This book is on amazon.com The Chance - Owls Wood - Pat Davis
A Fairy story for children and adults alike. Featuring an extremely wise Owl, a not so wise, but quite gullible Wallaby, a very upset Platypus, A Bilby that is trod on by a Wild Brumby. and a Bower Bird that loses a shiny object he was taking to place in his nest. All ends Well for young Wallaby and a new friend when young wallaby discovers the chance of a lifetime
Bilby had a horrible accident.
The Whole story as is at Jan 22 2020
The Owl could have been either the King or the Queen of the forest, but none of the other animals knew if Owl was male or female. Owl was quite merely Owl.
Some of the animals thought that perhaps another Owl might have known if this particular Owl 'was a boy or girl?'. But there were not any other Owls in the forest and, if there was, nobody had ever seen one. A few of the animals said that they had never known Owl to lay an egg; some thought "this might be significant?' Owl merely agreed that eggs could be excellent for breakfast, but this detail had no real relevance to Owls status.
The truth was that unless you were another Owl, it was extremely tricky to know these things. Some of the animals in the forest said that in some species of Owls, the boy Owls are bigger than the girl Owls, but with only one Owl in the woods, anyone could just ask the question: "Bigger than what?"
It was on occasion discussed that, in the instance of Barn Owls, sometimes the boy Owl has a white throat. Still, a similar problem arose when anybody asked: "Is our Owl a Barn Owl?"
I guess it does not matter for this story. The only thing any of the forest animals knew was that Owl was very old and extremely wise. At least, he was more knowledgeable than most of the other forest animals.
I should mention that this particular forest did not have any Elephants. Everyone knows that Elephants can become very old and very wise. But alas this forest never had any Elephants. So this might account for why Owl was King (or Queen). Merely the Best they had!
The forest never had any Lions either. Most of the Lions lived in another place. This was probably just as well because Lions eat far too many other animals and quite possibly even eggs for breakfast.
Owls usually just eat little creatures, like insects, spiders, earthworms, snails and crabs, fish, reptiles, and small birds. Some Owls eat mainly mice, shrews, and voles.
The particular Owl that ruled this forest was unusual because Owl did not like to eat friends. Owl preferred to eat Porridge. "Porridge is excellent on icy mornings." That's what Owl always said.
None of the animals cared much what other Owls ate, so everyone was happy. Porridge never grew in the forest, and it was quite a mystery to the other animals where Owl got the Porridge from.
Owl was extremely intelligent. This was precisely what Owl told everybody. To prove this point, one-afternoon Owl invented a completely new colour.
It was Wallaby that discovered this when he asked Owl what he was doing perched on a tree branch.
"I am inventing a new colour," stated Owl.
"What colour is it?" asked Wallaby. It would seem that Wallaby had forgotten how silly it was to ask Owl questions. But Wallaby had asked, and it was therefore right and correct that Wallaby should suffer the consequences.
Owl puffed out some chest feathers. Then Owl stated quite arrogantly. "My dear Wally, I am vastly more intelligent than you, I can see and understand complex concepts that your own small mind could never grasp. On even the merest physical level, you can barely jump. On a purely intellectual level, you can scarcely hop. Me, myself," boasted Owl, "on both physical and intellectual status can fly and soar above and beyond anything you could possibly dream." Then Owl continued with: "Wally, I sometimes wonder about the imaginations and awe you must feel every time we encounter one other. Tell me young Wallaby, when you look at me... .what do you see?"
"I see one crazy bird," answered Wallaby humbly.
Wallaby was perfectly correct in his assessment of Owl. The Owl was indeed as nutty as a fruit cake. And, like every other animal in the forest, Wallaby accepted Owl's superb intelligence as a powerful contribution to the whole existence of the forest and its inhabitants. Wallaby wondered what the new colour might look like and secretly hoped that one day he might get a glimpse of it.
It was at this precise point in time when Owl announced: "BY MY ROYAL DECREE, I WILL CREATE A CHANCE FOR EVERYBODY." And then the Owl actually did; Owl created a huge chance. The most peculiar consequence was that young Wallaby actually saw it, but he never properly understood precisely where it was.
"Where is it?" asked Wallaby.
It was well known throughout the forest that Wally was a little bit gullible. This was most likely because he was quite young. He was a lively and enthusiastic animal, but sometimes he was inclined to jump first without knowing quite where he was going to land. It was for this very same reason that Wally had seen the Chance that the Owl had invented. Wallaby wanted to see the Chance very much.
There had been many occasions that Wallaby's Mother had shaken her head in despair when Wally accidentally hopped into another Gum Tree. While Wallaby's Mother was watching what Wallaby was attempting, she quite regularly shouted at him "Wally; you never had a Chance". Now things would be different. The wise old Owl had given Wallaby a very nice Chance, and he did not intend to lose it.
Wally hadn't been travelling long before he came across Little Platypus and his older Sister, Big Platypus. They were playing and frolicking in the water, causing quite a ruckus. Suddenly, Little Platypus called out to his Sister, 'Look, Big Sister! I can swim down and grab that rock now!' Big Platypus stopped what she was doing for a moment and floated on the surface of the water, watching as Little Platypus prepared to dive. Then she surged forward to push him out of the way. 'It's too deep! I'll get it for you!' And she disappeared underwater. Little Platypus swam sullenly over to Wally and then threw himself down on the bank of the river. He looked up at Wally and then down at the ground.
