The Babboon and the Hullaballoo Balloon

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The baboon was sleeping in the jungle one day, snoring loudly as baboons do in their own baboon way. When suddenly the coconut leaves flew apart and the baboon awoke with a baffling start. Perhaps a coconut or a snake had dropped, but all of a sudden, his snoring stopped. Something had dropped right on his head and knocked the baboon right out of his bed. The baboon boo – hooed “OUCH !” in pain, and asked the gorilla to stop the rain. The gorilla replied that it wasn’t a rain cloud at all, “What on Earth was it then ?”, the baboon cried out loud. The hullabaloo soon drew quite a crowd. When the pair looked up, something had eclipsed the Sun and the tops of trees had almost gone. It seemed that the night had come too soon – but the thing in the sky wasn’t the moon. The baboon felt a real buffoon. As the snakes hissed on the jungle floor, the gorilla and the baboon looked a bit more. The gorilla went to get his spectacles to get a better view. The baboon quickly realised he needed his telescope, too. High in the clouds, descending from above, was a big, red balloon that had given the clouds a shove. One of the crocs who came for a look fell off his rock in total shock. Then the baboon called to the chimp to look at the sight – to bring a string and hold the balloon tight. The jungle animals went off on a search, almost knocking the parrot off his perch. Soon the animals gave up all hope, of ever finding a suitable rope. Along came an ape who said a stick might do the trick … but a fish disagreed and said a fishing rod would be much better. When the baboon tried to catch the balloon, he fell and ended up considerably wetter. A colourful bird flew overhead and wondered why the gorilla was not in his bed. Soon, after he crash landed and banged his head, the bird spent a week nursing ruffled feathers, a broken wing and very crumbled bread. The hippos roared an applaud as usually they spent their days in the jungle quite bored. The balloon bounced out of reach. It flew over the trees and landed on the beach. The gamekeeper came and shot the balloon with his gun and now the baboon’s ballooning days were all gone. It only took one shot to bring down the whole lot. What a jungle hullabaloo they created, now that the balloon was no longer inflated.

© Jacqueline Richards 2007

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