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Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears?

John was born and raised in Australia. Subsequently, he is interested in all things Australian: language, sport and culture.

why-mosquitoes-buzz-in-peoples-ears

Story Background

Another story dragged from my archives.

In 1992 I was studying a course called "Writing for Profit" through The Writing School and this is a story I wrote for one of the assignments.

The assignment was as follows:

"Write a story of about 1000 words for one of the following age groups: under-5s; 6 to 10s; towards the teens, indicating which age group you have in mind. Before you start, if you are not familiar with children's literature today, read a few books and see if you gauge the tone and style of the authors."

I chose the early readers group 6 to 10 years and stated that it would be essential that the text be accompanied by illustrations to help keep the children's attention. "Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz in Children's Ears?" is a version of the popular West African folk tale and children's book by Verna Aardema that I adapted to incorporate Australian native fauna.

At the end of the story I will relate the feedback this story received from my tutor and welcome feedback and suggestions by my readers here at Hub pages.

why-mosquitoes-buzz-in-peoples-ears

Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears?

by John Hansen © 2015


One fine morning a mosquito met a goanna drinking at a water hole. The mosquito said excitedly, "Goanna, guess what I saw yesterday?"

"I've no idea," replied the goanna who was too busy drinking to be interested in anything a mosquito might have to say.

"You'll never believe it," the mosquito persisted.

A goanna

A goanna

Yams and reeds were found in marshes during spring. Women would pick or dig the vegetables using sticks, bags and bark dishes.

Yams and reeds were found in marshes during spring. Women would pick or dig the vegetables using sticks, bags and bark dishes.

"For God's sake, tell me!" yelled the goanna, anxious to be rid of the annoying mosquito.

"I saw some women digging yams that were almost as big as I am," she replied proudly.

"A mosquito is nothing compared to a yam," snapped the goanna grumpily. "I would rather be deaf than listen to such nonsense!" With that he stuck two pebbles in his ears and trudged off through the reeds.

This drawing by J. H. Wedge (1835) shows women digging roots of the Yam Daisy.

This drawing by J. H. Wedge (1835) shows women digging roots of the Yam Daisy.

Python sunning itself

Python sunning itself

the-diary-of-a-cackleberry-farmer

The goanna was still grumbling to himself as he swaggered past a python sunning itself on a rock. The large snake raised its head and offered a greeting, "Good morning Goanna.How are you on this fine day?"

The goanna did not answer but lumbered on, bobbing his head as he went.

"Not very talkative today, are we?" said the python sarcastically. "I must have done something to upset him," he added quietly to himself, "I bet he's plotting some revenge against me."

The python began looking for somewhere to hide. The first suitable place he found was a bandicoot hole, and in he slithered.

The endangered Golden Bandicoot

The endangered Golden Bandicoot

why-mosquitoes-buzz-in-peoples-ears
Brushtale possum

Brushtale possum

When the bandicoot saw the big snake entering her hole, she was terrified. he scurried out through another exit and raced across the clearing.

A crow saw the bandicoot running for her life. He flew into the bush crying, "Kaa, kaa, kaa!" It was his duty to spread the alarm if danger was threatening.

A possum heard the crow's cries. Sure that some dangerous creature was close by he began scurrying and leaping through the trees to help warn the other animals. While jumping from tree to tree, he happened to land on a dead, rotting branch. It snapped suddenly, and he quickly jumped onto another limb and into the next tree.

Father Kookaburra baby sitting

Father Kookaburra baby sitting

Father Kookaburra had been guarding the nest while his mate was out hunting for food to satisfy their two hungry babies. He had seen a possum leap into the tree and was about to shout a warning, when the branch broke and came crashing down onto the hole in the tree which served as the kookaburras' nest.

When Mother Kookaburra returned, she was heartbroken. One of her chicks had been killed by the twig which had pierced the nest. Her mate told her that the possum had caused the death, and all day long, and all night long, they sat in the tree, so sad, so very sad.

