Chapter 8

SNAG, and SHARD, and SALLY, the little green snake, were on the side of the dry hill, just below the Apple Tree. They were trying to decide where they should start drilling to find the underground river. No one was sure, but SALLY knew the river must be where she had heard the rock make a splash in the Stone Tube.

SALLY said to the others, “ When I was in the Tube Of Stone, I could just barely hear the rushing water below me.  Now,  while  we  dig, we  must listen for that s-s-sound and dig towards   it.”

SALLY wriggled along in the dust at the bottom of the Apple Tree hill. She looked up and down, trying to decide where the important  “splash” sound must have come from.

Finally, she pointed to a spot on the ground. “SHARD,” she hissed, as loudly as possible. “You have the longest beak. Please begin drilling deep right here!”

She thought to herself, ‘This may not be exactly right, but at least it will be a good place to s-s-start, and we can listen for rushing water.’

They were so eager to make some progress that any idea was a good one!

So, they did it--and SNAG marked the spot.

No one knew how to do the best digging. SHARD stepped forward, and stuck his big beak into the dry ground--but it only went in a little way. He tried to peck quickly a few times, and sprinkled a little more dirt around. This was clearly no good.

SHARD was used to using the power of his long wings to get where he wanted to go. He decided to jam his big beak in with  a powerful thrust, and then flap his giant wings like crazy! He did it. The dust cloud was huge. But it worked! His head was deep in the ground--not very comfortable--but he did have the first beak really full of dirt!

A bunch of Wise Birds saw the huge cloud of dust, and flew over to see if they could dig a hole, too. SHARD spat out the dirt in his beak, and waved at the Birds. They began to sing a happy song. One of the little birds was TWITTER--it was the Our Pond Song!

Many excited Wise, White Birds were jumping around starting to dig new holes all over the place—Jam, Push, Flap and Sing. SHARD was very strong. The hole where he was digging was getting much deeper. NOZZLE came over to have a look, and then JAZZ showed up with a long,  fat stick  that  SNAG had carved for him--as a sort of digging tool.

Suddenly SALLY,  the  snake,  stuck  her  tongue out,  and hissed, “I hear s-s-something--Ye-s-s, Ye-s-s--I hear  s-s-something.  I hear water--I hear a lot of water!”

JAZZ was so excited--he ran forward with the big stick and jammed it as far as possible into the deep, dusty hole that SHARD had made.

Immediately, there was a big puff of powerful wind from the hole. JAZZ was lifted off his feet and shot up into the air! Of course, he was a retired, Circus monkey and just calmly did a backward somersault, still holding onto his  stick!

Then, he disappeared completely!

Suddenly, a part of the hillside just opened up  and a  wide, flying shaft of blue water gushed out. JAZZ was not hurt. He popped up out of the water. He still had a great smile, and he was waving to everybody.

Oh, it was so wonderful! The ‘BIG WATER’  had  arrived, and  the ‘THIRST’ was over.

Now the really hard work was left to be done. They had to  make a lake.

As the dust cleared, TWITTER, and THE LITTLE, BLACK BIRD, showed how happy they were. They were seated on one of the Apple Tree roots, and they sang to each  other.  TWITTER  sang the Our Pond song. THE LITTLE, BLACK BIRD sang a  song  she was just composing--about the ‘BIG WATER’ and how it “flew” out of the deep hole, and there was no more  ‘THIRST’.

NOZZLE heard both songs, and understood they were very important! He thought to himself, ‘They must not lose these  two songs. This is the Spirit they all needed. Is  it  not  wonderful that music works that way?’

He called for CLUMP, the toad, with the great memory. “Please memorize these two songs, and help blend them into one,” he instructed.

CLUMP was nodding ‘Yes’, as he whispered the words to himself.

NOZZLE remembered that there were still some Birds that had not had the “mint cure”,  and they would  not  be able to keep  up with the others. He asked HIDE, and RIDE, to search carefully, and give the mint to the Birds that had not had it, yet--so they, too, could be Wise. He told them that it was a big job, and they should ask for help from the other, already wise, Birds. The young kangaroos were very happy about the added responsibility. They bounced away to tell their mother, BOING, about it.