October 20th, 2014


How Numbat Got Her Coat

   Hearing footsteps approaching, Numbat quickly grabbed her shirt and pulled it on over her pale pink skin. This shirt had a black and white checkered pattern on the soft hair of the outside surface. Thus presentable, she was back to making faces in the mirror when her friend Thylacine knocked on the edge of the log that was her home and then ducked in the entrance.

   "You know, if you keep making faces, one of these days the wind will change and your face will be stuck like that!" Thylacine said. Numbat just stuck her tongue out at her and went back to putting on her eyelashes. Thylacine, Thyla for short, had an elegant dog-like face and was wearing a fine brown outfit with black tiger stripes.
   "Have you met the new guy, Dingo?" asked Thyla, making a sour face.
   "No I've been in my log all day."
   "It's getting too crowded around here I don't like it. Maybe I should move to Tasmania"
   "Then we'd have to call you... the Tasmanian Tiger!" Numbat veritably squealed with the excitement of alliteration, and poking fun at Thyla's tiger stripes.
   "Hrmph, these stripes are quite dignified!" protested Thyla a bit sulkily.
   "Oh I'm sure I'm sure" said Numbat while brushing her bushy tail. "Hey have you seen Bunyip?" she asked, changing the subject.
   "No, I haven't seen him. He's probably avoiding dingo as well," mused Thyla. "We really ought to put up a fence."
   Numbat rolled her eyes at this proposition. "A dingo fence?? Anyway, I was just headed out to see if I could buy a top-hat from Ibis. Since last time you saw Ibis you tried to eat him, I think I better go alone."

   While Numbat was walking along the path, whistling and carrying a pink parasol through the sun dappled shade of the eucalyptus forest, suddenly she heard a voice calling to her.
   "Hey, hey Numbat!"
   She looked around saw little Platypus coming towards her from the direction of the billabong. Platypus had a small pink nose, big yellow eyes, and a curly tail.
   "Oh hi Platypus, how are you?"
   "Oh I'm good I'm good. Want to help me play a prank on Roo?"
   "Why would I want to do that?" asked Numbat, narrowing her eyes. Though she loved a good good-natured prank she was opposed to mean spirited ones and didn't quite trust Platypus's motives.
   "Well," said Platypus, and then whispered his plan into Numbat's long fuzzy ear.
   "That's an entirely hare-brained scheme!!" exclaimed Numbat. "So I'm to dress up like Thyla, and you're gonna dress up like Bunyip? ...how are you going to do that?"
   "Well, I think no one really knows what Bunyip looks like, so I'll come up with something" said Platypus with a wink.

   When Numbat got home to her log that evening she took off her black and white checkered shirt and put on a brown one with black tiger stripes, like Thyla's. But so as not to be recognized she got out her makeup and gave herself a big black bandit-mask band around her eyes. Then she tried to make fierce faces in the mirror for awhile.

   Numbat found Roo standing in a clearing reading a book. There were even some bushes nearby to sneak up on her through, this would be perfect. Numbat snuck up carefully through the bushes. Roo would be so shocked, but then would surely forgive Numbat once she realized how silly Numbat looked while dressed up like Thyla. And Numbat couldn't wait to see Platypus all dressed up like legendary swamp creature Bunyip. She started to snicker but then clamped a paw over her mouth.

   Numbat reached the edge of the bushes and got ready to burst out. She did her best to pull her face into a pointy expression and got ready to run out with her arms in the air yelling "aaaaaah!!" ...and then the wind changed.
   Somewhere aways off a human played a digeree-doo, a hollow log that made a queer buzzing sound, and it was the first time this had ever happened, and all across the land it caused the wind to shift and the animal's hair shirts stuck to them.

   Roo did shreak, and bound off, but then she came back and had a laugh with Numbat and then they had tea. Platypus never came through with Part 2 of the plan though. When Numbat finally found Platypus she found him down by the river looking very silly indeed. He had a duck bill on his face and some sort of flat paddle of a tail. Numbat had been feeling bad that she couldn't seem to get her makeup off or get out of the striped shirt, but upon seeing Platypus she couldn't help but laugh. She tried to stifle it to be polite but then kookaburra bird came and laughed and laughed until Platypus sulkily went and hid in the river and told Numbat to go away.

   And the numbat has looked like a striped bandit ever since, and the platypus looks like nothing else, and the kookaburra is still laughing, the dingo drove the thylacine to Tasmania (though unfortunately man has since extincted the Tasmanian Tiger), and still no one has seen the bunyip.


See Also: previous post about numbats

   Every comment to this entry gets a numbat picture! (well, one per person)

   If someone wants to draw (or edit an existing picture of a numbat) so she has black and white checkerboard I'd be highly amused and may include it in the entry!

   furzicle will be writing about Platypus's side of the adventures.