Now, it was the kookaburras' job to wake the sun each morning with hearty laughter, so that the dawn could come. But this time when they should have laughed for the sun, they did not do it. They did not feel like laughing at all. The night grew longer and longer. The animals in the bush knew the darkness was lasting much too long. They feared the sun would never return.

why-mosquitoes-buzz-in-peoples-ears
Koala

Koala

At last, King Kangaroo called a meeting of all the animals. They came and gathered around a council fire. The kookaburras failed to arrive, so a koala was sent to fetch them.

When they finally showed up, King Kangaroo asked, "Kookaburras, why haven't you called the sun? The night has lasted much too long, and everyone is worried."

Father Kookaburra spoke up, "Possum killed one of our chicks. We are too upset to laugh for the sun."

The King faced the large gathering. "Possum," he called, "come forward!" The possum came before him, glancing nervously from side to side at the crowd. "Why did you kill the kookaburras' chick?" King Kangaroo asked sternly.

"Please King," pleaded the possum, "It was the crow's fault. he was calling to warn us of danger and I went leaping through the trees to help. Suddenly, a branch broke under me, and it fell down onto the kookaburras' nest.

The King turned to the council: "So it was the crow who alarmed the possum, who killed the kookaburra chick. Now the kookaburras won't wake the sun so that the day may come."

King Kangaroo

King Kangaroo

Next, the King summoned the crow. The black bird flew down from a nearby tree. "King Kangaroo," he pleaded, "it was the bandicoot's fault! I saw her running in the daytime when she usually sleeps. To me, that signalled danger, and I had to spread the alarm."

The King nodded thoughtfully, and said: "So, it was the bandicoot who startled the crow, who alarmed the possum, who killed the kookaburra chick. Now the kookaburras won't wake the sun so that the day can come."

Then, King Kangaroo called the bandicoot. The shy little creature cowered before him, trembling. "Bandicoot," scolded the King, "why did you break a law of nature and go running in the daytime?'

"Oh, King," said the bandicoot nervousy, "it was the python's fault. I was in my house sleeping when that huge snake came in and tried to eat me. I ran for my life."

Once again the King addressed the council: "So, it was the python who scared the bandicoot, who startled the crow, who alarmed the possum, who killed the kookaburra chick. Now the kookaburras won't wake the sun so that the day may come."

The python was called, and came slithering through between the other animals. The King said impatiently, "Python, why did you try to eat the bandicoot in her own home?"

"But King," he cried, "I wasn't trying to eat her. It was the goanna's fault! He wouldn't speak to me, and I thought he was plotting against me. I only crawled into the bandicoot's hole looking for somewhere to hide."

King said to the gathering: "So, it was the goanna who frightened the python, who scared the bandicoot, who startled the crow, who alarmed the possum, who killed the kookaburra chick. Now the kookaburras won't wake the sun so that the day can come."

why-mosquitoes-buzz-in-peoples-ears

Of course the goanna was not at the meeting, because he had not heard the King's summons. This time an emu was sent to fetch him. The animals all began laughing when the goanna arrived, and they noticed the pebbles in his ears. All, that is, except for the kookaburras who were still grieving the death of their chick.

King Kangaroo pulled out the stones, pop! pop! Then he asked, "Goanna, what evil have you been plotting against the python?"

"I haven't been plotting, I swear!" pleaded the goanna, "Python is my friend."

"Then why wouldn't you say good morning to me?" demanded the snake.

"I didn't hear you," replied the goanna. "Mosquito told me such a big lie, that I put pebbles in my ears so I didn't have to listen."

This time King Kangaroo said to the animals: "so, it was the mosquito who annoyed the goanna, who frightened the python, who scared the bandicoot, who startled the crow, who alarmed the possum, who killed the kookaburra chick. Now the kookaburras won't wake the sun so the day can come."

"Punish the mosquito! Punish the mosquito!" cried all the animals in unison.

When the kookaburras heard this they were satisfied. Though still sad, they turned their heads to the east and laughed, "Haahaahaahaahoohoohoo!"

And the sun came up.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Peeps At Many Lands: Australia, by Frank Fox This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Peeps At Many Lands: Australia, by Frank Fox This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.

why-mosquitoes-buzz-in-peoples-ears
why-mosquitoes-buzz-in-peoples-ears

The King called the mosquito but she could not be found. She had listened to it all from a nearby bush. When the animals said that she should be punished, the mosquito had crawled under a curly leaf and hidden. She was never brought before the council.

