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Grandpa Pencil
writes some
Australian Fairy Tales


The Moral: Perception creates reality. If you can dream it you can do it.

Grandpa's Zoo

Once upon a time in The Great South Land the Big Bad Wolf decided that it would be appropriate to have some kind of lasting monument built in his honour.

He called all of the creatures of The Great South Land together, sprinkled around copious amounts of 'Magic Bulldust' and told them that, as they had all been such good citizens, he was going to build them a magnificent zoo.

They would, of course, have to give the Wolves a little more gold but what is gold compared to such a great gift.

It was to be known as 'The Big Bad Wolf Memorial Zoo and Cultural Centre' and would be the greatest zoo on the planet.

Old Grandpa Pencil lived next door to the municipal dump and over many years, because the Big Bad Wolf's budget didn't cover its running, looked after it.

So good was he at the job that the pile of rubbish was smaller now than when he started and he was able to make a few extra pennies by recycling the stuff.

Having heard of old Grandpa Pencil, the Big Bad Wolf decided that a lot of gold could be saved if he were given the job of building and stocking the zoo.

The Big Bad Wolf gave Grandpa a bag of gold and told him that the zoo must be ready for the opening in three weeks.

When Grandpa Pencil counted out the gold in the bag he discovered that there was almost enough to buy an old rock and a small, moth-eaten mouse, if he could get a discount.

Because it was too bad to sell, the Wolves made a small, swampy piece of land between the feed store and the barber's shop available for the zoo and Grandpa Pencil set about transforming it for the creatures,

He scrounged through the dump for all of the materials that he would need and transported them to the site with the aid of his favourite Clydesdale

The outer walls of the zoo were built from old timber and sheets of corrugated iron and Grandpa found a big can of orange paint, with only a few grass clippings in it, to decorate the wall.

Grandpa Pencil finished off the gate and the little ticket booth before settling in to complete the project.

There was such a lot to do for just one old man that the celebrations started before Grandpa could paint the big sign at the entrance that would have said 'The Big Bad Wolf Memorial Zoo and Cultural Centre.'

There were big brass bands and hot dogs, clowns and marching girls, but The Big Bad Wolf was really grumpy that the sign was not ready for the opening.

With a big, red, angry face he started to make his dedication speech but was drowned out by the roar of something inside the zoo (and it was not a lion.)

Looking around, The Big Bad Wolf was shocked to see Grandpa and a crowd of creatures rising gently, if noisily, into the sky in a colourful hot air balloon.

The creatures drifted silently across the land looking down on its wonderful and bizarre animals.

They saw possums and koalas, wombats and kangaroos, bilbies and bats and some tiny dark platypus along with birds, snakes and lizards of every conceivable shape and colour.

When they returned the Big Bad Wolf was still in a state and had canceled the celebrations and painted a sign on the front of the zoo reading 'Grandpa Pencil's Private Zoo Thingy' and demanded all of his gold back claiming that he had been tricked.

Everyone knows that zoos have concrete enclosures and concrete trees and concrete rocks and concrete ponds and lions and tigers and elephants and monkeys.

Little Goody Tooshooz thought the zoo was almost very good and chucked a tantrum in the Lair yelling that all that was needed was for the Wolves to build concrete enclosures around all of the beautiful animals that they had seen from the balloon.

Robin A Cartledge 2003

'A World of Trivia', 'Dear Grandpa Pencil' and 'A Cheapskate's Guide to Exploring Tasmania By Car'
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Published by Robin A Cartledge ~ ABN 19 924 273 138 ~ Low Head, Tasmania ~ Contact/Comment