The Runaway Tomatoes
Once there lived a helpful young thylacine and his wrinkly old adoptive dad who was a tassie devil. The thylacine’s name was Jo-Jo and the dad’s name was Rye. The only thing that they lacked in their rotting cottage with floorboards sticking out was tomatoes.
One day Rye said he wasn’t feeling well. Jo-Jo lifted Rye onto his rough bed. Suddenly, a few large tomatoes popped out of his stomach! “I feel a lot better now” said Rye. They turned around and saw the tomatoes winding their way through the maze that Jo-Jo had made for Rye. The tomatoes disappeared through the gate.
“Oh no” groaned Rye, with his paw on his forehead. “We’ll chase them tomorrow” said Jo-Jo. The next morning, Jo-Jo and Rye got out of bed early to chase the tomatoes, but the tomatoes were out of sight. Suddenly a magical map spread out before their eyes. There were some tiny words in the middle of the map, so small that they had to squint to read them. The words said “Magic Tomato Land.” “OK now we know where they are,” said Jo-Jo. “But the hardest task is finding Tomato Land,” said Rye.
They searched the house for clues but they did not find anything interesting except an old furry lollipop and a long forgotten chewy bone. But as they went outside, they noticed something they hadn’t noticed before. Wedged in between the sticking out floorboards was a trap door! “Come on, this could lead to Tomato Land” smiled Jo-Jo. They pushed through the trap door, into Tomato Land. There, they saw tomatoes, hundreds and thousands of them!
Leaning against a tall tree was an elegant old tassie devil. “Oh Rye” she said. “Its you, Matilda!” said Rye. It was his wife, who had been missing for ages, ever since she had chased another load of runaway tomatoes into Tomato Land. “Ma!” shouted Jo-Jo. “Its great to see you again!” Then he ran up to Matilda and bombarded her with questions, like “How did you find the trap door?” and “Have the tomatoes been nice to you?”
Just then, there was a loud whooshing and a flying cloud plopped down with a resounding thump. All the tomatoes leaped onto the cloud. “I guess this is the only way home,” said Rye, “since the trap door has disappeared.”
On the way back, the large tomatoes burst into small ones and the small tomatoes burst into even smaller ones! The tomatoes floated out over the earth. When Rye, Jo-Jo and Matilda got home they found that the world was never short of tomatoes again. The three of them ate so many tomatoes that they grew a bit fatter every day.
Shadows under the moonlight
The story starts deep in the Tasmanian bush, where the three animals in this story live. Lylac the quoll, Ryder the Tassie devil, and Violet the thylacine. Lylac’s den was warm and cosy, made out of leaves, sticks, and grass. Ryder’s den was in a snug cave. Out of all six imps, he was the smallest. Violet’s den was in a hollow log. Her two brothers always pushed her out of the way when she tried to drink milk, but luckily her mum gave her the most healthy food and the warmest bed so that she could stay alive. Lylac’s favourite colour was blue, because her mum liked to call her ‘Little stream’. Ryder’s favourite colour was green, because he thought it was a colour of the bush. Violet’s favourite colour was purple, because it was the colour of her favourite flower.
“Wakey wakey!”Lylac’s mum shouted. Lylac yawned and scrached the fleas out of her fur. “But Mum,” Lylac shouted, “It’s two in the morning!” “Come on, Mary’s waiting.” “What for?”
Lylac asked. “The hide and seek event.” said Mum.
When they got there, it was about to start.“Quick,” said Mum, “get in your place!” While her sister got in place, Lylac wandered around, looking for her friends. A few minutes later, the crowd and the performers were overcome with panic, for they could see smoke over the horizon! They were even more overcome when a young bandicoot announced that he could see fire as well!
An hour later the animals had recovered from the shock ’cause they had all gone to the Cave of Memories. All of them had gone except for three…
And those three were none but Lylac, Ryder and Violet, for Lylac’s mother in her desperation to get to the cave had not noticed that Lylac had stayed behind with her two friends. The next things that happens in this story is very exciting, and here it is:
While Lylac, Ryder and Violet were trying to find their way home, they found a scroll of paper under the tree. They opened it, and were very surprised and very worried to see the writing inside it. The writing said, “Poachers out. Poachers allowed. Get the fluffballs. Kill them! Drannon, Head Policeman.”
