The peculiar kookaburra had been slathered with many colours, by the children of Blue Heath, down the road. During his sleep they had quietly and carefully accosted him, and made him brighter and newer, covering his grey whiskers and whiter feathers, which betrayed him as being rather old. Their reasoning for doing so was to allow them some joy, that they could easily spot his coloured feathers every day, without having to look too hard, it was perhaps a selfish decision, but Kookaburra accepted his new colouring with great charm and no sense of anger or friction.
This kookaburra was like an alarm clock, at five in the morning each day he would rise, and open his beak so very wide, ka-ka-ka-ka-ka ka-ka-ka-ka-ka! he would emit, like a birdy siren which he possessed deep inside. Then the other birds woke up, he was accustomed to this, to providing them with their morning song bliss, and together they all sung their beautiful songs, then up rose the children from the farm, their eyes catching his colourfulness and the association with his song, their cacophony, a visual and ear splitting explosion.
Kookaburra was known for his quirky looks, his different spiky punk hair, the looks he’d attract, the jealous and approving stares. Although his form was characteristic of others of his kind, his colouring and hair made him different, some might say he was one of a kind. He was a role model to the other birds, who were still of their fledgling status, little tiny grey birds, with wispy little feathers coming from their faces, nearby their beaks, near their noses, to them Kookaburra was an example of truly being oneself.
Surely these grey birds would develop their colouring as they matured, but in the meantime, they associated with him more, until, their hopes of ‘catching’ his colouring failed to ring true, they didn’t know what to do except wait until their feathers turned bright pink, yellow, and blue! But Kookaburra failed to share with them his secret, that his hues were unnatural, they were man-made, so to speak, and because of this sham, the birds grew up disappointed, utterly, incredibly sad, at not having realised their dreams of being as bright as Kookaburra was, they were now not unlike their more plainer mums and dads.
“Kookaburra, Kookaburra, where have you been?” called the children from Blue Heath, down the street. They had not seen him for many hours, ever so many days, nearly a week, it was as though he had been in hibernation, and because the birds were lacking his morning calls, they had been stilted in their morning rising and songs meant to be heard by all.
“Nowhere,” replied Kookaburra obstinately. “I just wanted a break. I don’t look anything like the beauty of me that you once made.” And to the children’s surprise, they realised the paint had washed away, dripped or fallen, and now he was a mixture of mainly grey, brown, white and dark blue mottling. The colours which nature had presented him with, his natural hues, he didn’t know what on earth he should do.
“What to do?” Kookaburra wailed. “I was so used to being different! At having the other birds and animals and children look upon me with admiration, keeping their eyes upon me with great insistence!” A tear fell from his right eye, and then another, one more from the left, and he began to wail, “Ka-ka-ka-ka-ka, ka-ka-ka, I have failed.”
The children were aghast, they didn’t know that the paint had made him feel so special, from the others, so apart, and they rushed home to their Father’s garage, to fetch his artist paints to create upon Kookaburra another layer, make him once more a man-made work of art. But to their astonishment, his paints were gone! In fact, the entire corner of the garage was stripped bare, nothing to see, an empty space, a broken heart, poor Kookaburra’s long face, when they relayed the news to him, his expression grew ill.
“I shall be like the others,” he said saddened, eyes now downcast. “I will not be highlighted for what or who I am, I will be forced to conform, like your concrete, uniform pavers.” And slink away did Kookaburra, into his private area, and rest all night, and all morning, for a week would he until he realised that the false colouring should have meant nothing to him. It had merely been a means to brighten the children’s eyes, and effectively it had brightened his mood, and now that he had been rained on unexpectedly and cleaned, he knew what he needed to do, now and always.
He would soldier on, he would perform his morning tasks with great style, with his previous flamboyance which still was within him, he would wake the county up with confidence, all the while. There was no need to feel inferior, just because he wasn’t the same, when in actual fact he had always been the same, a kookaburra was a kookaburra, no matter what his colouring, or his name. Beneath the surface, where his true heart and character laid, he would know this, and he was the confident, not so peculiar kookaburra with the utmost of singing prowess. He would not think of himself as anything but more, not less, and when his voice awoke the county, he sung his very best.
© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.