The Platypus



The Platypus
As Re-Told by
Francis Firebrace

When Biame the Great Spirit god first made the earth he created three tribes.
First, animal tribes and the land dwellers, reptiles that crawled on their bellies, echidnas that buried themselves under the soil, koalas that lived in the trees, along with possums and tree kangaroos. Wombats that lived in holes under ground, marsupials and other creatures of many shapes and sizes.

Next, he created the bird tribes that flew high in the air above the land,
Birds that nested in trees and the mountains. Parrots with feathers that were all the colours of the rainbow, Emus that walked, birds that squawked, large & small birds, kookaburras that laughed at the light of day and night birds, like owls that swooped in the dark and hunted for their prey.
And last, created were the fish tribes to live in the winding rivers and billabong's.

Fish that leapt out of the water and others who remained deep in the waterholes. Fish of all shapes and sizes. Some with large mouths and fins like the codfish and yellow belly, perch and brim that lived in the rivers and lakes and Fish who could survive in the mud of dry riverbeds, along with the croaking frogs and insects, whose songs helped create the music of the waterways.



Now among these 3 tribes lived a strange creature who had fur like the animal tribes, but also laid eggs like the bird tribes and swam with the fish tribes. His name was Platypus and he made friends with the three tribes and they all liked and had great respect for this small, but wise little creature.

Sadly, the groups of creatures began to argue and bicker among themselves about who was the best tribe and fights broke out, until finally they separated and each held a meeting to decide who was really the better group.

The great kangaroo spoke to his mob saying, "The land dwellers are the best. See how strong and powerful I am. No one would dare to stand against me, for I am Bagaray the kangaroo."

The Animals cheered and all agreed and went to Platypus saying, " Brother you have fur like the animal tribe. Join us now, because we are the strongest and therefore the best."


The Platypus had quietly listened to what was said and spoke saying" I am honoured that you, my animal brothers and sisters have asked me to join your tribe and if you return in a short while I will give you my decision"

The bird tribe then held their meeting and Buntil the Great Eagle spoke saying" we the birds are far more powerful, and with our special gift of flight are surely then, the better tribe, and all the birds shouted agreement and went to platypus saying, "Brother as you lay eggs and eat worms just like us, then come join our mob for we are the best tribe."






Platypus again listened to what was said replying," I am honoured that you my bird brothers and sisters have asked me to join your tribe and if you return in a short while I will give you my decision"

Finally the fish tribe held their meeting and Goodoo the great Cod leapt out of the water, creating a big splash and spoke saying" we the fish tribe are the best as we can not only swim like them others but we can breathe under water they can't do that". All the water creatures voiced their support and called to the platypus saying" Join the fish tribe, Brother Platypus, as you swim with us everyday and you know we are the best tribe"

I am honoured that you my fish brothers and sisters have asked me to join your tribe and if you return in a short while I will give you my decision"

A short while went by, and the 3 tribes gathered around the hole in the river bank where Platypus lived and out came this wise little creature saying," Animals; I would like to join your tribe as I have fun just like you, and Birds I lay eggs and eat worms and would like to join your tribe, and fish; I swim with you on a daily basis and we have become close friends. What a difficult decision, but I have made one. I will not join any of you as a different or separate tribe, but have decided to join you all, as each of you are a part of me, as I am a part of you and besides, no group or tribe is better than another and just like myself" said the platypus, "each one of you are special and unique in your very own way."

Platypus MP3

Platypus & the Moon Artwork


Carmol Scammell

Carmol Scammell has been, among other things, an interior decorator, a designer and a poet. She lives on Tambourine Mountain in Queensland Australia, where she is currently designing sets for the new musical 'SCHEHEREZADE' and writing and illustrating her 'DHANA' series of children's books






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