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Dot and the Kangaroo

by Ethel C. Pedley (1860 - 1898)

Australian writer

Dot and the Kangaroo is a much loved Australian children's book, yet appeals to the child in all of us. It's the story of Dot's adventures in the Australian bush as she tries to find her way home with the help of a kindly Kangaroo. Along the way the pair gets help from many bush creatures, each with its own distinctive personality. Some of the things you'll learn is why the kookaburra is always laughing and what makes the platypus so grumpy.

Besides being enjoyable, Dot and the Kangaroo is an important story because Pedley was one of the first Australian writers to make a case for conservation. She shows us, from the animal's point of view, how harmful humans can be and why it's wrong.

CHAPTER 1
Little Dot had lost her way in the bush. She knew it, and was very frightened. She was too frightened in fact to cry, but stood in the middle of a little dry, bare space, looking around her at the scraggy growths of prickly shrubs that had ...

CHAPTER 2
"That is a nice song of yours." said the Kangaroo, "and I like it very much, but please stop singing now, as we are getting near the waterhole, for it's not etiquette to make a noise near water at sundown." ...

CHAPTER 3
When Dot awoke, she did so with a start of fear. Something in her sleep had seemed to tell her that she was in danger. At a first glance she saw that the Kangaroo had left her, and coiled upon her body was a young black Snake. Before Dot could move, she heard a voice from a tree, outside the cave ...

CHAPTER 4
"Good-bye, Kookooburra!" cried Dot, as they left the cave; and the bird gave her a nod of the head, followed by a wink, which was supposed to mean hearty good-will at parting.  He would have spoken, only he had swallowed ...

CHAPTER 5
"Now we must find Willy Wagtail," said the Kangaroo.  "The chances are Click-i-ti-clack, his big cousin who lives in the bush, will be able to tell us where to find him; for he doesn't care for the bush, and lives almost entirely with ...

CHAPTER 6
It was terrible to Dot to see the Kangaroo hop off into the dark bush, and to find herself all alone; so she crawled out from under the ledge of rock into the moonlight, and sat on a stone where she could see the sky ...

CHAPTER 7
"I'm so glad you have come back!" she exclaimed. The Kangaroo was a little breathless and excited.  "We are not in danger at present," she said, "but one never knows when one will be, so we must move; and that will be more ...

CHAPTER 8
It was fortunate that the Kangaroo could not think of all that might befall them, or she never could have had courage for the wonderful feats of jumping she performed. Poor little Dot, whose busy brain pictured all kinds of terrible ...

CHAPTER 9
The Kangaroo, hopping very weakly, and little Dot trudging over the oozy ground, followed the Bittern's directions and found the cave, which proved a very snug retreat. Here they lay down together, full of happiness at their escape, and ...

CHAPTER 10
The fourth day of Dot's wanderings in the Bush dawned brightly.  The sun arose in a sky all gorgeous in gold and crimson, and flashed upon a world glittering with dewy freshness. Sweet odours from the aromatic bush filled the air ...

CHAPTER 11
The next day they travelled a long distance.  At about noon they came to a part of the country which the Kangaroo said she well knew.  "But we must be careful," she added, "as we are very near Humans in this part." ...

CHAPTER 12
Although the Kangaroo was longing to hear the reason why so many Bush creatures had collected round Dot whilst she was away, she was too anxious to carry her to Willy Wagtail before nightfall to wait and enquire what had ...

CHAPTER 13
Two men were walking near a cottage in the winter sun-light of the early morning.  There came to the door a young woman, who looked pale and tired. She carried a bowl of milk to a little calf, and on her way back to the cottage ...

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