an ebook published by Project Gutenberg Australia
Title: A Tiny Story of Blinky Bill
Author: Dorothy Wall
eBook No.: 2301031h.html
Date first posted: September 2023
Most recent update: September 2023
This eBook was produced by: Walter Moore
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This is a story of Blinky Bill and his two friends Splodge the Kangaroo and Wally the Wombat.
One night, when the moon was shining brightly, Mrs, Koala, Nutsy and Blinky Bill had all gone to bed on the bough of a big old gum tree. But that naughty Blinky was full of mischief, and, as he sat there thinking what a beautiful night it was, he had a marvellous plan! Chuckling away to himself he crept over to the trunk of the tree—and this is what he did—
Now Mrs. Koala and Nutsy were very, very tired and were sound asleep, although the big round moon was high in the sky, and everywhere it was as light as day.
Blinky Bill crept and crawled ever so quietly down the big gum tree, not making the slightest, teeniest bit of noise for fear he would wake them. He had the grandest idea! So exciting! The little rascal hoped that his mother and Nutsy would sleep for ever so long, because if they did wake up and find that he’d gone there would be very serious trouble, as sure as snakes.
Down, down he slid, as quiet as a little mouse, making very sure that he kept well out of sight around the back of the tree. He scarcely dared to breathe till at last, with a big grunt of satisfaction he landed safely on the ground and scampered off.
Gathering up his old bait tin where he had left it hidden under a bush, he then broke off a nice strong stick and tied a piece of string on one end and ran along the bush track as fast as his little legs would carry him.
At last he came to the stream that flowed merrily through Farmer Brown’s property. There, much to his surprise, he met his two old friends Splodge the Kangaroo and Wally the Wombat, who were gossiping on the bank of the stream.
“Well, my lad, and what are you up to, out here at this time of the night?” asked Splodge. “I suppose your mother knows you are down this way?”
“Yes —she sent me down to catch some fish for a friend of hers,” naughty Blinky said, without even quivering an eyelash.
“Fish!” Splodge and Wally both exclaimed with surprise. “And where do you think you’ll get fish in this part of the world? Why, I’ve never heard of such a thing!” cried Splodge with a scornful look.
“I’ll get them in there of course, silly,” Blinky snapped angrily, pointing to the stream. “Why it’s full of fish! Millions of them!”
“Rubbish!” Wally exclaimed, “and anyhow you can’t catch fish by just sitting on the bank and wishing for them.
“I’m going to borrow Farmer Brown’s boat,” Blinky replied boldly. “Farmer Brown isn’t using it, and it’s going all rusty just lying about and doing nothing.’’
“Oh no you’re not, young fellow,” Splodge said sternly. “You’re not getting in any boat without my permission—why, the next thing we know you’ll be drowned.”
“I know! We’ll all go,” Wally interrupted. “It’s much safer fishing from a boat with a crowd.”
“Gee, you’re a nuisance,” Blinky grumbled. “Can’t a feller do anything without you always poking your nose into somebody else’s private business?”
“Now then, that’ll do!” Splodge said sharply. “Man the boat there, and let us get under way.”
“He’s mad,” Blinky mumbled under his breath as he followed his friends round to where Farmer Brown’s boat was moored to a tree-stump.
They untied “Daisy” and clambered in, Splodge last.
“Well—this is the life. It’s delightful!” he remarked as he sat down carefully in the stern.
“Oh, it won’t go!” Blinky panted and puffed and blew as he pulled and tugged at the oars. “It’s just the silliest boat I’ve ever been in. What’s the matter with it?”
“It’s all leaking too,” Wally added as he bailed out tinful after tinful of water with an old tin.
Blinky tugged away at the oars but for some strange reason the boat would not move. What neither he nor Wally had noticed, was Splodge tying the mooring rope to his tail for safety before they entered the boat as they were both so full of excitement, and eager to get away, especially Blinky as he grabbed the oars, so that nobody else could do the rowing.
‘I’m not trusting my life in this outfit and with this crew,” Splodge chuckled knowingly to himself as he knotted the rope round his tail, “and anyhow, a bit of pulling and tugging at the oars will soon take the enthusiasm out of our friend Mr. Blinky.”
“What kind of fish did your mother tell you to catch?” Wally asked in between spells of bailing.
“Sharks,” Blinky replied.
“Sharks or cod, perch or whales, it makes no difference,” Splodge remarked in a lofty tone of voice, and sticking his nose in the air. “There never were, and there never will be, any fish in this stream. Why— I’ve spent my boyhood and all my life in this neighbourhood, and all I’ve ever seen in this stream were a couple of tiny tiddlers.”
“Gee! I wish the ‘Daisy’ would go,” Blinky complained again as he turned around and tried pulling in the opposite direction.
“You’re the cause of it,” he growled as he glared savagely at Splodge.
“Who? Me?” Splodge exclaimed innocently, with a wink at Wally.
“Yes, you — you’re so big and fat and lazy,” poor Blinky puffed. “Why can’t you get out and leave Wally and me here alone? We don’t want your help!”
“Can’t be done,” Splodge said. “Not under any circumstances,” he added disdainfully. “I’m here in the ‘Daisy’ and here in the ‘Daisy’ I stay.”
