Mum and Tammy take the dog for a walk and imagine some very strange goings on in the creek.
Mum and Tammy take the dog for a walk and imagine some very strange goings on in the creek.
Support the show (https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=5478&awinaffid=714853&clickref=podcast+link1&ued=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bookdepository.com%2Fauthor%2FR-A-Spratt)
Hello and welcome to Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt. Today's story is ' A Tall Tale About Ducks... and Pirahna'. Here we go...
In autumn, if the sun is shining you need to get outside and enjoy it. Because you never know if this will be the last sunny day before the cold hits and you’ll be stuck wearing coats and beanies for the next four months, regretting that you didn’t soak up every last vascillating light particle you could before it was too cold to enjoy being outside.
So on this day, even thought it would have been very lovely to sit inside doing nothing, Mum insisted that they take the dog for a nice long walk.
‘Walk where?’ asked Tammy sceptically. She knew her mothers wicked ways. She knew Mum was a fitness fanatic who would try and sneak in extra exercise at every available opportunity.
‘Up the hill,’ said Mum, with a gleeful glint in her eye.
‘Not the hill,’ moaned Tammy.
‘But you love the hill,’ said Mum.
‘I hate the hill,’ said Tammy.
‘You haven’t always hated the hill,’ said Mum.
‘I’ve hated it ever since I had a bad back,’ said Tammy.
‘But that’s better now,’ said Mum, ‘Isn’t it?’
‘Yes,’ begrudged Tammy.
‘So now you can really enjoy the hill,’ said Mum.
‘But I don’t want to,’ said Tammy.
‘We so rarely get what we want,’ said Mum, striding towards the base of the hill.
‘I hate you,’ said Tammy.
‘I hate you too,’ said Mum. ‘And by hate, I mean love.’
‘I mean hate,’ said Tammy.
‘Of course ,you do,’ said Mum with a wink. ‘I know what you mean.’
‘Urgh,’ said Tammy, slouching off in Mum and the dog’s wake.
Soon Tammy did come to enjoy the walk, despite the hill, mainly because she found a long floppy stick that she would swoop around her head. It made a very satisfying whipping noise through the air.
‘That’s caused by air resistance,’ said Mum. ‘You see, this is why we come for walks. You’re not just nearly taking my eye out when you swing that about, you’re also learning science.’
‘I want to hit something with it,’ said Tammy. The fresh air and sun shine was making her giddy with power.
‘You’ve already hit me twice and the dog once,’ said Mum. ‘That’s more than enough hitting for today.’
At this point they came to the bridge over the creek. And you must never cross over a creek without stopping at the middle and looking down into the water. To not do so, shows a gross lack of romance in your soul and imagination in your brain. Mum and Tammy intuitively knew this so they both stopped and stared down.
The local council had recently cleaned out all the weeds and the shopping trolleys and the litter, so it looked unusually lovely in the water.
‘It’s nice to see it so clean,’ said Mum.
‘Hmm,’ said Tammy still thinking about her stick, and what she could whack with it.
‘I’d love to see some fish in there,’ said Mum. ‘Perhaps some trout.’
Tammy glanced down, ‘Or some Piranha.’
Now it was Mum’s turn to get a gleam in her eye. ‘Now that would be wonderful. But how could it be? Piranha are only found in the Amazon river in Brazil. How could piranha come to be in a little creek in a small town in regional Australia?’
‘Perhaps they got lost,’ suggested Tammy.
‘Or,’ said Mum. ‘Perhaps they were on the run, because they’d committed some terrible misdeed.’
‘Like what?’ asked Tammy.
‘Well Piranhas have an isatiable appetite for flesh,’ said Mum. ‘Perhaps they ate someone they shouldn’t?’
‘Like who?’ asked Tammy.
‘Perhaps it was a beautiful princess,’ said Mum. ‘It could happen so easily. You know how beautiful princesses always wear such silly frilly dresses, well she tripped on the hem of a particularly ridiculous and impractical dress and fell face down in the Amazon river.’
‘As you do,’ said Tammy.
‘Well you do if you’re an Amazonian Princess,’ said Mum. ‘And of course, as soon as she hit the water, the piranha could not resist. They had no respect for her couteur gown flown out especially all the way from Paris. They gobbled her up before she had the chance to say, ‘Do you know who I am.’
‘She would have said it in Brazillian not English,’ said Tammy.
‘Portugese,’ said Mum. ‘They speak Portuguese in Brazil. Unless they are native indian people, then she might have spoken in her own native dialect.’
‘She probably couldn’t have spoken at all if she was under the water,’ said Tammy.
‘True, very true,’ said Mum. ‘But having eaten the princess and having time to reflect on what they’d done, the piranha would have no doubt reflected that they were going to get in a lot of trouble. People always get very upset when beautiful rich people die unexpectedly. And a lot of people don’t like fish, unless it’s deep fried in batter and served with a lot of salt. So the piranha would have wanted to get as far away as possible. And what could possibly be further away than the Amazon jungle, than small town Australia?
