Kevin the Koala.

How the wildlife survived the fires.

Kevin the Koala.

There once was a Koala by the name of Kevin, he spent most of his days eating leaves and sitting in a tree. Kevin had a friend by the name of Samuel, the rock wallaby. In many ways, it was an unlikely friendship, it crossed the boundary of different species and yet they were firm friends. Samuel too liked spending his days, eating and eating and then doing some thinking and thinking.

One day, on Kangaroo Island, there was a wildfire, it grew and grew and became a firestorm ... taking down everything in it's path. The firestorm that had been unleashed was in reality, heading the way of both Kevin the Koala and Samuel the rock wallaby. What would they both do, how could they possibly survive the firestorm that was coming their way?

The firestorm approached from the eastern side of the Island, at first , Kevin and Samuel did not know what it was ? They both had never been through a firestorm in their own lifetimes, how did one even begin to handle such an event ? The fires licked at the very bottom of the very tree that Kevin the Koala was sheltering in. Samuel the rock wallaby was not too far away from this very tree where Kevin the Koala was. Samuel could smell the oncoming firestorm before he was affected by it. It had a strong smell to it, lots and lots of burning leaves and trees, it was a smell that Samuel did not really like or want to smell.

Samuel the rock wallaby was worried , very much about his only friend Kevin the Koala, he hoped and hoped , both of them would in some way and by some means survive the firestorm. Suddenly, Kevin the Koala , thought to himself, ' it time to move '. Kevin the Koala , started bounding down the tree, he was not too worried, or even too scared as to what would happen to himself as he came to the very bottom of the very large tree he had been in. The funny thing , is that, who should he bump into at the very bottom of the tree, his home away from home but Samuel the rock wallaby. The two great friends now had to find their way out of the approaching and threatening firestorm that was coming their way. The storm of the fire , the wildfire was getting hotter and hotter by the minute , the hour , the day or was it the night, the sun seemed to have it's own disappearing act ... the day had suddenly become like night - time. Kevin and Samuel could not see two yards in front of their very faces ... it was so dark, so dark ... it was almost menacing in it's darkness ... one could not see where one should go.

Suddenly, out of the very darkness that had engulfed the two wild animals, there was a shout and a man in a yellow jumpsuit was coming their very way. Who was he, they had not seen him before in their own wild environment, he was like no other animal they had ever seen. What was his intentions? Would he do them both some harm, could they both in fact trust the very real intentions of this man in the yellow jumpsuit?

The first thing the man in the yellow jumpsuit did was talk to them both in a very quiet voice, his tone was very soft and he went out of his way to speak and approach them both in a quiet manner. The man in the yellow jumpsuit, they named him ' George ', for want of a better name for him. They both sensed that ' George ' was the one who was going to save them both , from the fast approaching firestorm ... the flames and the embers of the main firestorm had become more and more closer and active in the very trees of their neighborhood .. The firestorm was obviously getting closer and closer in real time ... it was really a firestorm .. it was in fact creating it's own weather systems .. There was now rain falling, it was falling wet on their very faces but it also had ash with it's wetness , so it was not as refreshing as they expected raindrops to be.

'George ' gave both of them some water, precious water to drink, they were both very thirsty, they both had not had something to drink for quite a number of hours. Kevin the Koala really enjoyed the drink of refreshing water .. it went down his throat well ... he could not remember having ever enjoyed a drink of water .. just water so much in his whole lifetime. Samuel too enjoyed the drink of water supplied by ' George ' ... he also thought to himself,' the water had never ever tasted so good and as it did now'. Now that they had both been given some water, the next order of business was how does one get them both safely away from the menacing and fast approaching firestorm?

What Kevin the Koala and Samuel the rock wallaby had not counted on was that ' George ' was not alone , he had a truck full of others in yellow jumpsuits as well. As soon as was possible the red truck arrived and the two animals, Kevin the Koala and Samuel the rock wallaby were put in the very back of the red truck ... They both had never , ever been in such a vehicle before .. they hoped , it would take them both to safety , away from the very menacing and dark and vicious and threatening firestorm ...which just kept coming and coming ... taking everything in it's very path down. As an anticlimax , the red truck just drove away from the firestorm at very high speed ... they just seemed to the two animals, Kevin the Koala and Samuel the rock wallaby to be flying across the very earth , that made up their neighborhood ... They both wondered , whether or not they would ever be able to return to their old neighborhood? Would it return to normal, or what passed for normal in their own part of Kangaroo Island?

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John Burt
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