Old Joe gets a bit sharkey

Bright and early one morning Old Joe got up from his verandah chair and said to his dog Blue, "Well I can see the mullet jumping out there on the Bay. I'd better get down to where the action is."

He took his coffee cup into the kitchen, got his hat from the hook and went down to his back shed. There he got down his three fishing rods from the hooks on the wall, grabbed his fishing creel and some bait and plonked them all in the old pram he used to transport them to his favourite fishing spot - the old Hornibrook Highway bridge.

"Come on Blue," he said. But Blue just gave a little whine and settled down in the shade of the tank stand. "You getting a bit tired are you? Well you stay here. I'll bring you back a fish for your lunch."

Old Joe pushed the pram out his front gate, down the footpath to the waterfront and turned left along the seawall towards the new bridge. The path goes behind the Eventide Retirement Home, through the park, under the new concrete bridge and over to the start of the old wooden one.

As Old Joe walked out from under it a big white and black pelican waddled up from the water and croaked "Gaark. Gaaark." at him.

Old Joe said "Get out of it you silly old bird. I haven't even caught any fish yet." But the pelican just said "Gaaark. Gaaark." It spread its wings and flapped up over the old bridge and settled on the first of the long row of shiny street lights that lined the new one.

As he walked along the bridge Old Joe kept an eye out for any movement of fish in the waters of the Pine River on one side of the bridge or Moreton Bay on the other. "Strange," he said, "I've got the whole bridge to m'self. There's usually at least one or two other early birds out fishing."

"Gaaark. Gaaark," said the pelican as it landed on the next light pole along the bridge.

"Who asked you," said Old Joe and he picked up an old thong with a broken toe strap that someone had left lying on the bridge and threw it at the pelican.

"I think I'll walk over to the other side this morning. The tide should be just right over there."

NEXT PAGEquick flight to the next page please

© Daryll Bellingham
(Created in an oral improvisation session
with primary children
at Brighton State School 12/2/97)

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Storytelling in Australia

Daryll Bellingham, Storyteller
P.O. Box 5300, West End, Q4101, 
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Last update: 26th August, 2003.
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