‘Antartica,’ said Tammy.
‘They’d never go there,’ said Mum. ‘Too many seals. Seals eat fish. Pirahna prefer to be the eater not the eatee. So realising what they’d done they would have gone on the run.’
‘On the swim,’ said Tammy.
‘Yes, the swim,’ agreed Mum. ‘It would have been a long swim. Down the east coast of South America, past the Cape of Tribulation, across the Pacific Ocean, around New Zealand, up whatever river it is that leads to the creek until they arrived here. And would reckon themselves to be safe.’
Mum and Tammy peered down into the water. ‘There wouldn’t be much for a piranha to eat here though.’
‘No,’ agreed Mum.
‘They could eat the bread the old ladies throw to the ducks,’ said Tammy. There were a lot of old ladies in their home town, and they did like to feed the ducks despite all signs from the council emploring them not to.
‘Or,’ said Mum. ‘Perhaps the piranha teamed up with the ducks. Everyone likes ducks. They could form a symbiotic relationship with the ducks. Each piranha would strap a duck to its head, that way it could swim about the creek without anyone recognizing it, and reporting its location to the Brazilian royal family. It could eat as much bread as they liked.’
‘Why wouldn’t they just eat the ducks,’ said Tammy.
‘Good point,’ said Mum. ‘Duck is delicious. Especially in pancakes with Hoisin sauce. But the piranha would be so terrified of being found by the royal family of Brazil. They would need the ducks so they could remain incognito. In exchange for the help of the ducks, the piranha would swear an oath never to eat duck or any other meat again. And it would be worth it, because this is such a beautiful town that the piranha would become enchanted with their life here and truly enjoy their friendship with the ducks.’
Tammy nodded. She and Mum stared down into the water, considering the idea.
‘But,’ said Mum. ‘What would happen if one of the boys from next door were to kick his football into the creek.’
‘One of the annoying boys who makes too much noise when you’re trying to work and drives you insane?’ asked Tammy.
‘Yes, one of them,’ said Mum. ‘He’d kick his ball into the creek, and the creek isn’t very deep so he’d think nothing of climbing down the bank and reaching in to get it. But as soon as his hand submerged into the water, the piranha would smell the scent and they wouldn’t be able to resist, they’d swoop into a flash of guzzling. The boy would get his ball alright, but he’d lose a hand in the process.’
‘His Mum would be cross,’ said Tammy.
‘Very cross,’ said Mum.
‘But of course, he wouldn’t have seen the piranha,’ said Mum. ‘He would have only seen the ducks attached to their heads. He’d tell everyone a flock of ducks had eaten off his hand. No one would believe him. So the poor boy, would be handless and everyone would think he was nutty.’
‘And the poor ducks would be mortified,’ said Mum. ‘Even though no one would believe such a ridiculous story. Old ladies would start to look at them askance. They’d be less forthcoming with their breadcrumbs.’
‘They’d be angry with the piranha,’ said Tammy.
‘Yes,’ said Mum. ‘They’d demand that the piranha swear to never do it again. But having had the taste of flesh, even if it was a dirty little boy’s hand. The pirahna would now have an insatiable hunger for more.’
‘These breadcrumbs are not our native food,’ would complain the pirahnas.
‘Mum you can’t do an accent it’s racist,’ said Tammy.
‘I know,’ said Mum. ‘But it adds so much to the drama. Besides, have you ever spoken to a piranha maybe they do have terrible accents. Maybe they’re racist not me. They eat princesses after all so they’re pretty despicable. Anyway, I digress. The piranha would protest that breadcrumbs were not enough, they needed their native food. Now it just so happened that this very same day, a catalogue fell into the creek. No doubt littered there by one of the wicked boys.’
‘Or a wicked girl,’ said Tammy.
‘Yes,’ agreed Mum. ‘We must be feminists. It could have been a wicked girl. Girls can be degenerates too. And this catalogue was an Aldi’s catalogue.’
‘Oh no,’ said Tammy. She knew her mother had a great passion for aldis and the random products she could obtain from the central ailse.
‘As you know, Aldis often has international food on special,’ said Mum. ‘And this week they just happened to have Brazillian food.’
‘What a coincidence,’ said Tammy.
‘So the ducks marched down to Aldis, in a long line as ducks do. The supermarket staff were a little surprised to see them, but they were all paid minimum wage, so they didn’t feel they were paid enough to show initiative. So long as the ducks didn’t poop on the floor they were prepared to ignore them. The ducks selected every food product imported from Brazil and paid for it with a credit card.’
‘Where did they get a credit card?’ asked Tammy.
‘The creek,’ said Mum. ‘It’s amazing the things that fall into creeks. Especially if they are thrown there by angry wives trying to get their husbands to stop buying Star Wars memorabilia on ebay.
