Scarlett was ready for a big day when she walked into the kitchen wearing her wiggles t shirt and big boots.
"Where are you going, Scarlett" her mummy asked
"I am going exploring with Papa" Scarlett replied exploring the magic forest."
"First you must have a good breakfast. It's hard work exploring forests" her mummy said. She put an egg in an egg cup and cut her toast into fingers.
They walked off together with their dogs Jojo, Lilly and Lucy. It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for exploring. They passed Fiona and Reba, the horses eating their breakfast of grass, as they walked towards the trees. Jojo was slow, he sniffed everything, while Lily and Lucy ran ahead.
As they passed the first trees they could hear lots of animals and birds singing and talking. The trees were colourful, not green like normal trees. Scarlett said "This is a very scary forest but Lily, Lucy and Jojo will protect us." They each had a stick for a cane - you need one when you go exploring.
They could hear animals walking and talking. Birds flew between trees, chirping to their friends. A few flew over to see who the strangers were. Sitting on the branch the orange and purple striped birds watched Scarlett and the others. They were making sure they weren't doing anything naughty. Strange looking flowers grew by the path. Scarlett said she would pick some for her mummy on the way home. "Mummy would like these" she told Papa.
A man rode around the corner on a green and yellow emu which had two heads. In a deep voice he asked "Little girl what are you doing in my forest?" "I am Scarlett and this is my Papa Phil." "My name is Carapooee" the man replied. Carapooee had long spikey green hair and a red beard. He was a little man not much taller than Scarlett. Wearing boots up to his knees and shorts held up by suspenders.
"We are looking for the vegemite tree, Papa says it grows here in the forest. We don't know where it is in the forest" said Scarlett. "It is a very magical tree, I can tell you where it is but first come to my house for some cookies." said the little man riding the two headed emu. He led the way with Lily, Lucy and Jojo running beside him.
Along a path with different coloured bricks - red, green, yellow, blue and more. Scarlett stepped on only the blue ones, Jojo sniffed the yellow ones. Over the bridge on the river where the fish swam backwards. They came to Carapooee's real small house with a blue roof, yellow walls and red doors. Papa ducked down to get in the tiny door, they sat at his kitchen table.
They sat at the table while Carapooee fussed around getting them a drink. It was flavoured milk which had bubbles popping at the top of the mug. It was rainbow coloured, Carapooee had used real rainbows. They had chocolate cookies shaped like frogs and appeared to hop. Scarlett laughed then said "My cookie just jumped into my hand.
They sat and talked for a long time, Papa ate lots of frog cookies. Scarlett had two rainbow milkshakes. Carapooee told Scarlett about Banyenong. He comes from a land called Batyo Catyo where everything is brightly coloured. "My emu comes from there too" he said "birds and animals talk and sing."
Scarlett loved talking to Carapooee but had a very important task, finding the vegemite tree. She said "It is time to go, please tell us how to get to the vegemite tree." "You have to go to Batyo Catyo to see it. It is hard to find, listen closely" he said 'You have to ask each person or you will get lost."
First you follow the red road it is very narrow, you will meet a purple koala, ask him. Then you will meet a pink kangaroo who is a really nice lady, then a ratbag blue crocodile. Then last of all you will meet Namatjira, the keeper of the vegemite tree. Namatjira can play music by blowing a hollow tree branch.
Carapooee opened the door to reveal a bright red road. They were in Batyo Catyo already. Giving Carapooee a big hug and patting Banyenong they said goodbye. Scarlett, Lily, Lucy, Jojo and Papa set off on the next part of their big adventure down the winding red road. Looking for a purple koala.
They walked for a long, long time looking at all the strange coloured trees. Scarlett ran ahead calling "Papa, Papa, the purple koala." "Hello Mr Koala, I'm Scarlett, this is Papa, Jojo, Lily and Lucy. We are looking for the vegemite tree." "Don't bother me girl, just go along the orange road and ask Mabel the pink kangaroo!" he said rudely and continued eating his gum leaves.
As they turned left onto the orange road Scarlett said "I don't like purple koalas, they are very rude!" "Don't worry Mabel will be a lot friendlier" said Papa "Koalas are always grumpy." Scarlett skipped along with the dogs through the forest of yellow trees with blue leaves. Happy once again.
Lily and Lucy ran ahead while Jojo sniffed everything! Scarlett and Papa turned the corner to see a big pink kangaroo talking to Lucy and Lily. "Hello are you Mabel?" "Yes I am, you must be Scarlett" Looking at Papa Scarlett whispered "How did she know my name?"
