Timothy in Bushland is based on a serial that Mary Grant Bruce wrote for ‘The Children’s Page’ in The Leader newspaper.
Timothy’s father is poor, and must sell the family farm. Timothy walks through the bush one night and finds that the animals there are able to talk. There’s a Bunyip as well as the many real Australian animals. He’s the King of Bushland and, at the end, he royally provides the gold that saves the family’s financial problems.
The King of Bushland
All that Timothy could tell of the Bunyip was that he had a great head with a long scaly neck, something like the big Japanese dragons of which you see pictures sometimes; and all his body was covered with scales that flashed and glittered as the moonlight fell on them. He walked upright on two great hind legs, something like a baboon’s, and his head was ornamented with a great horn. In his hand he carried a long sceptre. Altogether he was a very terrifying object when you first looked at him, but Timothy noticed that his ugly face sometimes looked in a very kindly way at people with whom he did not happen to be angry. When he did happen to be angry, however, his subjects generally wished to be somewhere else.
After A Brave Rescue
“I really can’t hear you when you all shriek at once,” said the bewildered monarch. “Will one of you speak, and the rest shut up?”
The Jackass (Kookaburra) leapt into the breach.
“May it please your Majesty!” he began hastily, running each word into the next in his haste. “We know you brought this boy here tonight to put him to some great trials, that you might see if he were worthy of a great reward. We think he is no end of a good boy! He has proved himself plucky and enduring: he has put on no frills; he has saved the life of one of us. We want to see him rewarded. We beg humbly of you that you will give him his reward without further trial. Surely he deserves it. Why he’s nearly good enough to be a Jackass!”
But the Wombat protests . . .
The Trustee of The Mary Grant Bruce Family Trust owns the extant copyrights to this story.
First Published in: 1912
First Publisher: Ward, Lock & Co. Limited
Places First Published: London, Melbourne and Toronto