Day 359: Wombat and Smoke Foxes

Wombat and Smoke Foxes
Matt Zurbo

Jannali was a wombat made of cogs and gears.

(For this book I imagine beautiful b&w images, almost etchings, no greys. But up to artist. Wombat in paddock at night, looks normal, other than small bow off centre on head, and a few small gears and small aerial in one ear.)

Some scientist was to blame. Ambition, inventions. Jannali had no idea why they did what they did.
(Wombat sitting on bench, scientist hunched over, tinkering with screwdriver in its ear. Lizards here and there.)

Jannali only knew when the scientist found something new to invent, she was ignored…
(Two scientists excited, half way through making an emu using cogs and gears. Wombat walking away, dejected.)

(Wombat alone in night clearing.)

Jannali could do amazing things!
(Robotic arms, cogs, gears coming from ear to produce a satellite dish, solar panels, etc… In background, possum is hiding from her, other wombats running away. Stars above them form constellations of Australian animals – platypus, echidna, crocodile, etc… )

Yet she tried to avoid that. Jannali just wanted to fit in.  
(Close up of face, all around her are native nocturnal creatures. Flying foxes, possums, bats, owls, wallabies, moths, bilbies, mice…)

None of the other wombats liked Jannali. Sure, she was made of cogs and gears, round things, but wombats were unique in nature.
(Wombat shunned by other wombats.)

They did square poos!
(Main wombat looking at other number of other wombat’s square poo.)

Every time Jannali poo-ed she was telling them she didn’t belong.
(Wombat doing round poos, looking stressed as other wombats leave.)

Sometimes Jannali would talk to Oscar, an owl.
Everything about owls was round. Even their sound, even how you said their name.
(Wombat on ground beneath dead tree. Owl wings spread to form round shape, beside round moon.)

Sometimes Oscar would take Jannali with him on adventures.  
(Owl flying, clutching wombat by its rear.)

“Look!” Oscar hooted. “Smoke Foxes!”
Smoke foxes? Jannali didn’t believe in magic.
“That’s okay,” Oscar hooted. “They probably don’t believe in science.”
(Owl and wombat in air, beneath them, stalking, are three ghost-like wombats.)

The foxes slid through the night, made of nothing but smoke and sand…
(curling around and through trees, hunting.)

Looking to haunt.
(More hunting, two of them mouths open, about to eat 1. Baby mice. 2. A bilby. The third has feathers beneath it.)  
Looking for pain.

“Stop them!” the ringtail possum cried. But how do you stop smoke and sand?
(Ghost fox passing through main wombat standing to it, then through fleeing owl, while chasing a bat.)

The other wombats couldn’t. Nor could the protectors of the bush. The Elders.
(Foxes passing through/around Aboriginal man with white beard, and biting dingos, continuing on, chasing a scared koala, and Oscar.)
Or even the dingos.

Magic might stop magic, Jannali thought. So she searched for a bunyip.
(Wombat running through night.)

(Wombat, by billabong, standing in front of Australian bush’s most mythical creature, a bunyip. 6ft tall composite of all native animals.)

The bunyip talked a lot, telling tales of the Dreamtime, mostly.
(Wombat running back to where it came, bunyip hunched on wombat’s small back, talking. Dreamtime legends filling the stars.)

The bunyip was taking its time.
(Bunyip talking about the Dreamtime to Elder, crocodile and kangaroo, while wombat rushes off.)

Jannali did what wombats do best (apart from sleep): She dug!
(Wombat digging, the dirt and dust is covering the foxes. One has possum backed to tree base, the other two are turning around.)

(Clouds of dust, foxes becoming claggy, looking stressed.)

Jannali caused so much dust and dirt to mix with the Smokey Foxes’ sand…
(Three foxes now dirt statues.)

The bunyip took care of the rest.
(Bunyip, three foxes held under its arms, is booting wombat up the bum. Wombat lifting off ground, a few small gears and cogs about rear end, that have square centres.)

And left Jannali with a parting gift!
(Wombat looking back at its own rear, surprised, as square poos come out, tear in it’s eye.)

After that, all was quiet in the bush…
(Wombat sitting in field, smiling, pile of square poo beside it. Other wombats eating all around it.)


The End.


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