I was worried when Mum said . . .
‘That kookaburra in the garden is one of Santa’s helpers. He’ll watch you, James, to see if you are good, to see if you deserve a present from Santa.’
There were only five chocolates left in my advent calendar when I forgot to shut the back door as I came in from the garden. The chooks love to come into our house. They love to scratch around on the carpet. They especially love to poo on the carpet. It makes Mum mad.
Even worse, this time when they came in to poo on the carpet, the kookaburra was watching from the gum tree with his beady eye, and his head cocked to one side.
When there were four chocolates left in the calendar, I thought I’d better be very helpful, so I went to the chook house to collect the eggs for Mum. I forgot to take a bowl to put them in. My hands were a bit too small to carry five eggs. I tripped over my brother Max’s toy car. Oops! Five broken eggs.
And guess who was watching? The kookaburra burst out laughing and told everyone in the neighbourhood.
When there were three chocolates left in the calendar, I went to the shopping centre with Mum and Max. We walked a long, long way and just when we reached the shop, I needed to go to the toilet.
‘Why didn’t you go before?’ Mum asked.
‘Because I didn’t need to before,’ I said. ‘But now I have to run!’
So we ran all the way to the toilets and then walked all the way back to the shop, and Max got very grumpy. Afterwards we lined up to see Santa in his grotto, and I told him I really, really, wanted a red scooter.
‘Have you been good?’ he asked.
‘Pretty good,’ I said. Luckily there was no kookaburra in the grotto to disagree.
When there were two chocolates left in the calendar, I thought I needed to be extra helpful if I wanted Santa to bring me a scooter. I stood on a stool by the kitchen sink and washed the dishes for Mum. I looked out of the window, and who was looking at me? That laughing kookaburra was sitting on a branch in the garden, with his head to one side. When I saw him, the stool tipped under me, and Mum’s special Christmas plate flew out of my hands and onto the floor with a loud crash.
There goes my scooter, I thought.
When there was only one chocolate left, I dug up a whole lot of wriggly worms and put them in a dish on the ground for the kookaburra. He swooped down to gobble them up.
‘Happy Christmas, Kooka,’ I said.
And he must have been happy, because early Christmas morning there was a bright red scooter with tinsel and a label ‘For James, who tries hard to be good,’ underneath the Christmas tree.
©Jackie Tritt 2011, image Tania McCartney
Bedtime Stories downloadable tales for children are an AWO initiative, run in support of the National Year of Reading 2012. We encourage you to print and read these stories with your kids, and revel in the joy a wonderful story can bring. All stories are original and have been penned by established and emerging Australian authors. Every month, we will publish four stories running to a central theme, each on a Monday morning. See here for more.