Because of this the mosquito has always had a guilty conscience. To this day she flies around whining in people's ears, "Zeee, zeee, zeee! is everyone still angry at me?" When she does that, she usually gets an honest answer - Kapow!

Final Points and My Tutor's Synopsis

Although I aimed this at the 6 to 10 year olds, I realise that most children in this group would have trouble reading this story themselves. I do think that at this age most kids are still read bedtime stories by their parents and that I what I was aiming for with this story. Although it was recommended to keep the story at around 1000 words, I had trouble with that.and ended up with around 1300. I have included my tutor's synopsis below as his advice may be helpful to anyone else who is considering writing for children.

Tutor's synopsis: "This is a good story for young people, John. I would estimate the audience as being the 6 to 8 age group. The story is pitched at the right level of interest and in a style that suits. the level of language is most appropriate for the topic and the age group.This is a very lucrative age group to write for and there are a lot of excellent Australian writers around. If you are interested in pursuing this genre you should read as much as you can from established authors.

It is always a good bet to write like this about Australian bushlife if you want to appeal to kids. The personification of the animals is a good tactic and most Aussie kids these days are attuned to it. Perhaps at times the level is just a little difficult, but the subject matter is just right. It is too long for these kids though. They need it to be shorter, but this would not be hard to change as it is a fairly episodic sort of tory. I like the ending which is funny and packs a punch that kids would appreciate." Michael

Seeking Your Help

As you see in the comment above, my tale (even though it is an adaption of an existing story) is a little too long for the age group I aimed at. If anyone has any advice in regard to shortening this I would be pleased to get your suggestions. For instance, do you think the King's addresses to the council are too repetitive? Could the dialogue be reduced? Also in regard to simplifying the language or anywhere else you feel it needs improvement.

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on November 09, 2016:

Thank you fo reading this, Alun. I appreciate your comment and advice in regard to the story. Glad it gave you a smile. Have a great day.

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on November 09, 2016:

Charming story Jodah. I can't say myself whether the writing would appeal to 6-10 year olds (not being one, and not having one!) but I'm sure the theme would appeal, and it certainly brought a smile to my face. The escalating nature of the repetitive 'blame', is reminescent of the old 'There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly' song.

You ask for criticism John and I'm loathe to do that. Certainly I don't think the bulk of the narrative can easily be shortened. In fact I'd feel if anything that some of the sentences may be a little abrupt and lacking description - but to expand them would only make the story longer. There are seven stages in the sequence - maybe the only way one could shorten the story without ruining it, is to slightly alter the story so as to remove one stage in that sequence?

Not much help I'm afraid, but I don't think you need much help :)

P.S: I love the African proverb in the picture!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on July 08, 2015:

Thanks Kathleen, yes it is a timeless story that all kids seem to love.

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on July 08, 2015:

I love this story. So did my children, and now, so do my grandchildren. There are lessons to be learned throughout the book. Great subject for a hub!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 20, 2015:

Thanks for your comment and advice Deb. I agree it's a fine story for a parent to read their child at night. If they go to sleep continue it the next night.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on June 20, 2015:

I think if you pull out one character, that will suffice. It is a great story, and would be good for a parent to read to a child on a nightly basis in parts.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 08, 2015:

Thanks for reading another of my kid's stories Dana. I hope your young nephew enjoys this one too.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on June 08, 2015:

I really enjoyed this story. You know how much I love your children stories they are always so imaginative and creative.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 13, 2015:

Thanks for your kind comment Essie. I'm glad you found this just right. I'll take the majority of the advice and leave it a it is, Thanks for the vote up too.

Essie from Southern California on May 13, 2015:

Ah, this was a delight!! I liked it just the way it was. I would not take out any characters...they are all there for a purpose...I also don't think it is too long. I believe that at the age of 6 and up, I would have enjoyed this! Also, my daughters when they were young 'uns. Voted funny, interesting, and up. Essie.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 27, 2015:

Hi Lee, thanks for leaving such a great and encouraging comment. Glad you enjoyed this tale and I appreciate the vote up.

