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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Australia or New Zealand (01/15/09)

TITLE: Always Good for a Laugh
By Myrna Noyes


G’day to you! I noticed you staring at me and figure you might want to make my acquaintance. I am a Kookaburra bird. Kookaburra. I love repeating my name again and again. It’s so intriguing and euphonious, don’t you think? Say it yourself, drawing it out and savoring the sounds, making sure you rrrrrrroll the r’s on your tongue a bit. Kookaburra. There is adventure and mystery hinted at in its syllables. (Just please don’t call me “Kook” for short, okay?)

What do you mean, I have a “big head”? Of course, I do! I come by it naturally, as I am about seventeen inches long, with a strong, stout beak. I am definitely no shrinking violet! In fact, I’m not violet at all, but am dressed in unassuming white and brown plumage fitting to the casual, rugged country life I lead. No fancy feathers for this boy!

I am well-known and admired in my native Aussie Land. However, it does irritate the locals when I swoop down and snatch chunks of delicious fresh grilled meat off their backyard “barbies” of an evening. When I am unable to “dine out” on such delicacies, I feast on snakes, lizards, mice, and insects, which custom seems to please the humans. (My fondness for the tender taste of baby birds of other species appears to bother some of them a bit, though.)

Have you ever had a song written about you? I figured as much. Well, I have, and that just underscores how important I am! Okay, so it’s just a children’s song; I’m still the “star”! I’ll have you know that my picture is even featured on stamps and coins. Not only that, but I was one of three mascots at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. Makes you want to show me some respect, doesn’t it? (By the way, I notice you have a camera. If you want to snap a photo, my left is my best side.)

The opening phrase of the “musical ode to me” mentions me sitting in an old gum tree. (I want to caution any of you little ankle biters not to get your hopes up too high here. This does not mean you’ll find sticks of spearmint or blobs of bubble gum sprouting from limbs in the springtime!) Actually, I am at home in any kind of tree and inhabit mostly woodland spaces. At dusk each evening my mates and I go to roost on branches, rending the night air with a crazy, cacophonous chorus. At dawn, we do an enthusiastic encore, making sure everyone within a couple mile radius is wide awake. We don’t want any one to be late for work or school, you see, and feel we are providing the neighborhood a true service. In fact, in some areas we are known as the “bushman’s alarm clock.”

You’ve heard of the lion referred to as the “King of the Jungle.” Well, the second line of the aforementioned song recognizes me as the “King of the Bush.” To be more specific, I am the Kingfisher of the Bush, but it means the same thing—I RULE! Now, when I speak of the “bush,” I don’t refer to an individual stemmed plant, but to the generally wooded, rural parts of Australia—as opposed to the enormous, noisy cities where a Kookaburra couldn’t even make himself heard above the racket of traffic and such!

I am commanded to laugh in the tune’s third line, and I must say that there is plenty to chuckle at out here in the wild country. When I laugh, it sounds as if I’m repeating my name over and over, and it’s similar to loud, echoing human laughter. My guffaws are so distinctive that my voice has been featured in several movies. It’s made me think seriously of building a second home in the trees of Hollywood.

Finally, the first stanza ends by supposing that my life must be quite gay. The modern connotation of this statement does not accurately describe me, as I want to assure you that I am strictly a “ladies’ man.” Nowadays, I prefer to be known as “merry” or “jolly,” rather than gay. I do consider myself to be the life of the party, since I’m always good for a laugh, you know!

Oh, excuse me, I hear my mates calling and must fly. I will say “hooroo” (or “adieu”!) for now. It was nice meeting you! Don’t forget to listen for me in films!

You can find the lyrics to the Kookaburra song at KIDiddles.com

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This article has been read 1073 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Loren T. Lowery01/23/09
This took me back many, many years when my family and I visited Disneyland in California. One of the attractions was the Tiki House where birds were sitting on the limbs of trees and talking and singing and telling tales just like your MC here. It brought smiles to my face then just as your article did for me today
: )
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/24/09
Your title is quite apt for your charming story. You managed to educate us as well as amuse us.
Beth LaBuff 01/26/09
I had to laugh at the Kookaburra (with the rolled "r"s , and "don't call me 'kook' for short" :) His left side is his best (for photos). LOL I actually learnedsome things from your humorous writing (the bushman's alarm clock)and (the kookaburra being one of three mascots in the 2000 Summer Olympics). Pretty cool! I had fun reading this about the merry, jolly bird. :)
Karlene Jacobsen01/26/09
A very informative commentary. I had to chuckle at the way your kookaburra described himself to me, the one with the camera.
Joanne Sher 01/27/09
Enjoyed this, and adored good old kook's voice especially.
Catrina Bradley 01/28/09
Love the POV, and the bird's voice. You made education fun!
Angela M. Baker-Bridge01/28/09
This was creative and fun...loved it!
Loren T. Lowery01/29/09
Myrna, two in a row! Wow, you are definitely in your groove and what's even more exciting is that your writing style is covering more than just one genre! Way to go and congratulations. Loren
Dianne Janak01/29/09
YEA MYRNA... congrats on a fun, informative, personable, little piece that made me laugh and LOVE the bird... Congrats on the EC... !!! Go celebrate and enjoy... Dianne
Cathy Kane01/29/09
Great job, MJ! What a debut in Master's! Wonderful piece...fun, creative, very original. Terrific!
Cathy Kane01/29/09
Wow! And another E.C. as well! Congratulations! Nice work!
Diana Dart 01/29/09
Adorable - you captured the voice of the MC perfectly (and gave me some really interesting trivia about him too!) Very, very cute and well written. Congrats on the EC.
Beth LaBuff 01/29/09
Hey, congrats to you and the kookaburra for your EC!! :)
Marita Thelander 02/04/09
Very cute. I love the first person commentary. Congratulations on your EC!
Pamela Kliewer02/09/09
Adorable! Loved it from start to finish. Congrats!