Once upon a time, in the tallest eucalyptus tree in the forest, a very humble koala named Koby was dozing in the summer sun. The forest animals considered Koby to be the wisest of all the animals, because, no matter their problems, they could always approach Koby and he would take the time to listen and then give them the answer they were looking for.
One afternoon, Lorry the Rainbow Lorikeet was feeling particularly miserable, as the white cockatoos had spent the afternoon picking on him because of his rainbow colours. After gliding through the air for several minutes to clear his mind, Lorry came to rest on the branch opposite to where Koby had wedged himself to enjoy a peaceful nap. He made a small chirping sound in the hopes of waking up the wise koala. It worked, and Lorry waited patiently as Koby slowly opened his eyes, stretched his arms and legs and reached for a branch with very appetising eucalyptus leaves growing at the end of it. He took his time chewing on the leaves as Lorry the Lorikeet spoke.
“I don’t understand why they do it, as it makes me very upset,” Lorry commented, expecting that Koby would be so wise as to understand the context of the lorikeet’s problem without being told. “What do you think I should do, Koby?” The koala stared at Lorry and continued to chew on his leaves without saying a word. “You’re right, Koby. Maybe they do it because they’re jealous. But what does that mean?” Koby’s eyes stared deeply into Lorry’s. “Yes, O.K!” said Lorry excitedly. “Tomorrow, I will fly away as soon as those pesky cockatoos say anything and spend the evening with the birds who like me for who I am.” Lorry was convinced he saw Koby nod upon hearing this suggestion. “You are so wise, Koby. I feel so much better already.” And with that, Lorry the Rainbow Lorikeet flew off confidently towards the horizon.
The next day, Sally the Snake decided to pay Koby the Koala a visit, as he was tired of always having to slither everywhere he went and had become envious of all the forest animals with wings and legs. He begrudgingly slithered his way up the tree to seek advice about what he should do. Koby was again munching on some leaves as Sally the Snake started telling him her problems. “Why was I born as a snake and not as a crocodile, Koby?” Sally asked, again slightly out of context. It appeared that one of the problems with being considered wise was that you were expected to already understand the background to many of the animals’ problems. After several moments of silence, Sally excitedly said, “That’s so true!” There were a few more seconds of silence between the two of them before Sally concluded, “I guess no one really has a choice for how they were born and, you’re right, I SHOULD be grateful for the things that I CAN do rather than the things I CAN’T do.” Sally felt lucky to be able to call on someone like Koby when she needed help. I would have never thought that on my own, Sally thought as she enjoyed slithering down the tree trunk and on to the warm ground below.
Seasons came and went, and the animals continued to visit Koby for advice whenever they had a problem. Then, one day, a fire unexpectedly made its way through the forest and, once it had passed, Koby was nowhere to be seen. Since they could not ask him for help, it took many weeks before the animals got themselves organised to discuss how they might successfully rebuild their homes. “We can’t do it without him!” the echidnas yelled.
“We’ll never figure it out on our own!” cried the goannas while clinging to a burnt tree stump. It was Rowan the Kangaroo who came to the rescue with a more positive message.
“Koby once taught me that the key to happiness is the ability to put yourself in the place of another animal and see life through their eyes!” All of the animals were now eagerly watching Rowan. “If we just imagine what Koby might say, then we can figure it out for ourselves!” All the animals agreed and, for the next several weeks, they worked hard imagining what inspirational words and wise ideas Koby might have said to them as they rebuilt their homes from scratch.
By working together, they eventually finished and were able to stand back and admire the efforts of their hard work. As they did, a familiar and wise face crawled out of the depths of the forest and climbed up one of his favourite trees in search of delicious eucalyptus leaves. The animals stared in awe as they realised that Koby had deliberately taught them the most valuable lesson of them all.
“He is so wise,” said Lorry.
“Wiser than we will ever know,” replied Sally
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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