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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.

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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

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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