Lee Cloak on April 27, 2015:

You cant beat a tale with talking animals, great dialogue, i would say anybody with an interest in reading of any age would find this really engaging, engaging to read or equally engaging to read to someone else,fantastic hub, voted up, Lee

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 27, 2015:

Thank you Cam. Hope you get a chance.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on April 27, 2015:

John. I wish I had read this on the weekend and looked more closely at it. I love the story. I'll check it out more later today.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 26, 2015:

Thanks Nell, glad it gave you a smile. Yes you read it to them and see what happens :)

Nell Rose from England on April 26, 2015:

Hiya Jodah, no I can't see any problem with it, I loved it, and it made me smile. And yes now I know why Mosquitoes buzz in our ears I am going to read this to them so they can well do one so to speak! LOL!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 25, 2015:

Hi Melissae, Yes the original West African story from Verna Aardema is very popular and has great illustrations. A picture book for older reader is a good suggestion too. Thanks for reading and your comment.

Melissa Reese Etheridge from Tennessee, United States on April 25, 2015:

I used to read that story to my students. I have a Scholastic version with fantastic illustrations. Perhaps you could market it as a picture book for older readers.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 25, 2015:

Hi Mike, it's funny how so many different countries have similar folk tales. I agree the story would need good illustrations to be successful as a children's book..especially for the younger kids. Thanks for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 25, 2015:

Thank you Lawrence. Glad you enjoyed this story and don't think it needs changing.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on April 24, 2015:

This reminded me of the story of the nail in the horseshoe is lost, thus losing the horse etc.... until the battle is lost. Funny how these tales are taken up and adapted. I do not think 1300 words is too long of a story for a 8 - 10 year old. Not sure how a 6-7 year old would fare. Illustrations usually carry a children's book. Overall this is an entertaining story that I can see delighting children.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on April 24, 2015:

Great story. Personally I wouldn't change a thing. Maybe a reread to see if some dialogue can be shortened but anything else would ruin the story!

Loved it

Lawrence

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 23, 2015:

I guess I could....and maybe I will....thanks

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on April 23, 2015:

I guess you could always make your own story in the folkloric style with a motto at the end......

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 23, 2015:

Hey Suzanne. Glad you enjoyed this story. I think from most of the comments I'm happy to leave it the length it is. I'd love to make it into a children's book but this is just really my "Aussie"adaption of a West African story that's already out there "Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears"..and I think there would be copyright issues. The story is almost the same, just different animals involved. Thanks for the encouragement and vote up though.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 23, 2015:

Thank you Frank, I like old King Kangaroo too...very laid back.

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on April 23, 2015:

Hi Jodah, I really enjoyed this, even though you felt it was too long for the intended audience. I like your poetry, but this story was like an Aboriginal folk tale or Dreamtime tale. I guess the best way to shorten it is to make the events even shorter and maybe have less of them (ie four events only?) Do you plan to make a children's book with these, could be a really sweet one with a great illustrator? Voted awesome and up!

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on April 23, 2015:

Jodah a very interesting story you psted.. and I love the photos esp. the kangaroo..voted awesome

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 23, 2015:

Hi Thelma, thanks for reading and confirming that it is fine as is and doesn't need shortening. Glad you enjoyed the story.

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on April 23, 2015:

I would not shorten this lovely story. It is very fascinating how a small insect can cause trouble to the whole animal kingdom. I loved reading this. Thanks for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 22, 2015:

Indy Mel, thanks for your support and interesting comment. I didn't want to reduce this anymore and make it flash fiction.mi just couldn't do it. That was one of a few things my tutor and I disagreed on. Yes Kookaburras are the largest speed of Kingfisher, though I think they are the only ones that laugh. Somewhere I read that owls "hooting" also makes the sun come up..so maybe in your part of the world that's what happens :)

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 22, 2015:

Wow Genna, thanks for the comparrison to Charlette's Web, that's a big compliment as it's a classic. So glad you enjoyed this and I appreciate the great comment.