“Oh dear,”said Ryder, “we’ve got to do something about this. We’ve got to make a place where no poachers are allowed, even if they are allowed in the bush, for rare animals like us.” “Great idea!” said Lylac. “That’s better than any plan I could think of,” said Violet, “and anyway, even if we make a park, we need to make a stop to all poaching for other animals that aren’t taken into the park.” “That means we need the help of a human. A human child is more trusting than an adult. Let’s use one of them,” said Ryder – he’s the cleverest.
“How will we get human help?” asked Lylac.
“I know” said Ryder, “we’ll go into the city and find a nice human child.”
“But how will we talk to her?” interrupted Lylac.
“We don’t have to talk to her,” answered Ryder, “we can write! We are very clever animals. We can just write a note to her saying ‘please make a park to make all animals safe from poaching’.”“But what if she can’t read?,” asked Lylac, who worries a lot. “Easy!” said Ryder, “Then we can just find another child.” “I’m getting bored,” moaned Violet, “and why do we keep on saying she, not he?”
Well, Violet answered her own question. “Well I think boys are sometimes a bit less mature than girls and I should think they wouldn’t believe us as much as girls would. Anyway, let’s get started now.”
“OK, out into the city time!” said Ryder, “but who knows the way there.” “Oh, I do,” said Violet “let’s get there now.”
“Where shall we hide when we get there?” asked Lylac.
“I know, of course in the rubbish bins,” said Violet.
“Now let’s get moving away in the city.”
When they got into the city they were surprised to see all the people crowding around a big statue. “OK, but let’s get moving and looking for that girl,” said Ryder. They hid in the rubbish bins until dark and blocked their noses all evening.
When they peeped out the top of their rubbish bin, they could just make out the shadow of a small friendly looking girl walking past. “Hold on, that looks like the perfect girl we wanted to ask by note. I’ll follow her,” said Lylac. When she got back she said she knew where the girl lived. At number 363 Blueberry St. “Great, let’s go there in the morning and see what she’s doing.”
In the morning, they crawled to number 363 Blueberry St. “Come on, let’s see which bedroom is hers,” whispered Lylac. “No! We need to find a piece of paper and pencils first.” whispered Violet. “Okay. I’ve found a piece of paper. And look, here’s a pencil!” said Ryder. “Not too loud,” whispered Violet. “We don’t want to wake her parents.” “Okay, let’s start writing the note.” said Lylac. “What should it say?” said Ryder. “Let’s just start writing!” sighed Violet. “It should say ‘Please make a place where all animals are safe from poachers’.” When they had finished writing the note, they put it beside the girl’s bed. They had found her bedroom. When the girl woke up, she was surprised to see the note lying beside her bed, and three animals perched on her bedside table – a quoll, a Tassie devil, and a thylacine. They looked at her as if to say “Read the note! Read the note!” So she read it, it said “Please make a place where all animals are safe from poachers.”
We’ll need to persuade my parents for this,” she said. She was not sure the animals would understand her, but she hoped they would. The animals did understand, for they were Lylac, Violet and Ryder!
Next morning, Lylac, Violet and Ryder were having a discussion about how they would persuade the girl’s parents. “Lucky the girl can read,” giggled Violet. “Don’t tease me,” groaned Lylac. “I’m not” said Violet, “I’m just saying its lucky she can read.”
Later that day, Ryder wasn’t feeling too well. He said he felt hot and had a tummy ache. “Are you sure you didn’t eat a poisoned fruit when we were back in the bush?” asked a concerned Violet. “I’m sure I didn’t” groaned Ryder unhappily. “I guess we will have to ask the girl to help us again with a note” said Lylac. “I know what to write on it” said Violet: “Please help the Tassie devil on your bedside table get better. He is sick.”
The girl found the note. She wrote a note back to the animals that said: “Yes, I will. By the way, my name is Kara.” The animals found the note the next evening and with it they found a little tub of powder. With that was another note. It said “I think I know how you got sick, Tassie Devil. I think I threw a rotten apple into the bin and if you were hiding there you might have eaten it. Here is some powder. Sprinkle it on your nose each morning and you will get better in a few days”. Ryder followed the instructions. “I really do feel a lot better now” he said after three nights.
