Desmond, the Dodo who was different

dodo1

Hundreds of years ago,

when pirates ruled the waves,

every day was a holiday

on Paradise Island.

 

The dodos dozed in the glorious sun,

munching on melons and mangos.

They drank coconuts and pineapple juice

until it dribbled down their chins.

 

When they felt more frisky,

they paddled in the sea,

or waddled up and down the beach

and tickled turtles’ tummies

 

But Desmond didn’t do what the other dodos did.

Desmond flapped his wonky wings.

He watched the horizon and worried.

 

“Desmond’s daft,” the other dodos laughed.

“He’s trying to fly away.

Doesn’t he know that dodos can’t fly?

Our bottoms are too big for that.”

 

“So what are wings for?” squawked Desmond crossly,

flapping his feeble wings.

 

“They’re for fanning our faces,” the dodos replied,

“for shading our eyes from the sun,

for scooping up sand

and waving at friends,

for wiping the juice from our chins.

Why fly?

when we can flop?

Be cool, little dodo.

Chill out!”

 

But Desmond flapped his wonky wings.

He watched the horizon and worried.

 

Then he jumped off rocks,

out of  bushes

and trees,

He leapt off the top of

waterfalls

and cliffs

until …

one day his wonky wings woke up

and he had

higgledy-piggledy               LIFT-OFF !

 

The other dodos stared in disbelief.

They goggled and giggled and gurgled.

But the more Desmond practised, the better he got

and soon he was gliding and swooping.

 

When the lazy dodos saw how much fun it was to fly,

they tried to copy Desmond.

But they got their wings in a terrible twist.

They squawked

and they flapped

and they flopped …

… until Desmond gave them flying lessons.

 

One day Desmond spotted a black and white flag

fluttering on the horizon.

 

These pirates were crazy with hunger and thirst.

One had started to eat his own pants.

They brandished a cutlass, a dagger or blunderbuss

and their bloodthirsty roars filled the air:

 

“Oh, give us some dodo!

Delicious roast dodo!

We’ll have dodo and chips for our tea!”

 

“Oh no, you won’t!”

Desmond squawked in reply.

“We’re not on the menu today.”

And his D.A.F.T.* dodos took to the skies                                  * (Dodo Air Force in Training)

to dive-bomb the hungry invaders.

 

The pirates hopped and cursed and yelped

(how they hated dodo doo-doo!).

They blasted away with their cannons all day,

‘til the dodos decided to go-go.

 

Desmond found another island home –

one with fresh fruit, coconuts and crabs.

 

But still he flapped his wonky wings.

He watched the horizon and worried.

 

“If we want to survive,” he told all the rest,

“we need to get better at hiding.

If hunters can’t see us,

if we’re in disguise,

we’ll never be eaten for tea.”

 

So next time the pirates stopped for a snack …

they got crabby and had to eat nuts.

 

And Desmond and his dodo friends

lived long and happy lives.

They all drank coconuts and pineapple juice

until it dribbled down their chins.

 

But sometimes Desmond got the feeling

they were being watched –

that something large

was lurking

in the jungle

nearby.

 

He wiped his chin and wondered,

     What if the dinosaurs didn’t die out?

       What if they started hiding?

         Maybe they were

           really clever

            just

             like

              ME

—————-

Maybe that mound

in your school playground

is a sleeping brontosaurus

and that weird TV aerial

up on your roof

is a roosting pterodactyl

 

There could be

loads of dodos

in disguise

living in your garden …

 

But if you see one, keep it secret.

Don’t tell your pirate mates …

or you may get

dive-bombed

   by dodo

      or

       dinosaur

         doo-doo!

 

 

THE END

 

© Nick Walker 2012