Esmerelda and her father Richard lived alone quite close to Oxley Creek. Esmerelda's father was quite strict , telling her where to go , what to wear and what to do.
One day her father told her to wear her pretty blue and grey checked frock and take a basket filled with cake , biscuits and softdrink , down the road to visit her poor, sick grandmother who had come down with the flu.
When Esmerelda returned home that night , she eagerly told him how pleased Grandma had been to see her. The table was set and she sat down to her favourite dinner : octopus, oysters, yellow-belly, seafood bites, prawns and calamari. Dad started to tell her about his day like he usually did. When he reached the part about his new job, Esmerelda was opposed to that greatly. He was actually requested to go and clear cut all the trees around Oxley Creek and fill in the creek with gravel using an enormous bulldozer!
"But you can't do that , what about the lovely creek?" asked Esmerelda in shock.
"Esmerelda it's not a lovely creek. It's a dump!" retorted dad, trying to explain.
"You don't have to do what you're doing. I don't like it at all!" Esmerelda replied angrily.
"Go to your room. I've had enough and you will certainly not tell me what to do! It's my new job!!"
Esmerelda stomped angrily up the stairs leaving her angry and upset father down below. How could she make him understand? Esmerelda woke up earlier than usual the next morning , at four o'clock. She sprang out of bed and slipped on her flowery dress. Slowly she tiptoed down the stairs, taking a peep into her fathers bedroom to make sure that he was still asleep. She crept out of the house and down the lane, heading for Oxley Creek. She had decided last night to go and say goodbye to the creek.
When she got there she was surprised at the extent peoples pollution had gone to. No wonder nobody would visit there anymore; but bulldozing and clear-cutting would certainly not help.
Suddenly the water rippled and a baby platypus broke the surface. Its small piteous eyes met hers as if to say please don't hurt us. Esmerelda guiltily scooped her hand into the unclean water and grabbed the baby platypus. She held it in her lap for ages . Finally she decided to set off for home. Her father would be wondering where she was , as it was not six o'clock, around the time that he woke up.
She reached home eventually and ran up the stairs. They creaked and groaned, making a terrible sound. She managed to find an empty shoebox and placed the platypus inside, quickly punching some holes in the lid. She carefully placed the box in her wardrobe. As she raced back down the stairs again she bumped into her father who had been looking for her. He demanded to know where she had been, but she was very obstinate. "You've been down to that creek haven't you? You are grounded!" he father said angrily.
The next day was the day when dad went to Oxley Creek on his mission. When he reached the creek in his bulldozer, he saw his daughter right in front of the bulldozer! He swung around and sank into the creek. He swam to Esmeralda and gave her a big hug. He promised never to do it again and that he was sorry.
By Melanie from Greenbank State School.
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This story was created during a
one day Literary Day of Excellence at Regents Park Primary School, Queensland,
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Last updated - 19/7/99