'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 19 September 2014

KBR Short Story: The Toucan's Song

by Kym Langfield

The hot sun was setting when the animals of the jungle gathered at the water hole. A meeting had been called to discuss some important news.

Cheetah spoke first. His eyes were wide with worry. 'The people are coming — they’ll be here in the morning.'

Wise Old Monkey sighed. 'I have seen this before. They’ll bring machines as terrifying as monsters.'

The animals gasped.

'What does this mean?' Hyena asked.

'It means our home will soon be gone.'

Cries of sorrow filled the air.

'I will not allow this!' Lion stood tall and shook his flowing mane. 'We will fight this war. Nobody takes our home.'

The animals roared in agreement. Then they got to work, making their plans to stop the humans. There would be snapping and snarling and attacking, of course.

All this time, Toucan was sitting in his tree hole, chewing on guavas and listening intently. Suddenly, he poked out his colourful beak and announced, 'I want to help too.'

The animals stopped and stared before bursting into laughter. 'You want to help?' they jeered. 'You couldn’t hurt a fly!'

Night set in and the animals went to sleep. Only Toucan stayed awake, vowing, 'I will find a way to help.'

The blaring sound of engines woke the animals the next morning.

'They’re here,' Lion growled. 'It’s time to show we won’t be beaten.'

The animals tore through the trees, towards the noise, roaring with all their might. But the people were ready. They carried weapons and nets and soon every beast was trapped.

The destruction began. Machines roared to life and the trees came crashing down. The animals looked on, whining with sadness.

But then a piercing screech rang through the air. The humans stopped in surprise. What was that curious sound?

Suddenly Toucan appeared and perched on a tree that was about to be cut down. He opened his beak and released a tune that was beautiful and happy.

The humans just stared, they were mesmerised. They’d never heard music so lovely.

The machines were turned off and the weapons put down. How could they destroy the jungle, when there was such beauty around?

Then they quietly left the area safe and sound.

The animals gathered near the little toucan.

'We were wrong to doubt you,' Lion said. 'You were more courageous than any other beast.'

The creatures all roared in triumph and decided that the next time Toucan sings they will all stop and listen.

Kym writes novels and short stories for children and young adults. She has published a book with The Book Company and has self-published two other stories. She is a mum of two adorable girls and is a primary school teacher. Kym is passionate about children's literature and loves sharing adventure and magic with young readers. To find out more about Kym and her work, visit her on Facebook.

KBR Short Stories are a way to get your work ‘out there’—and to delight our KBR readers. Stories are set to a monthly theme and entries are due in the 25th of each month. Find out more here.