Fur and Feathers by Amy Whitehouse
16-18 yo Catherine Martin Literary Winner 2019
One hot, dusty summer’s day, in the small outback town Walgett, a group of emus got together and decided to make a football team called Enchanting Emus. The kangaroo’s thought this was a fantastic idea, so they set off to make a team of their own, called Kangaroo Killers. After a few minutes they agreed to get together to play a game of football. Walgett had not had a game of football for quite some time. Both teams went looking for old guernseys, they ended up finding some in old dusty boxes in the cupboards out back in the tin sheds. With the emus in blue guernseys and the kangaroos in red they tackled their first game.
The old whistler duck named George blew the whistle and the game began with the first bounce going up and the kangaroos getting the first touch of the ball. The shortest roo grabbed the ball out of the centre and ran down the wing of the field. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw an emu coming quickly. BANG…. there were fur and feathers everywhere! There was so much excitement from the furry Koala’s sitting on the old, wooden benches as their cheering audience. The emus had the ball for a short second, only to lose it again. With the short and stumpy kangaroos passing low and far. The tall and thin emus could not get hold of the old leather ball, so the kangaroos scored their first goal. It was the emus turn to score. With the wind blowing in the opposite direction they were only kicking short. When one quick sneaky kangaroo got the ball and darted across the field, he was going so quick, he slipped with a hard fall. The emus got the ball back and scored a goal.
It was half time, with the emus in front. They were all dripping with sweat and they smelt like pigs in mud. The old koala was giving out cold icy water to both teams and was keeping them all hydrated. Both Fred and Jack the captains of the football teams were giving their players some advice and tips on how to win the game. Whilst they were talking, most of the koalas went to the canteen where Bob the bilby was serving chips and drinks. They got some lunch and went back to the wooden benches ready for the next half of the game.
George blew the whistle and said “it’s time to get this game on the road”.
The kangaroos and emus got back on the rugged field and started playing.
The emus passed once and got themselves a goal. The kangaroos were devastated and their Captain Fred who was a large red kangaroo said “hurry up and get a goal.”
One of the kangaroos finally got the ball. He passed it to the biggest kangaroo and he leapt over one of the shorter emus and scored a goal.
Their Captain Fred was in disbelief and called out “way to go”.
Shouting out to the Emus was their Coach, Jack. He was so furious, he was calling out all the names under the sun. The emus came back and saved the game with a lucky goal. The sirens went. None of the animals could believe it, the scores were level. Both the teams went into the old tinned sheds and cheered all together with happiness and joy. You could hear the excitement of the teams across the whole of the small town.
That night it was a clear still night, with the stars glistening. The emus and kangaroos went to the old pub in the scrub, not far from the Bushman’s Inn and Fred and Jack went straight to the gambling room. The other emus and kangaroos went to the table and told jokes to one another and talked about how it was the best day ever. Jack came over an hour late with some money for tea, and then Fred came over with nothing.
“What happened to your money? “asked a kangaroo.
Then Fred answered “I just realised I was playing a broken machine”.
All the emus laughed.
“Let’s have some tea, I’m starving” asked a grumpy emu.
Then Jack said “Why don’t we get steak and chips with a dead lizard for tea”.
“Ok then” said all the other emus and kangaroos.
Jack went up to the counter and said “can I please have 14 steak and chips and 14 dead lizards”.
“That’s no problem” replied the wombat who was serving and cooking.
Then all the meals came out and they all bogged into their tucker. That night when they were all finished they went home to their families and told them all about their exiting day and how they wished they could do it all again.