Duckbill was a platypus. Everyone laughed at him. Always. Every day. Beaver made fun of his beak. The ducks giggled at his strange tail. He didn’t fit in at all.
The snakes didn’t laugh, though. The snakes looked at him, and they knew. This guy had potential.
One day he was out in the pond, and the other animals were running around doing their stuff. Beaver stopped by.
Hey, beakboy! He shouted, arrogant as always. How do you cut trees with that neb? He laughed. The crocodile and the koala laughed as well. Beaver kept chopping down the eucalyptus standing by the riverside.
Duckbill swam away from them with tears in his eyes. The ducks were swimming around.
Quack! Said one of them.
Quack quack quack! Said the other. Then they all laughed.
Duckbill went home, sad and lonely. He didn’t know what to do. He was the laughing stock of the pond.
Tomorrow he had to go out there again, and they all would tease him again. He hated going to work. He hated the ducks, and he hated Beaver. He hated himself. At least they hadn’t seen the little spur he had in his foot. Then they would bully him even more. Disgusting little needle. He didn’t even know what it was for.
A snake came by.
Ssssshhhssss…. It said. Why are you sssssssoooo sssssad?
Everyone laughs at me, he answered. Always. I suck.
Everyone laughed at me oncccce asssss well… Said the snake.
Why did they stop? Asked Duckbill.
You got it in you… I can ssssssee it…. I can tasssste it in the air…
She disappeared into the grass. Duckbill had no idea what she had been talking about. He had it in him? He shrugged it off and went to sleep.
The next day he went back to the little lake. The ducks came by. Beaver. The crocodile and the koala. They all came at once, they all came to pick on him.
Duckbill was crying now. It just made them laugh even harder. They were roaring, rolling around, slapping their hands in the ground. Duckbill couldn’t handle any more.
Enough! He turned to swim away. By accident his hind paddle foot slapped Beaver in the face.
The little spur went in through Beaver’s skin. Some kind of liquid came out of it. Poured into his blood. Duckbill was scared. Now they’ll beat me as well!
Beaver fell into the water. He shook for a while. Then the shaking stopped.
Beaver was floating face down in the lake. The ducks paddled hastily away from the scene, exchanging confused quacks.
The snake was floating around in the lake. I told you, platypussss…. She said. I told you you had it in you.
So this, dear reader, is the story of why no one laughs at the duckbill any more, and why there are no beavers in Australia.