picnic site where families came on warm days. He had become an expert at hiding in a tree to view what treasures people had brought. Blue straws and bottle tops were so easy to quickly fly down and grab. Now he had piles of them stored away in a hidey-hole that only he knew about (or so Jimmy thought.)
“Now,” said Jimmy, “where will I build my nest?” It took him a while to find the perfect place where there was enough bare earth for him to create a beautiful design. “Grass. I must find sturdy grass and pluck it so that it is all the same length.” Once Jimmy had gathered a good pile of thick grass stalks, he began to plant them in two rows, wide enough apart so that he could hop between, but close enough so that at each side the grass stalks gently leant into one another, creating a tunnel effect. It took a good few days until Jimmy was happy with his creation; he was very proud of his design.
“Well! That’s looking very nice, but now I need to decorate.” Jimmy flew back to his secret hiding place. He had placed leaves and sticks over his store so no other bowerbird would notice, but to his horror he found ALL his blue treasure was gone. “Noooo!” he cried, “who’s stolen all my things?”
Jimmy flew round very distressed until a little voice spoke up, “Hmmm, what’s wrong? You’ve woken me up!” Beside the tree was a small furry animal in its nest. Jimmy flew down and landed beside the creature. “Sorry,” he said, “I used this hole to stash lots of treasure and someone has taken it all!”
“Dearie me,” said the musky rat kangaroo, “that’s not good!” She tutted as out from her pouch poked two pairs of bright eyes and twitchy noses. “We’ve seen you before Bowerbird!” chorused the two young rat kangaroos.
“Oh!” said Jimmy, “I never noticed you!”
“Oh that’s ok we like to keep hidden,” said the mother, “but we’ve noticed you hiding things here for a while now.” A sudden thought came to Jimmy, “In that case did you see anyone else come to this place and take my stuff away?
Two little heads nodded vigorously, “Yep, yep, yep!”
“Who was it?”
“Well, we thought it was you, but it must have been another bowerbird!”
“I really thought no one would find it. Thanks for your help,” Jimmy said, flying off, “I’ll just have to find some more blue things.” Wearily he flew out over the lake and landed in his favourite tree at the picnic park. It was a beautiful, hot day and there were many families enjoying the sunshine. Some were swimming in the sparkling water and Jimmy’s expert eye spotted where a blanket had been left unattended. Suddenly his lilac eyes brightened. A picnic had been laid out and the plastic cutlery was all blue. As were the cups!
With a quick glance at the swimmers, he flurried down and hastily picked up two spoons and flew up and away to the wood to his bower. Gently he laid his treasures down and rushed back to the picnic site. Later, when the happy, dripping family returned from the lake, ready for their picnic they were most puzzled to find they only had two cups and one spoon left between the five of them!
“Well!” squawked Jimmy proudly, “what a find.” After a wee rest, Jimmy set about arranging all his trinkets in a pleasing way. He had spotted some lovely fruits and flowers while flying back and forth and he placed these in beautiful piles around his grass tunnel. He was just returning as the light began to fade, when he heard a flutter of wings. A lady bowerbird had come down to have a look while he was away. She had a good inspection and was very impressed with what she saw. Jimmy was very excited. “I hope she liked it,” he thought. He looked around at his hard work. He was exhausted but triumphant. Yes, this bower looked amazing.
Jimmy woke early the next morning; a noise had disturbed him. There beside his bower was another male satin bowerbird cheekily gathering up the blue cutlery. “Oi,” he shouted, “you thief, put that lot down!” With a squawk of fright the thief dropped what was in his beak and flew off. “So that’s who stole my blue trinkets,” Jimmy muttered. “I need help guarding this lot. What can I do?” Suddenly in his mind’s eye Jimmy saw two pairs of bright eyes and two twitchy black noses. He flew back to his hidey-hole where Mother musky kangaroo rat and her two babies were scampering about. Politely Jimmy cleared his throat. The rats looked up. “Hallo!” The two wee ones were happy to see Jimmy. He explained his problem to the mother, “So you see, I need your help guarding my bower and if you could I’d happily bring you food and stuff?”
“Please mother, please mother, can we, can we!” The two wee rats danced all over the place. The mother smiled. “Very well, Jimmy, just for you.”
“Oh thank you Mrs Rat, I’ll better get back in case the thief returns.” Jimmy arrived back to see the thief making off with a blue cup. He was furious. He spent the rest of the morning sorting out the mess the thief had made and renewing the flowers that had wilted over night. By mid-morning the musky kangaroo rats appeared and the young ones immediately set themselves up as guards on each side of the bower, while Mrs Rat was ready to jump on any thief with her sharp little teeth.
That morning while Jimmy was away, three more ladies came to look at his bower and Mrs Rat thought they had all been quite impressed. “Aye well, let’s see if they come back when I’m here! That means they do like my creation!” The next day while Jimmy was busy sorting out a piece of grass one lady flew down and landed beside him. Nervously Jimmy hopped out of the bower and picked up what he thought was his most beautiful treasure – a blue toothbrush. He began to dance back and forth in front of the other bird. She looked at him with her lovely lilac eyes and encouraged, Jimmy continued to hop and spin, while making his most attractive noises. The young rats looked on in amazement. They thought Jimmy looked a bit silly, but their mother frowned at them so they kept still and quiet. When the lady flew off, Jimmy flopped down exhausted. “What d’you think Mrs Rat?”
Mrs Rat nodded. “I think she’ll be back, she seemed to like you.” The two young rats were rolling around in the undergrowth laughing their heads off, “You looked so funny Jimmy!” they giggled.
“Probably,” said Jimmy, “but here’s hoping she liked it.” Two days later the same lady appeared. She flew down and looked at Jimmy from inside his bower. “You’ve definitely got the nicest décor of all the bowers around here. I choose you Jimmy.”
“Oh! How do you know my name?” The lady smiled and nodded at Mrs Rat, who smiled back.
“Oh I see,” stammered Jimmy, “well thank you very much.”
“Well, children, our work here is done. Come along let’s leave Jimmy and his wife alone now.”
“Awww! Do we have to?” protested the two wee ones.
“Come along,” ordered their mother and off they went hopping into the undergrowth.
“Thank you musky kangaroo rats for all your help!”
“No problem!” chorused the two young ones as they disappeared.
Jimmy and his lady built a beautiful nest and when their three brown eggs hatched into three healthy chicks Jimmy was one very happy Daddy bowerbird.