One week later, the friends were scurrying around, desperately looking for a place to hide, because it was bin night and they didn’t want to be tossed out with the rubbish. “Hold on! Shouldn’t we be going out the bush to find some animals to persuade the girl’s parents?” asked Lylac. “You’re right” said Ryder and Violet, “we should.” “Let’s get started. Off to the bush we go again!” said Lylac.
When the friends got to the bush they realised that the animals had gone off when the fire had started. Suddenly Ryder said “I think I know where- “gosh, you smell worse than the apple you ate” interrupted Violet.
“Let’s play I spy” grinned Ryder. “I spy something starting with ‘W’”.
“Oh, I know!” shouted Violet “Well”.
“How did you guess so quickly?” exclaimed Ryder.
“Oh, we were talking about washing, weren’t we?” answered Violet.
“We weren’t exactly talking about washing” said Ryder “Now, lets go swimming in that well.”
When they reached the well, Ryder said “I’ll go in first, then you two come” so he jumped in. When Ryder didn’t come up for air Violet and Lylac got worried and jumped in after him. Violet realised that it wasn’t water they were in, it was air – not just any air, poison air! Unfortunately, Lylac didn’t realise the air was poisoned and breathed in deeply. Ryder touched the bottom with a
bump and an “oof”.
“Are you OK up there?” he called to Violet.
“Yeah, I am fine” she said as she landed bump on her back, “except there is poison air up there. Did you notice?”
“Yes, I did. Otherwise I would have been dying.”
Then Violet stared at Ryder. “How did I forget?” she gasped, “Lylac is still up there, and I couldn’t warn her it was poison. Let’s just hope that she realised that.”
“I have a bad feeling she didn’t” said Ryder, glancing up to Lylac who was falling motionless to the ground.
“Oh no!” groaned Violet, “We will have to do the ‘revive’”.
“Seriously, Violet. I have never done that before” laughed Ryder.
“This is no time for laughing” said Violet. “This is serious, we’ve got to save our friend.”
“Now I see” said Ryder, “we will do the revive, but we have to get out of this stupid well thing first.”
“Problem solved!” smiled Violet. “Look at this ladder”.
“OK, but don’t forget Lylac” reminded Ryder.
“Yes, but you can carry her, since I found the ladder.” agreed Violet.
“Lean the ladder against the wall, climb up it, and then hold it for me since I am coming up with Lylac” instructed Ryder.
Lylac clambered up the wall and held the ladder for Ryder. When they got out they found a gum tree. Ryder picked the bark of it. Then they saw a guitar plant. The picked some of the leaves off it. This was the revive. They scrambled the ingredients together and sprinkled them over Lylac. She immediately opened her eyes and looked up.
“It worked!” Cheered Ryder.
“What worked?” asked Lylac.
“It doesn’t matter. We have to find the animals in the cave of memories.” said Violet.
They ran off to the cave of memories.
They ran off into the bush. “Ouch,” said Ryder as he bumped into a tree. “Watch where you’re going!” smiled Violet cheerfully. “Okay!” called back Ryder. Lylac said, “You two! You’re not paying any attention at all! I can see the cave of memories ahead. We’ve nearly passed it!” “Oops,” said Ryder, “Let’s go in.”
Inside the cave of memories, they saw the hundreds of animals that had gathered and been scared away by the fire. “There you are!” said Lylac’s mother as she flew out of the crowd into Lylac’s arms. “Okay, animals. We’re on a quest. We need you all to come to the human village,” smiled Violet. And she explained the story. That was enough to persuade the animals, so they came to human village with Ryder, Lylac, and Violet.
Outside the door of number 363 Blueberry St, they sat and discussed a plan. Finally, Lylac took a deep breath and knocked on the door. Immediately, the parents opened it. The animals started throwing notes at them. They looked down and saw that every single note said ‘Please make the first national park – a place where animals can stay safe from poaching.’ That persuaded the parents, so the first national park was made.
All the rare animals were taken out of the bush and into the national park. Lylac, Ryder, and Violet later worked out that ‘Drannon, Head Policeman’ was actually head poacher! They told the other police that, and Drannon was arrested, along with the rest of his gang.
The animals lived happily ever after. As for the poachers, they lived happily NEVER after!!
I hope you enjoyed my story!!!