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Module 2: RESPECT OTHERS

(Page 29) Resource sheet 4

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QUITE SUDDENLY

They saw a bird. An ordinary rather sad-looking bird, with big eyes, pointed beak and long, straggling tail...Quite suddenly the bird raised its head; drew himself erect and, with a stiff-legged goose-step, strutted into the centre of the clearing. Then he started to sing. And in an instant all his drabness was sloughed away. For his song was beautiful beyond compare: stream after stream of limpid melodious notes, flowing and mingling, thrilling and soaring: bush music, magic as the pipes of Pan. On and on it went; wave after wave of perfect harmony that held the children spellbound. At last the notes sank into a croon, died into silence. The song was over. But not the performance. For now came a metamorphosis too amazing to be believed. The drab brown bird with its tatty, straggling tail disappeared, and in its place rose a creature of pure beauty. The drooping tail fanned wide; its two utmost feathers swung erect to form the frame of a perfect lyre; and in between spread a mist of elfin plumage, a phantasmagoria of blue and silver, shot with gold, that trembled and quivered with all the beauty of a rainbow seen through running water. Then, hidden behind his plumage, the lyre bird again burst into song. And as he sang, he danced; prancing joyfully from side to side, hopping and skipping to the beat of a high-speed polka. And every now and then his song broke off, and was interspersed with croaking chuckles of happiness.

Then as suddenly as his performance had begun, it ended. The feathers drooped, the polka came to a halt, the singing died. And he was just another bird, scratching the earth for food.


R3-M2-PAGE 29

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