This story was inspired by an illustration from Yelena Wysling, a Swiss artist I follow on Instagram.
Her work is simply beautiful.
Bee and Flea and Me © Kerry Gittins 2021. All Rights Reserved.
A Birthday Jamboree.
Upstairs in the bedroom Brolga puts on fancy threads. Downstairs in the kitchen Quokka butters fairy bread.
Tassie Devil squeezes lemons for his secret brew. At the door is Kookaburra letting in the crew.
Today is a special day. A party for a mate who is unique and very rare, and who they think is great.
Emu sets out all the games while cockatoo looks cool. Platypus is in his spot as lifeguard of the pool.
Wombat lays the tables, while Wallaby and roo are helping Numbat get things ready for the BBQ.
Bee is busy icing cakes. Possum adds the sprinkles.Lorikeet strings up the lights. Look at all those twinkles!
Dingo paces back and forth. ‘They should be here by now.’ ‘Worry not! She’s on her way,’ shrieks Magpie from her bough.
Echidna is the first to shout, ‘Quick hide! Here she comes!’ Everyone finds just the spot so no-one spoils the fun.
The doorbell rings. A quiet knock. Someone calls, ‘Hello?’ Koala smiles. ‘Come in,’ she says. Down the hall they go.
As they reach the yard out back the friends jump out, ‘Surprise!’ Penny Potoroo stops still. She can’t believe her eyes.
All the creatures gather ‘round. ‘Hip hip hooray!’ they shout. Penny wipes away the tear that’s trickled down her snout.
‘Is this for me?’ she asks amazed. ‘Of course!’ they cry with glee. ‘A birthday party Aussie style. A true-blue jamboree!’
DID YOU KNOW?
A Birthday Jamboree © Kerry Gittins 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Okay so you must know by now how much I love bees! My two favourites are the humble Bumblebee and the Australian native bee. Here's a story about two bumblebees just pitched in the February #PBPitch event. Artwork by my extremely talented friend Maryam Khalifah. You can follow Maryam on Instagram and Twitter.
‘Good point.’ Barry scratched his fuzzy, black and yellow chin. ‘Why not a beetle then? They also have wings like us, and they come in lots of different colours too!’ Boris looked stunned. ‘Really? A beetle? You want to roll dung all day instead of sipping nectar and gathering pollen? Uh-uh, not me!’ snorted Boris. ‘Okay, okay. I get it,’ Barry replied, a little miffed. ‘Ah-ha! I’ve got it! I want to be . . . wait for it,’ Barry grinned, and pretended to give a drumroll on his tiny, black knees. Boris rolled his eyes as he waited for Barry’s big revelation. ‘I want to be – a dragonfly!’ he announced.
Boris threw his hands in the air and shook his head. ‘A dragonfly?! That doesn’t even start with the letter B!’
Barry’s bottom lip started to quiver. He looked like he was about to cry. Boris put one of his arms around Barry. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘all those insects are wonderful. They are beautiful, useful and amazing in their own ways, but think about what we bumblebees can do! Instead of Superman, think Superbee!’ Barry looked at Boris, and wiped away a small tear.
We are Super-pollinaters!’ Boris cried excitedly, pulling Barry along as he buzzed up to a lavender stalk. ‘We gather lots of pollen from flowers and spread it around to help plants grow.’ ‘We are Super-see-ers! We have five eyes, which means we see yummy nectar before any of the other insects,’ he continued proudly, as they flew to a marigold. Barry followed along, nodding thoughtfully. ‘We are Super-royal! We have a majestic and beautiful queen,’ Boris bowed low as they paused on a snapdragon, and placed a makeshift crown on Barry’s head.
‘And you know what my two most favourite things are about being a Super-bee?’ They had stopped at a bunch of pansies. Barry shook his head. ‘We make yummy honey. . . aaaand we do the waggle dance!’ Boris laughed as he began circling around Barry, waggling his small bee bottom. Barry giggled. ‘You’re right,’ he grinned, as he joined Boris in his waggle dance. ‘Bee-ing a bee is SUPER-AMAZING! I never want to bee anything else!’
A Tale of Two Bees © Kerry Gittins 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Barry and Boris © Maryam Khalifah 2021. All Rights Reserved.
So this is a new and different take on An Insect's Guide to Living on Earth. It's shorter and is centered around Dennis the dragonfly and a dragonfly's life cycle. Aimed at 4 - 7 year olds.
A Dragonfly's Summer. © Kerry Gittins 2020. All Rights Reserved.
This is a story I've reworked several times to try and get the flow correct . . .
An Insects Guide To Living On Earth. © Kerry Gittins 2020. All Rights Reserved.
If I could change who would I be? And should I change from being me?
‘Cause after all it’s who I am but should I change me if I can?
Should I change from being brave and fighting dragons known as Dave?
And climbing up the castle wall to save old Humpty from his fall?
Should I change from being bold and fighting pirates for their gold?
And sailing seas to find the chest beneath the spot that’s marked with ‘X’?
Would I change the me whose friend is different – just because of them?
The ones who say ‘She’s not like you. Her skin’s not right. Her hair’s strange too.’
The ones who think their way is right. The ones whose words are full of spite.
Who say if we don’t act like them we cannot ever be their friend.
But I’m not sure I’d care to be a friend to those who pick on me
The ones who bully, call me names. I do not want to play their games.
I’d rather have my friend who’s brave and not afraid of dragon Dave!
A friend who’s bold and sails the seas in search of treasures just like me!
We’re best of friends that much we know, and yes we’re same but different,
So, I hug her tight ‘cause we can see, that I am her and she is me.
Just Like Me © Kerry Gittins 2020. All Rights Reserved.