Mel Carriere from San Diego California on April 22, 2015:

I don't know what sort of ADHD kids your teacher is talking about, but as a child of that age I would have been captivated by this tale. I thought it was wonderful. I can reel off 1300 words between sunrise and breakfast. That's nothing. I don't know why we have so much sunshine in California if we have no Kookaburas. We do have Kingfishers which I think are related. Maybe they laugh it in. Great hub!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on April 22, 2015:

I just love this title, and the playful but informative domino-effect and interactions between these character-creatures of the Australian bush life. This reminds me a little of Charlotte’s Web – in quality, creativity and depth. And the ending was adorable…just “write” for kids of this age.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 22, 2015:

Thank you for such a kind and encouraging comment Chitrangada. Glad you liked the story, characters, pictures and presentation. What more could I ask for. Oh and thanks for the share and vote up.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 22, 2015:

This is an interesting story and I enjoyed going through.

I believe it is so enjoyable that it should not be changed a bit. Interesting characters, interesting pictures and wonderful presentation of the hub. Your title created all the curiosity.

Thanks for sharing and voted up!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 21, 2015:

Hi Flourish. Thanks for the feadback. Yes if I was to cut any creatures, the crow would be the best choice as they can be found everywhere not exclusively in Australia like the rest (apart from the python).

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 21, 2015:

Thank you Michael, yes that is a question we have all asked ourselves I am sure. I am gad you think this is appealing to all ages. Thanks for the vote.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 21, 2015:

This is a wonderful story, John. I think you could retain the integrity of the story with keeping to five animals total, although I am unsure which ones I would cut. The crow would be easy to cut, I think.

Michael-Milec on April 21, 2015:

Very interesting story Jodah. Hi. Happen to be for kids of all ages as comments suggests. Frankly, even if a little longer would be maintaining readers attention. As kids we talked over why mosquitoes buzz in our ears ?! That time I thought she is checking our alertness then to picked a best spot on the body for her feasting...

Voted interesting.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 21, 2015:

Thank you for reading drbj. Yes, now you know. :) That's a good suggestion of yours and endorsed by Phyllis, or vise versa. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 21, 2015:

Hello Phyllis, thanks for your encouragement and suggestions. Yes, it would be great to have the kids repeat King Kangaroo's address each time. Good idea. Glad you enjoyed this yourself. Thanks for the vote up too.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 21, 2015:

Thanks MsDora, glad you liked the story. I considered reducing the number of animal characters but think it would detract from the story slightly. I do appreciate your suggestion though.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on April 21, 2015:

Thank you, Jodah, for this edifying explanation of why mosquitoes buzz. Who knew?

I would not shorten your fascinating tale but ask my young audience to repeat with me the recitation each time of the characters involved.

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on April 21, 2015:

Awesome and delightful story, Jodah. I would not shorten it. It really does build up the anticipation of a "kapow"! ending. Kids love that kind of stuff. If in a group reading, like a class, the kids might even like to speak for King Kangaroo every time he repeats the scenario and adds a new character to the cause. I would not change the story one iota.

Well done - you are a great children's story author. I really enjoyed reading the story and felt my own anticipation building up.

Up ++++

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 21, 2015:

Jodah, a great story! I think that you can still keep the lesson by decreasing the number of animal characters (hard to sat which) --just so long as you explain why mosquitoes buzz. Good job as always!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 21, 2015:

Thank you Larry, much appreciated.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on April 21, 2015:

I like this story.

Kamalesh Chakraverty from Sahaganj, Dist. Hooghly, West Bengal, India on April 21, 2015:

You are welcome.

I had thought that I would write something but forgot. Well it's about a poem that I wrote about a mosquito! Title of the poem " The tiny devil that spoilt my day! ". When you find some time do please read that - May be you will like!