The ducks took all the food back to the creek and presented it to the piranha, saying ‘here is your Brazillian food.’
But the piranha were very very rude and ungrateful. What is this?’ they asked.
‘Brazillian food, quack,’ said the ducks. ‘This is pickles and biscuits,’ said the piranha. ‘This is the not the Brazillian food we eat. When we eat Brazilian we eat Brazillians! Bring us a Brazillian to eat, right now, or tonight we eat duck!’
The ducks were not impressed. They waddled off in a temper. After all they had done for the piranha it was very rude. But no one wants to share a creek with an angry piranha so they set about looking for a Brazillian. But as you know this is a small town in regional Australia, we don’t have a lot of South Americans here.
‘We’ve got none,’ said Tammy.
‘Exactly,’ said Mum. ‘The ducks didn’t know what they were going to do. They didn’t want to go back to the creek. But they didn’t want to go to the city to find a Brazillian either. It was such a long way to go and none of them had drivers license.’
‘They could have flown,’ said Tammy.
‘True,’ said Mum. ‘But it’s funny how ducks always forget that they can fly. When they’re crossing the road and car comes along. They never fly away. They only waddle marginally faster. It’s like they’ve got extremely specific amnesia where they totally forget that they are capable of flying thousands of kilometres with geographic precision.’
‘Ducks are complicated,’ said Tammy.
‘Yes,’ said Mum. ‘So these ducks came up with a plan. Since they needed a Brazillian, but they couldn’t find one, they decided to make their own.’
‘What?’ said Tammy.
‘They went back to Aldis and bought a massive block of tofu,’ said Mum. ‘And then, they didn’t know many Brazillians so they carved it into a sculpture of the one Brazillian they knew about. Pele.’
‘Whos’ Pele?’ asked Tammy.
‘The greatest soccer player who ever lived,’ said Mum.
‘Really?’ said Tammy.
‘Well even I’ve heard of him and I’ve got absolutely zero interest in the sport, so he must be famous,’ said Mum.
‘Fair enough,’ said Tammy.
‘So the ducks took this life size statue of Pele down to the bridge over the creek,’ continued Mum. ‘As soon as they saw him the piranha were delirious with hungry. And because they were so crazed with the prospect of finally getting to eat Brazillian meat they totally didn’t notice that he he was grey and made of tofu. ‘Throw him in, throw him in!’ they cried.
‘Okay,’ said said the ducks,’ You asked for it.’
And they tipped the tofu Pele over the railing. He toppled tofu-head over tofu-heels and landed in the water with a giant splash! In an instant there was a desperate flashing frenzy as the swarm of piranha leapt forward teeth first to devour him. They ate with such desperation and fervour, tofu-Pele was gone in two seconds flat. It was only then that the pirahnas began to notice the taste in their mouths. The taste of tofu.’
‘Uuurrrggh,’ cried one piranha, ‘I think I’m going to be sick. That person tasted disgusting.’
‘Blurgh,’ said another piranha. ‘It tasted like mold and mildew and rotten cactus.’
‘Yuck,’ cried another piranha. ‘I want to pull my tongue and put it through a dishwasher on the heavy dirt program. That was disgusting.’
This gave the mother duck an idea, ‘Oh dear,’ she said. ‘You have been living here so long. You have lost your taste for meat. It will always taste foul to you from now on. This is what always happens to people who stop eating meat for… she quickly turned to her oldest duckling and whispered, ‘how long have they been here?’ ‘Three weeks,’ said the duckling. ‘For three weeks,’ announced the mother.’
‘Urgh,’ said the piranha, ‘what will we do.’
‘Rest assured,’ said the mother duck. ‘While all meat will now be disgusting to you. Stale bread and pond weed will still taste like stale bread and pond weed.’
‘But that’s not very nice either,’ said the piranha.
‘But it’s not as gross as that tofu, I mean that Brazillian person you just ate is it?’ said the mother duck.
‘Yuck no,’ agreed the piranha.
‘And so the ducks and the piranha lived happily ever after,’ said mother. ‘The piranha never ate meat again, and the little boys of the town were much more careful about where they kicked their footballs. And every time you see a duck floating on the creek, just remember, there is a piranha strapped to it’s bottom.’ The end.
‘You’re an idiot,’ said Tammy.
‘You’re an idiot too,’ said Mum. ‘And by idiot, I mean genius.’
‘I mean idiot,’ said Tammy.
‘I know what you mean,’ said Mum. ‘Because great minds think alike.’
‘Urgh,’ groaned Tammy. She went back to whipping her stick and they both ambled home.
Thank you for listening. To support this podcast, just buy a book by me, R.A. Spratt. There are lots to choose from from across the Nanny Piggins, Friday Barnes and Peski Kids series. You can order them through your local bookstore or go to my website raspratt.com and click on the Book Depository banner. They have all my titles and free international shipping. That's it for today. Until next time. Good bye.