The Red Bridge
I know you’re here. I caught a glimpse of you before I looked down to check my step, making sure I didn’t trip on the time worn cobblestones beneath the entrance arch. Those eyes that always held a hint of mischief. That open, knowing smile. Every year in the month of ghosts, we’d journey to the Jade Mountain Temple at the end of the red bridge to celebrate your beloved grandparents, to make sure their spirits wouldn’t feel alone.
Now it’s just me who comes, to make sure you don’t feel alone.
I cross the gently curving bridge and enter the temple. The loss I feel is still raw, but lessens as I place my incense beside the other glowing red shards in the brass bowl, that sits atop legs shaped like dragons. I feel cocooned and peaceful, surrounded by the familiar low hum of others chanting and giving thanks to ancestors. As I kneel I feel your breath on my neck, hear your voice as it gently whispers, ‘It’s time now.’ I see your smile again and know you will be with me, always.
The Red Bridge © 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.
It's Spring again in the northern hemisphere which means #SpringFlingKidLit competition is on! It was loads of fun using a Gif for inspiration. I hope you enjoy my entry below. Huge thanks to Ciara ONeal and Kaitlynn Sanchez for hosting.
The Dragon In Henry's Cupboard.
‘There’s a baby dragon in my cupboard!’ yelled my brother Henry as he burst into my room waving his arms about excitedly.
‘There can’t be a dragon in your cupboard because dragons don’t exist,’ I said and continued reading my book Science Made Easy.
‘Oh yeh?’ He took the book, threw it on the bed, grabbed my ankles and started dragging me out across the hallway.
‘Okay, okay let me go!’ I cried. ‘I’ll come look!’
As we entered his room, I saw the cupboard door was slightly open. A small, green creature with two enormous yellow eyes peered out at us from under a pile of t-shirts and underpants.
My jaw dropped. ‘Told you,’ Henry grinned, and to prove he was right, the dragon hiccupped, and a small flame shot out of its mouth. I never doubted my brother again!
Very excited to take part for the first time in this year's #50PreciousWords competition hosted by author Vivian Kirkfield. It is definitely a challenge to keep a story to 50 words but also a really good way to make every single word count. So - here is TIDY UP.
There are Brolgas in bathtubs, Llamas in the loo. Oh no the toys have made such a mess! What should I do? I know - tidy up!
Tidy Up! © Kerry Gittins 2021. All Rights Reserved.
We've been wearing masks over here in Vietnam pretty much constantly since February 2020. All our students from 3 year olds to 18 year olds have been wearing them in school without any problems because they understand it's not just for their safety, but that of their friends too. There's been much discussion, with the little ones especially, about emotions during this time, and they were the ones who came up with the idea that their eyes could show us how they were feeling. Out of the mouths of babes. . . . So here is the story sparked by those discussions with concept art by my very talented daughter Anisha.
Moon wears a unicorn mask because unicorns are unique and special just like Moon.
Hasib wears a puppy dog mask because puppies are playful and friendly just like Hasib.
Hai Lan wears a Spiderman mask because superheroes help protect people just like Hai Lan.
Andy wears a dragon mask because dragons are strong and brave just like Andy.
Katie wears a panda mask because pandas are thoughtful and gentle just like Katie.
We wear our special masks because they help stop us from sharing our sneezes and coughs.
But wearing our masks doesn’t mean we can’t share our feelings.
We do that through our eyes.
When Moon is happy, her eyes twinkle like the stars on a rainbow unicorn.
When Hasib is feeling playful, his eyes shine like a puppy waiting for a game of fetch.
When Hai Lan is surprised, her eyes open really wide, just like when a superhero saves you.
When Andy is brave, his eyes look fierce like a knight that has fought many dragons.
When Katie is gentle, her eyes sparkle with kindness.
Our masks help protect us, but our eyes will twinkle, shine, sparkle and smile to let you know that we are okay.
Through Our Eyes: A Pandemic Story © 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.