Best Wishes, Kamalesh

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 21, 2015:

Thanks for the comment word55. Yes those mosquitoes are definitely pesky. I understand your dislike for them after your childhood experience. Take care.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on April 21, 2015:

Interesting story Jodah. It is a bit long however, it seems a mosquito buzzes in my ear to let me know that it is there and ready to fight. Well, it is ready to die as well because I am going to smack/clap it to death with my hands. Once upon a visit in the southern part of the U.S. I was bitten on my ear by one (mosquito) and my ear had swollen up quite huge. I was about 10 years old but ever since then I was determined to keep wax out of and keep my ears clean. Thanks for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 21, 2015:

Thank you for the kind words Kamalesh. Gad you think children will enjoy thiss story and you don't think it needs changing. Thanks for the vote up too.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 21, 2015:

Thanks for the great comment Faith. Glad you enjoyed this and learnt about some new Australian animals. I questioned whether I should change that sentence too. Maybe I will...we'll see. Thanks foir the vote up.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 21, 2015:

Thanks Eric, I agree that kids need to be challenged in order to grow. I appreciate the support.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 21, 2015:

You must have good blood Jackie :) Thanks for reading and glad you think it's fine as is.

Kamalesh Chakraverty from Sahaganj, Dist. Hooghly, West Bengal, India on April 20, 2015:

Excellent. I feel that there is no need to make any change whatsoever.

Children who want to read or hear stories would enjoy any long story as long as it is interesting and with the fun elements and suspense present they will enjoy the story even more.

Voted Up/Awesome/Beautiful/Interesting/Funny.

Best Wishes, Kamalesh

Faith Reaper from southern USA on April 20, 2015:

What a wonderfully creative story, John! I loved it and I just know children there in Australia and around the world would love it too, especially in learning of the unique animals to Australia. I never knew of a goanna. I am always fascinated at all of the animals there in Australia and I believe some of the most deadliest too!

My favorite part is the part when their baby was lost, although so sad, it gave the story a lot of heart, and then the ending is so funny and perfect to bring the laughs. So, there is a wide range of emotion here in your wonderful story. Your images are great too. The only sentence I might think about changing would be where you state, "For God's sakes!" but you know me : ) ...

Voted up and all the way across

God bless

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 20, 2015:

I fully enjoyed the story and would not change it a bit. Pushing the edges for children's groups is a good thing as they need it to grow.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on April 20, 2015:

Great story children would surely love and the more you pull it out with more animals the more excited they get so no; don't shorten it.

I am dreading mosquitoes already! They love me more than anyone!

^+

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 20, 2015:

Hi Mary, thanks for that great comment. Glad you didn't think it too long either...shows what my tutor knew doesn't it? Now you know what a goanna is. Thanks for the vote up.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 20, 2015:

Thanks Mary, glad you enjoyed the story and that I introduced you to goannas. Also happy I could give you a more appealing hub after my last one :) thanks for the encouraging comment, vote up and share.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 20, 2015:

Thanks Ruby, so glad you enjoyed. I'm still a kid at heart too.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 20, 2015:

Thanks Bill, if you don't see any way of shortening it other than that I am happy with it.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 20, 2015:

That's what I thought Shauna, but I didn't want to ditch any characters.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 20, 2015:

Yes they are ps, I couldn't help but write an Aussie adaption.

Mary Craig from New York on April 20, 2015:

If this is read as a bedtime story it certainly isn't too long. The momentum builds with each character, cutting anything out would be a shame.

I too had never heard if the goanna. Thanks for this delightful story, it was fun to read on a rainy afternoon.

Voted up, awesome, beautiful, and interesting.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on April 20, 2015:

I would not change a word in this story for children! I think they would be spellbound just waiting for the ending. I just learned about "goannas", and I love that photo of the King Kangaroo!

The mosquito is one of my least favorite insects the Lord made. They swarm here in Florida all Summer long, and it just one of them gets into your bedroom, you will not be able to sleep. They really do buzz in your ears, and crazy you bomkers.

Voted this UP, and shared.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 20, 2015:

I guess I'm still a kid because I enjoyed the story from start to finish. I liked all the characters. Voted up and shared..

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 20, 2015:

Loved the story but see no way to shorten it other than, like Sha said, to eliminate some of the characters.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 20, 2015:

I love this story John. About the only way I can see to shorten it is to eliminate a couple of the characters.

At least now I know why mosquitoes buzz in our ears! Pesky little buggers...

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 20, 2015:

The books by this author are awesome...kids of all ages are enthralled...I read them many times when I was a classroom teacher.

whonunuwho from United States on April 20, 2015:

Nice story my friend. whonu