'I wanted to try it myself. My Sister never gives me a chance to try.'
'A Chance?' asked Wally.
'She never gives me a chance!!' he grumbled.
Wally pondered for a moment but soon set off again, leaving Little Platypus sulking and Big Platypus diving underwater.
It was only after a very short distance that Wallaby came across a horrible accident. Bilby had been quite badly hurt. It had been very sudden. A Brumby that had been trotting along the narrow track that winds its way to the river had accidentally trodden on Bilby. Bilby's leg was very sore.
"It all happened so quickly," said Mrs Bilby, who was in tears, "One minute he was happily sunbathing in the short grass, the next minute it was all over. It's all very upsetting. He never had a chance," cried Mrs Bilby.
"Never had a Chance?" repeated Wallaby.
"Never had a chance!" wailed Mrs Bilby.
Quite naturally, Wallaby was in total shock and had to sit in the shade for a few minutes. It was only now that Wallaby started to realize how important it was to have a Chance. Wally had seen the result first hand of what could happen, simply because Bilby never had one. Wally was starting to realize exactly how important it is to have a Chance.
It was quite a long while before Mrs Bilby's friends found her. With their comforting and support in place, Wallaby felt it was about the right and sensible time to leave.
It was only a short while later that Wally found himself sitting in the afternoon sun in a very comfortable place on the hill quite near the river. A sprinkling of shade from a big Gum Tree made it an excellent place to view along the riverbank in search of the Chance. Wally began looking left and right. He looked into the grass, along the river bank, up into the trees and even into the clouds.
Wally thought it was essential to check out the clouds. It seemed quite sensible. If you do not know the appearance of what you are looking for, then it might easily be missed. If you thought you were looking for something big and round and it was in reality quite small and fluffy - maybe even floating - then missing it would be quite straightforward. Wallaby never saw anything that looked even remotely like a Chance. There was nothing he could see that did not look exactly like what he knew it to be.
It was not long before little Miss Wallaby came hopping into the small clearing.
"Hello," said little Miss Wallaby, when she saw Wally.
"Hello," said Wally, and then added "I am looking for my Chance. Owl told me that there is one somewhere down here by the river, especially for me. I intend to find it."
Little Miss Wallaby was a little bit suspect of Wally but thought that she ought to find out precisely what Wally was talking about. "What does it look like?"
"I expect it is very beautiful,' said Wally.
"I expect it is," said little Miss Wallaby.
'Did you know that Big Platypus never gives Chances to Little Platypus?" he asked suddenly.
"No, really?" said Miss Wallaby.
"Yes. And now little Platypus seems sad." Wally paused for a moment.
"And did you know that Bilby never had one? Mrs Bilby told me that he never had a chance."
"No," said little Miss Wallaby.
"Well, he didn't. Now his leg hurts." Wallaby shed a small tear.
The two of them sat quietly under the Gum tree, thinking about Mrs Bilby.
It was about this time when Bowerbird was searching for something pretty to decorate his new nest. Searching was something he always did this time of the year. Bowerbird's wife absolutely loved bright colours and shiny things. So Bowerbird collected as many glittering objects as he could find to make their new home look pretty.
It was extremely fortunate that Bowerbird came across a small silver teaspoon glinting in the sunlight that somebody had probably lost while having a picnic beside the river. It was almost exactly what he was looking for. The spoon was a little on the bigger side than he could comfortably fly with, but he decided he wanted it anyway. It was quite a struggle to take off into the sky, but he did make a successful take-off. As it happened, the teaspoon was just a little bit harder to fly with than Bowerbird had hoped for. It slipped a little bit in Bowerbird's beak, and it was impossible to keep hold of. The small silver spoon dropped from the sky, spinning and twirling, glinting and flashing in the sunlight.
The glinting of the falling spoon reflected in the sky like a falling star or even a sparkling diamond. Spinning and twisting downwards into the small clearing where Wally and his new friend were looking upwards. Wallaby shouted out loud, or maybe it was more a scream of delight. Little Miss Wallaby saw it too, she shouted to Wallaby so loudly that he could easily have heard her even if he had been back where the Owl was sitting in the tree. "It's the Chance!"
Little Miss Wallaby and Wally looked at the Chance with amazement. Neither of them had ever seen anything as beautiful.
"Do you want to share it with me?" asked Wally.
Miss Wallaby smiled and said, "We can build a beautiful place to keep it on the hill among the rocks."
Wally gasped with delight. "I'm a Rock Wallaby!"
"So am I," said little Miss Wallaby, with a small smile.
It was quite a long time later that Owl called around to visit the Wallabies. The couple had built a beautiful house on the hill to keep their Chance. When Owl called in to visit they were not alone - several little Wallabies were hopping around.
The Chance had been mounted on the main wall of their home. When the Owl inspected it, he said. "This is the best Chance I have ever seen in the whole forest."