The Incident at the Eucalyptus Tree

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young koala decides to start his very own kingdom

Submitted: April 06, 2017

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Submitted: April 06, 2017



Once upon a time, but not all that long ago, Scrappy the Koala climbed to the very tippy top of his eucalyptus tree and in a loudish voice declared that he was, in fact, Scrappy, Lord of the Eucalyptus Tree and King of all that he purveyed. Shortly thereafter, a somewhat short and rotund koala, with the misleading moniker of Slim, stated that he was, in fact, not. He was certainly not a purveyor, and had, undoubtedly meant surveyed not purveyed. A discussion quickly arose among the growing number of previously idle koalas on what the difference between the two were. Whereas Slim informed the lot that a purveyor was one who dealt with the acquisition and disposal of and a surveyor merely gazed upon, and perhaps in that capacity, subdivided and partitioned off thereof.

All the koalas began to nod in agreement and make comments such as:

“That is correct.”

“Naturally, any koala should know that. “

“You can depend on Slim to steer you straight.”

“Oh yes, a very knowledgeable koala indeed.”

“Three cheers for Slim.”

Perturbed, Scrappy ordered, “Off with his head.”

The crowd looked about itself in confusion. “What?” asked a very large koala with a mouthful of eucalyptus. “Whose head?”

Scrappy indicated Slim by whacking him with a small branch. “Him. Head. Off.”

The koalas were puzzled by this request and only one stepped forward to attempt the job. He pulled and tugged on Slim’s furry head with little success but quite a few yips and yelps from the accosted. Now anyone who knows anything about koalas knows that their heads are not apt to pop off as easily as the lid on a jar of “Auntie Geert’s Old Time Kosher Pickles” and even if you tug strenuously, their heads will remain attached. The large koala, who was called Reggie even though his given name was Mort, having discovered this about Slim’s noggin, announced, “It won’t come off. I think it may be stuck.”

So with more than a little annoyance, Scrappy dismissed the whole head removing affair with a flourish of his branch and a “Never mind,” then revised his previous claim with the proclamation that he was now Scrappy the Koala, King of the Marsupials. And even though he stood on the highest branch in the most regal of poses, he kept one eye on the crowd dispersed on the branches below. They were looking at each other, each one waiting for his fellow koala to dispute the claim. Koalas, being in general a very amicable lot, were loath to dispute any but the most erroneous of facts. However, this particular bunch began to compare notes and discovered that not a single one of them had voted anyone king, let alone Scrappy. Furthermore, they reasoned, if he was not their king, then it was highly unlikely that he was anyone’s king.

“Highly unlikely,” said an old and venerable koala as he thoughtfully chewed on a eucalyptus leaf.

“But you don’t vote for king,” protested the now dejected Scrappy.

“Well then, there you have it,” said the sage old koala.

“It doesn’t need to be voted on. I just proclaimed myself Lord over all Marsupials.” Scrappy was firm on this point.

“And that’s it?” asked a tall, thin koala named Vernon.

“That’s it,” confirmed Scrappy.

“Doesn’t seem right to me,” said Vern.

Not to be forgotten, Slim inquired, “And what about the kangaroos?”

“What about them?” asked Scrappy.

“You’re their king, too? I think they may have something to say about that.” Slim was confident in his opinion.

“Well…” Scrappy wasn’t sure.

“Yes, yes, quite,” puffed old Percy. “They are after all marsupials.”

“What’s a marsupial,” asked Vernon’s wife Ginger.

“Shush,” shushed Vernon. “We are.”

“Well, I most certainly am not,” said Ginger in a huff. “I’m a Presbyterian.”

“I’ll settle things with the blasted kangaroos later,” assured Scrappy.

“And the opossums?” solicited Slim slyly.

“The what-its?” Scrappy wasn’t even sure there was such a thing.

“Never mind, never mind,” bellowed Percy. “I believe it is now lunch time. Rather I am reasonably sure that it is. I don’t wear a watch but my gastroenterological rumblings are never far off. So let us put aside this nonsense about kangarossums and opossaroos and get on with our more epicurean responsibilities.”


“Bravo, Percy, old man,” exclaimed a just as old but a bit less venerable koala named Tuffy. “And a good thing it has been settled too. You know, of course, that questions such as who is king and who rules what, when left unanswered, are disruptive on one’s digestion “Oh yes, quite,” said a rather small koala whose name no one could ever remember. He had said it to no one in particular, and no one in particular paid any attention to it, but he had contributed to the general discussion and was rather pleased with himself. He puffed out his little chest and cocked his head to one side seconds before his branch snapped and sent him on a rapid descent out of the group.

