The Fisherman who needed a Bath

Once upon a time, down on a jetty at Pelican Beach, Noosaville, an old fisherman sat holding his fishing rod and staring out across the river.

He had sat like that for years and years.

You could tell he had been there a long time because on his hat there was a large pile of pelican and seagull poop. Every day the pelicans and seagulls would come and sit on top of his hat. The man had been there so long that he would forget to shoo them away, and his hat became white and stained.

When people walked to the end of the jetty and stood next to the really old man, they would say, "Oooooh! Yuck! What's that smell?" They'd look at the really old man and say, "It's coming from him! Let's get out of here!" And they'd walk away.

One day, somebody new walked along the jetty - a woman called Jackie.She wore a dark hat and carried a bucket of water. She walked right up to the very old man, and what do you think she did?

She poured the bucket of water 'FWSSSSSSH' all over his head. The pelican poop washed down over his clothes onto the jetty, and dribbled down through the cracks into the river. All the little fish went nibble, nibble, nibble eating it up.

As the water ran down his shirt, the very old man woke up, and he said, "Help! Help! What's happening to me?"

Jackie said, "Oh, I thought you needed a bath. You smelled so bad that all the people were running away from you."

The old man stood up. His knees went 'EEAARRGGHH!' as he took his first steps for many years. As he turned around, he said. " Aaarrrghh! What's happened? What are all those buildings doing here?"

Jackie said:"Well, you have probably been asleep for 200 years! Everything's changed." "Oh, no!" said the old man. He looked down at his fishing line and said: "I haven't even caught any fish."

He reeled in his line and at the end of the line there was - guess what? - a brand new hat! He took it off the line and put it on his head and walked along the jetty with Jackie.

She took him home to her house and said "Come on old man. You can live here if you catch a fish every day and don't let the pelicans poop on your hat."

Well that's what he did. He went fishing every morning wearing his new hat. The only ones who were sad down at Pelican Beach were the pelicans, because they had to perch on the poles, piles and boats again.

All contents copyright (C) 1997, Daryll Bellingham. All rights reserved.
These stories are available for downloading for the purpose of reading and telling to friends and family. If you do so, please acknowledge the creators and this Web site. If you would like to publish them (ie make them available to the public in any form including electronic) or tell/read/perform them as a means of earning an income please seek my permission.

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(This story was created as part of a 1997 Children's Book Week session organised by Maureen O'Shea at Noosa Shire Library Wednesday, 20th August, 1997.)

(The drawings above - felt pen - were contributed by Chloe and Henry Baulch. Thank you very much to all the children who helped create the story and submitted other illustrations. )

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Storytelling in Australia

Daryll Bellingham, Storyteller
P.O. Box 5300, West End, Q4101, 
Brisbane, Australia
Tel. 61 (0)7 3846 3135
Mob. 0417 478408
All contents copyright (C) 2001, Daryll Bellingham. All rights reserved.
Last update: 26th August, 2003.
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