"Would you like some cookies and milk?"
"Yes please, it has been a long walk."
Mabel gave them a big cookie each, chocolate with gum nuts on top. They were megalicious!!!
They washed it down with blue platypus milk.
Mabel said "You are looking for the vegemite tree? It is fun, you will enjoy it there." She took them out the backdoor and showed them the blue road. "You follow this road to the river and a blue crocodile will help you."
They walked for a long time along a winding road. This was the blue road. There are yellow and red trees with black and blue leaves. Jojo met a rabbit who could talk to dogs. They finally arrived at the river. Scarlett looked at Papa and asked "Where is that blue crocodile, the little ratbag?"
Suddenly there was a loud splash. A small boat sat near the bank and a blue crocodile was climbing out of the water. "Gollymegooch!" muttered the crocodile "I fell out of the boat again>" "Why do you have a boat? Scarlett asked laughing. "I can't swim" he said "I need it to get around." "My name is Colin" said the crocodile..
"I'm Scarlett and this is Papa" she said.
"We are looking for the vegemite tree " said Scarlett.
"Are you now. You have to cross the river to get there." Colin informed them. "I will take you across in my boat." Scarlett put the dogs in the boat and climbed in behind. Papa squeezed in behind them while Colin had to sit on the edge. Halfway across the river Colin fell in again!!!
Papa said "Here, you drongo" and threw him a rope to drag him the rest of the way.
Papa asked him why he couldn't swim, Colin replied he was scared of fish! Scarlett laughed "You are big and scary looking, how can you be scared of fish?" "They tease me about my big nose, so I don't go near them." Then a yellow fish with brown dots poked his head up and called out "Hey beaky bring your nose over here we need a diving board." Scarlett called "you can't talk to him like that, you hurt his feelings! He could eat you if he gets angry!" I'm sorry Colin, we didn't mean to hurt you, we were just having fun. You want to come and play with us?" "Would I ever" Colin called as he jumped in the water. "Look I can swim, I can swim!!!!!" Papa called "How do we find the vegemite tree?" "Follow the water road" Colin called as he caught up to his new friends.
The road was a small stream with enough water to cover your shoes. Scarlett kicked up water at Papa while the dogs loved running in it. Jojo stopped and drank it. Little frogs lived in the road and said hello as they passed. After walking for a long time they passed a big blue rock, there standing on one leg was a big man with war paint on his face and body. Jojo ran over and sniffed him, the big man looked down and said "Welcome Jojo, I have been waiting for you. G'day Scarlett, Lily, Lucy, Jojo and your Papa." "It has been a long trip" said Papa.
The big man said "I am Namatjira the keeper of the tree. Come and sit in the shade." They all had a refreshing drink of blossom beer. It wasn't really beer, they just called it that.
Namatjira told them tales of the rainbow spirit and played the didgeridoo for them. They told them how the special food from the tree is put into a jar for people to enjoy. It cures sadness, loneliness and sore tummies. Then it was time for their big adventure, the reason the vegemite tree is so special. Namatjira took them to where the sun shone especially bright.
Scarlett, the dogs and Papa, walked to the area near the tree where the grass is especially green. Namatjira told them to raise their arms and look at the sky. Suddenly they left the ground, Scarlett called "I am flying" as she went upwards towards the clouds. Lucy and Lily flew through the clouds, popping out the other side. While Jojo, that little ratbag, lay on the first cloud licking it. Papa and Scarlett left the dogs to play and flew over Scarlett's house. Fiona and Reba, the horses, were chasing butterflies while her mum was working in the garden and her dad mowing the grass.
After a long time flying and exploring Papa decided it was time to return to the Vegemite tree and Namatjira. Landing safely Namatjira gave them a black drink, it will make you feel refreshed, the dogs had some too. It is made from the fruit of the vegemite tree and is very good for you. Scarlett was very tired after a long day of walking and flying. Namatjira took them into the kitchen and made them dinner using the fruit of the vegemite tree. It was very tasty and filled them up. Scarlett was yawning so Namatjira suggested they sleep the night before going home. They all climbed into a big bed made from fluffy clouds and went straight to sleep.
The next morning Scarlett woke up and looked around and Papa, Lily, Lucy and Jojo weren't there. She was feeling good and thought they might fly again today before they went home. She got out of bed and went to the kitchen, she was surprised to see her mum there. "Why are you at Namatjira's house mummy? she asked. "This is our house darling" she replied. Scarlett rubbed her eyes and thought she was dreaming, then she saw it, a big jar of Namatjira's special food on the counter.