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The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo_Just So Stories for Little Children

 NOT always was the Kangaroo as now we do behold him, but a Different Animal with four short legs. He was grey and he was woolly, and his pride was inordinate: he danced on an outcrop in the middle of Australia, and he went to the Little God Nqa.

He went to Nqa at six before breakfast, saying, ‘Make me different from all other animals by five this afternoon.’

Up jumped Nqa from his seat on the sandflat and shouted, ‘Go away!’

He was grey and he was woolly, and his pride was inordinate: he danced on a rock-ledge in the middle of Australia, and he went to the Middle God Nquing.

He went to Nquing at eight after breakfast, saying, ‘Make me different from all other animals; make me, also, wonderfully popular by five this afternoon.’

Up jumped Nquing from his burrow in the spinifex and shouted, ‘Go away!’

He was grey and he was woolly, and his pride was inordinate: he danced on a sandbank in the middle of Australia, and he went to the Big God Nqong.

He went to Nqong at ten before dinner-time, saying, ‘Make me different from all other animals; make me popular and wonderfully run after by five this afternoon.’

Up jumped Nqong from his bath in the salt-pan and shouted, ‘Yes, I will!’

Nqong called Dingo — Yellow–Dog Dingo — always hungry, dusty in the sunshine, and showed him Kangaroo. Nqong said, ‘Dingo! Wake up, Dingo! Do you see that gentleman dancing on an ashpit? He wants to be popular and very truly run after. Dingo, make him SO!’

Up jumped Dingo — Yellow–Dog Dingo — and said, ‘What, that cat-rabbit?’

Off ran Dingo — Yellow–Dog Dingo — always hungry, grinning like a coal-scuttle,— ran after Kangaroo.

Off went the proud Kangaroo on his four little legs like a bunny.

This, O Beloved of mine, ends the first part of the tale!

He ran through the desert; he ran through the mountains; he ran through the salt-pans; he ran through the reed-beds; he ran through the blue gums; he ran through the spinifex; he ran till his front legs ached.

He had to!

Still ran Dingo — Yellow–Dog Dingo — always hungry, grinning like a rat-trap, never getting nearer, never getting farther,— ran after Kangaroo.

He had to!

Still ran Kangaroo — Old Man Kangaroo. He ran through the ti-trees; he ran through the mulga; he ran through the long grass; he ran through the short grass; he ran through the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer; he ran till his hind legs ached.

He had to!

Still ran Dingo — Yellow–Dog Dingo — hungrier and hungrier, grinning like a horse-collar, never getting nearer, never getting farther; and they came to the Wollgong River.

Now, there wasn’t any bridge, and there wasn’t any ferry-boat, and Kangaroo didn’t know how to get over; so he stood on his legs and hopped.

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