Scrappy was indignant. Who were they to tell him, their king, that he was not, well, their king. And as far as all the other marsupials, they had yet to weigh in on the issue and until they did, by golly, he was going to be their king. In fact, he was going to stand by his claim that he was King of the Koalas by virtue of being Lord of all Marsupials, at least all except this scruffy lot, and who in his honest opinion, did not reflect what he desired in a subject anyway. They could run around kingless for all he cared. It would serve them right.

So, with a snort of derision that he had been practicing for just a moment like this, Scrappy climbed down the eucalyptus tree, and once on ground looked up and said, “If anyone wants to join me in my kingdom, I will be next door. From now on, when addressing me, please refer to me as King Scrappy the First. Good day.”

Suddenly, out from under a bush popped the little koala that had some minutes before toppled from his perch. “I’ll join you, your highness.” And then after a pause in which Scrappy eyed him intensely, he added, “Your highness, Scrappy the First.” Scrappy ushered him to his side with another royal flourish of the bedraggled branch. With more than a little trepidation, the little koala inquired that since he was the first royal subject, might he not get a title?

And with a final grand gesture, the last that the poor branch could endure before giving up all of its leaves and becoming just a common twig, Scrappy the First called out in his most royal voice, “Kneel, oh humble peasant, and arise, Sir Gilroy.”

Sir Gilroy remained kneeling for some time then looking up he asked, “Could I have another name please?”

Scrappy the First was visibly irritated at this request. He hadn’t been a king for more than a little while and it was already becoming bothersome. “What is wrong with Gilroy?”

“I have an uncle named Gilroy, and I would hate for us to be confused with one another.”

“Really? You have an uncle who is also named Gilroy?” Scrappy was doubtful. He thought it might be a spurious claim and nothing more than a low attempt to gain for himself a name more regal sounding than Scrappy the First. “What do you propose, then?”

“I have always liked the sound of Reginald,” said Sir Gilroy wistfully.

“You can’t be Reggie,” shouted Reggie, “I’m Reggie.”

“You’re Mort,” shouted Sir Gilroy.

“That’s beside the point,” objected Reggie.

“That is exactly the point,” counted Sir Gilroy.

“Shut up,” ordered Scrappy the First. He was getting very tired of this king business. “There aren’t any Reggies in my kingdom. I can make him a Reggie if I want.”

“Reginald,” interjected Sir Gilroy.

“As a matter of fact, I’ll make anyone who wants to be a Reggie. I’ll make everyone a Reggie if I want,” said Scrappy the First, haughtily.

“Oh don’t do that,” pleaded Sir Gilroy.

“That’s absurd,” shouted Percy from high above. “A kingdom full of Reggies? Ridiculous.”

“Utterly ridiculous,” echoed Tuffy.

“Don’t you tell me what’s ridiculous,” Scrappy the First shouted back. “If you’re not careful, I will gather an army of Reggies and attack you.”

“An army of Reggies? You don’t even have one Reggie,” returned Percy.

“Not one,” agreed Tuffy.

“You could have one,” offered sir Gilroy, meekly.

Suddenly, there appeared two more very young koalas, one on each side of sir Gilroy. “Knight us,” they cried. “Make us Reggies.”

“Oh no,” pleaded Sir Gilroy. “Don’t make them Reggies.”

Scrappy the First took his twig and with the biggest flourish yet, announced, “I dub thee all, Sir Reginalds.” The two young koalas began leaping about and bowing to each other and calling, “Sir Reggie.” Sir Gilroy had however scurried out of the way before the twig could touch him and now sat on the ground rather cross at the whole proceedings.

“I thought you wanted to be a Sir Reginald?” asked scrappy the First.

“Well not now,” said the other grumpily. “They went and ruined it. Who wants to be a Reginald now?”

Scrappy the First sighed wearily. Being king was tough. “Oh for goodness’ sake. What or who do you want to be?” He was growing impatient and began to tap his foot.

Sir Gilroy sat looking pensive for a moment. Then his face lit up. “I want to be Sir Percival.”

“Bravo!” shouted the Reggies, even the one who was really a Mort. “Good choice.”

“Bravo!” shouted Tuffy, then clamped a hand over his mouth.

The old and venerable Percy did not shout “Bravo” instead he looked positively apoplectic. He was about to say something and all ears turned to him for they knew it would be some grave and sagacious advice. But old Percy just blew a mouthful of leaves out with a great sputter. Not wasting any time, Scrappy the First re-dubbed Sir Gilroy as Sir Percival and the crowd cheered. Not the whole crowd but a significant number. Sir Percival beamed while old Percy stood catatonic.

 It did not matter to the new Percy that the response was mostly one koala cheering and clapping simply because his neighbor was cheering and clapping. It was the greatest day in the little koala’s life. It did not even matter to him that the following day the whole thing had been forgotten. He was always Sir Percival, happily ever after.

© Copyright 2018 Terrence Lee. All rights reserved.

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