Willy Wally Wagtail and Rainbow Written by Barbara Pyett © 2013
Have you ever seen a willy wagtail?
He’s a sporty, black backed and white chested little bird that never stops long in one place. He cocks his head on one side to look at you.
Our Willy Wally wagtail lives in a clearing with lots of other birds and animals.
‘Why does everyone look so sad?’ he wondered as he looked at his animal friends through the gloom. No longer did he see his friend Sun or Rainbow coming to visit.
Willy Wally hopped about trying to cheer his friends up, but it
wasn’t working and he was beginning to feel sad too.
That night Will Wally had the most beautiful dream, full of sunshine and light. When he woke-up he realized he must make a plan to bring light back into the clearing. Those trees must be trimmed back. Perhaps echidna could lend him some prickles to help pin the branches back.
Echidna was a slow, tired ball of prickles. After explaining his plan to lighten their clearing Willy Wally asked,
‘Have you any spare spines, to pin back the trees?’
‘I think that would be most unwise as I don’t think I’d be able to grow any more. Also, I might catch cold!’ echidna cautiously added.
‘I shall just have to think of something else,’ said Willy Wally.
‘Here comes possum, I’ll ask her.’
‘Possum, could you help trim the trees back with your nice sharp teeth?’
‘I’m much too busy eating bush tucker! If you have any sweet fruit I’d be only too happy to help,’ said possum.
Rabbits hopped about, but just kept disappearing into their many burrows, so he couldn’t ask them.
Willy Wally thought some more. There must be an answer.
‘What about Rainbow, I’ll ask her for help.’
Waiting for the rain seemed to take ages. A raindrop fell on his head. Willy Wally flew up to whisper his request to Rainbow, hoping he wouldn’t be refused again.
‘Please can you help us Rainbow? The sun isn’t getting into our clearing and we are all getting sad because it is so dark. Could you come and help lift the branches so that we can trim the branches and leaves to let the light through?’
Rainbow beamed, ‘I’d love to help! You can use me as a ladder so that when I hold the branches up, you can all trim away, and that should make a big difference. I’ll show you!’
A meeting was held with all of the bush animals, birds and insects.
Everyone wanted to help, even echidna and possum, as they could see what a good idea it was. As Rainbow pushed with all her might the sun shone through the opening.
Rainbow called, ‘You will have to work quickly as I can’t stay long!’
The clearing was set in motion as everyone worked quickly, trimming the willing branches while Rainbow held them in position.
The bush buzzed with activity and excitement, surrounded by singing noises and gnawing and sawing.
As they completed the task Venus shone in the evening sky.
The next day as the sun came up the animals decided to do something to show Rainbow how grateful they were for her help.
Rainbow’s colours were faded after such a long stay in one spot.
‘We’ll make lotions and potions to paint and revive your colours,’ they all chorused.
‘We’ll paint purple from the wild orchids,’ said the rabbits as they scampered and hopped up Rainbow’s bow.
‘We’re next,’ said the birds as they splashed red raspberry juice into the red section. Possums dribbled orange into the next part.
‘We’ll prepare yellow,’ said the bees as they busied themselves soaking the yellow section with honey.
‘We’ll make green for you to paint,’ said the ants crushing grass juice for the wallabies to apply.
The smell of eucalyptus filled the air as the koalas added their blue-green potion made from the cut off gum leaves.
Blue melted into purple from the wild flowers and berries, crushed by the rabbits, which hopped amongst the slow wombats and echidnas.
‘My colours are brighter than they were before!’ Rainbow beamed.
All of the animals, insects and birds stood around in the now sunny
clearing, encircling Rainbow, as Willy Wally sat on top of the bow with his head cocked to one side, admiring his friend’s smiling faces. Willy Wally slid down the bow feeling warm inside.
Everyone spontaneously began to sing a thank you song to Rainbow. The trees clapped their leaves in time, feeling lighter after their trim.
Rainbow thanked the bush creatures and melted away to rest awhile, until she was needed after another shower of rain, to brighten another grey day.
This story is written as a picture book; to not only show how things are better when we cooperate with one another, but it will also help young children learn their colours.
When I was a child, I loved the cartoons and books where colors were made by squeezing them out of objects of those colors. Children will treasure your book, Barbara One of my still-loved cartoons is the Fleischer “Time for Spring” (I think that’s the title), where gnomes who live underground boil up concentrated color extracts which are then siphoned above ground to repaint the world from away from its pale winter palette.
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That sounds a lovely book and obviously has remained in your memory. Thanks for your much appreciated comment Outlier Babe!
It sounds delightful.
Thanks Jenni! 🙂
You make it sound so exciting Maggie, but I regret to say, I am not up with the latest either. No doubt there are things like you describe available!
This is great, Barbara. I am totally out of touch with computer versions of children’s stories. I can imagine a video or computer rendering of the story where the child can fill in the blanks with any colour she wants and then erase it and do it again with different colours. There can be links to the different creatures or landscapes and the sounds. The only thing missing would be the smell of eucalyptus!
Thanks Dixie, we shall see!!
I love the idea of doing it as a color book! And I think children really enjoy books about nature. I hope you find the “just right” illustrator for this lovely book!
This is fantastic! Congratulations Barbara! Looking forward to seeing the new book!
Great to hear from you Rob, only I haven’t sought out a publisher yet!
Thanks for your support.
Lovely! I can just imagine those beautiful bush colours.
Thank you, can imagine Andy could do it justice!
Or perhaps you can print it off and let your son illustrate his own story?
That would be good!
It’s beautiful, and we can create the images in our heads until you find your illustrator x
Trust you to ask that M-R! I have illustrated a couple of books, but it isn’t something that comes easily to me…. so am waiting for someone more talented to come along!
And the pictures …?