(Jan 20th to 26th)

Format: Triple

…He stumped and he jumped and he thumped and he bumped, and he pranced and he danced, and he banged and he clanged, and he hit and he bit, and he leaped and he creeped, and he prowled and he howled, and he hopped and he dropped, and he cried and he sighed, and he crawled and he bawled, and he stepped and he pepped, and he danced hornpipes where he shouldn’t…


This is from ‘How the Whale got his Throat’ in ‘Just So Stories’. The hungry Whale finds a ship-wrecked Mariner, sitting on a raft in the middle of the sea, and promptly swallows him. Unfortunately the Mariner is a man of infinite-resource-and-sagacity, who creates such turmoil in the Whale’s insides that the Whale takes him to the shores of Albion, and sets him free. But before he walks up the shingle the Mariner wedges a little square grating into the Whale’s throat so that in future he can swallow nothing bigger than the tiniest fish.

…He ran through the desert; he ran through the mountains; he ran through the salt-pans; he ran through the reed-beds; he ran through the blue gums; he ran through the spinifex; he ran till his front legs ached. He had to!


This is from Old Man Kangaroo. Once the Kangaroo was a grey woolly animal with four short legs like a bunny. Because his pride was inordinate he asked the Big God Nqong to make him different from all other animals. Nquong calls up Yellow God Dingo, who chases Kangaroo all over Australia. In the process his legs and his tail grow longer and he starts to hop – like no other animal.

…That night…they ate wild sheep roasted on the hot stones, and flavoured with wild garlic and wild pepper; and wild duck stuffed with wild rice and wild fenugreek and wild coriander; and marrow bones of wild oxen; and wild cherries and wild grenadillas…


This is from ‘The Cat that Walked by Himself’ in ‘Just So Stories’. In the earliest days, when all the animals are wild, the first creature to be tamed is the Man, when the Woman persuades him to set up house with her in a nice dry cave, where she cooks him a veritable feast on the fire. Soon she tames Wild Dog and Wild Horse and Wild Cow. But Wild Cat is different. He will come into the cave, and play with the baby, and drink the warm milk. But he is still Wild; all places are alike to him and he comes and goes as he chooses.