“P’raps—and p’raps not,” Wally remarked slowly. He made some funny little sniffy noises with his nose as he eyed two large fish darting along in the direction of Splodge’s tail, which that cunning gentleman had said he was going to use as a rudder to guide the boat when they started to move.
“That is, if we ever move,” he thought.
And then everything happened so suddenly that it is hard to tell who was most surprised, Blinky, Splodge or Wally!
With a loud yell of pain, Splodge sprang high in the air, upsetting and swamping “Daisy,” while Blinky was catapulted way over the stream and onto the far bank.
Wally tried to stop from laughing out loud. He knew what had happened! He had seen that those fish had taken big bites out of poor Splodge’s tail.
And now the worst of all happened. Farmer Brown, who must have heard all this commotion, appeared from nowhere and started banging away with his big shot-gun. Amid all the confusion of shouts and bangs rending the stillness of the night, Farmer Brown was simply ramping with rage. He jumped and pranced and tore up and down the bank of the stream shouting at our three friends, shooting off his gun and getting nowhere, while his “Daisy” slowly sank lower and lower.
Splodge was paddling like mad with his two front paws, trying to keep afloat, although his hind legs were resting on the bottom of the stream, still he kept on yelling “Save me! Save me! Help! Help!”
All this time poor Wally had sat shivering in the boat, too terrified to move. He was nearly scared out of his wits. He scrambled out and jumped onto Splodge’s back, dug his long claws in and clung there for his very life with his teeth chattering, and too frightened by now to even whimper a word. “Gee — but I’m lucky,” gasped Blinky as he picked himself up from the ground. He shook his big fluffy ears and looked round in the direction of the tragedy.
Splodge was still paddling away madly with his front paws. ‘‘Let go the moorings Blinky,” he was shouting.
“Throw us a life-buoy,” wailed Wally, now almost in tears.
Bang! Bang! Bang! went Farmer Brown’s shot-gun.
“Gosh — he’s tied up!” Blinky cried as he now caught sight of the rope tugging at the tree stump. “Now I know why the ‘Daisy’ wouldn’t go, and me pulling and tugging away all that time for nothing! I’ll make him sorry. Why, if it wasn’t for poor old Wally I’d leave him drowning out there.” Running to the mooring rope, tied to an old tree stump, he started pulling his friends ashore.
It was a dreadful task as they were so heavy and every moment he expected Farmer Brown’s bullets to kill one of them, little knowing that Farmer Brown was only using the blank cartridges which he kept to frighten robbers and birds away from his orchard; otherwise Splodge and Wally would have been dead long ago. But the noise was terrifying to these three animals, and each one thought his last moment on earth had come.
With Blinky shouting instructions at them, and with much puffing and panting and blowing, Splodge and Wally slowly but surely, drew nearer and nearer to the bank, until, with a little scream of relief, Wally jumped from Splodge’s back and rolled over and over in the grass at Blinky’s feet,
“Come on, quick! Run for your life!” panted Blinky, grabbing Wally by the arm.
Wally didn’t need a second warning. He dashed after Blinky as fast as he’d ever ran in his life, much faster than any other wombat had ever ran, leaving a trail of water behind him.
Poor Splodge was left behind, still firmly tied to the tree stump, to get away as best he could. He was jumping and yelling and kicking up a fearful noise and a lot of dust and stones.
“Splodge! Splodge!” Wally panted behind Blinky. “He’ll be killed. We can’t leave him behind like this.”
“It serves him right,” Blinky shouted breathlessly. “I bet he’ll never tie himself up again while I go for a fish and a row in a boat. He nearly had us all killed.”
It was a race of life and death to Blinky and Wally, and it was two very frightened and tired little animals who eventually reached home and safety.
“Gee!” Wally gasped. “No more boating and fishing for me.” He was still growling to himself as he settled down for a nice long sleep, thoroughly tired out.
“Thank goodness Mother and Nutsy are still sound asleep,” Blinky murmured to himself as he scrambled very cautiously onto the family bough of the big gum tree; but he was only just in time, for, as he sat there pretending to be asleep, Mrs. Koala woke up with a start, and yawning and rubbing her eyes, was amazed to see a most extraordinary sight right under her nose. She could hardly believe her own eyes.
“Goodness gracious!” she exclaimed as Nutsy, also yawning and rubbing her eyes, joined her. “Whatever is the world coming to?” The two of them gazed down with astonishment at the amazing scene on the ground below them.
It was Splodge, bounding away at full speed with the tree stump still firmly tied to his tail! Unable to untie himself, and terrified of Farmer Brown and his shot-gun, he had simply uprooted the stump out of the ground.
“Well, well—that’s strange. I’ve always said that tails only bring trouble upon their owners,” said Mrs. Koala in a warning tone.
“Yes, specially when they’re used for anchors,” Blinky remarked, peeping round the trunk of the tree.
“Looks to me as though he’s had a terrible fright,” Mrs. Koala continued. “I wonder what he’s been up to?”
“Looks to me as though he’s had a terrible, dreadful, gigantic, enormous fright full of quivers,” Blinky added with a twinkle in his eye.
“Oh well, I suppose I’ll hear all about it in good time,” his mother replied. One thing I’m sure of — he’s been up to no good, out at this time of the night. Just as well Blinky that you’ve been home out of mischief’s way. Oh well, now we can all have some nice gum tips for supper and feel very thankful trouble does not come our way.”
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