Saturday Centus Week 69 – “Suzie”

28 Aug

Suzie approached the sleeping Blinky.

Blinky was her pet name for him, “Surprise! I’m pregnant!

Blinky stirred, yawned, looked Suzie over, “Tell me when there’s something worth seeing.”

Suzie didn’t expect him to take much notice. It was the problem where she came from. Mothers cared for the children. Fathers were more interested in eating, sleeping and fighting other males.

Five months later, Suzie tried again, “Blinky, do you want to see your baby?”

Without opening his eyes, he said, “Maybe later.”

Suzie spoke softly to her baby, “Come out of the pouch, sweetie. At least these humans want to see you today.”

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.


Posted by on August 28, 2011 in 2. Saturday Centus


16 responses to “Saturday Centus Week 69 – “Suzie”

  1. Becky Pries

    August 28, 2011 at 12:29

    what a unique take on the centus Good job

    • Ross Mannell

      August 28, 2011 at 15:11

      Thank you for the comment.

      When I saw the prompt, a number of more obvious story ideas came to mind so I thought I’d add a little difference by basing a story on koala behaviour. In the wild, it’s only the females that care for the young. Koalas are solitary animals normally.

      Suzie has grown in a local animal refuge and is use to humans. Blinky was injured by a car and wouldn’t survive long in the wild. They are part of a breeding program. At the time of writing this story, the baby is now riding on mother’s back until independent.

  2. Dazee

    August 28, 2011 at 13:40

    aaahhhh, that was awesome.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 28, 2011 at 15:17

      Thanks for the comment.

      The koalas at Potoroo Palace are a favourite photographic/video subject of mine. The above photo was taken on one of the baby’s first times poking her head out of the pouch.

      If any reader is interested, below is the video clip taken on that day…

  3. Karen S.

    August 28, 2011 at 15:10

    Oh what a nice way to go with this…the photo is great too!

    • Ross Mannell

      August 28, 2011 at 15:29

      Thank you for the comment.

      I had been waiting for about two hours in the hope the baby would make a showing. It was the keeper who seemed to encourage the baby to show herself (yes the baby is a female).

      The park, Potoroo Palace, is run by volunteers. The baby naming is subject to a fund raising raffle. As a fund raiser, I’ve produced a DVD of story books for children narrated by the author, a keen volunteer worker at the park. The volunteers are remarkably caring people for the native animals at the park.

  4. Jo

    August 28, 2011 at 15:38

    awwwe … what a wonderful story and that picture is absolutely fabulous … you can feel the bond between mother and babe!

    • Ross Mannell

      August 28, 2011 at 15:56

      Thanks for the comment.

      Australia’s unique animals make great photographic studies. Sleeping most of the day, it can be hard to capture them in motion in the wild but Suzie stirred when the keeper came as they give her a dietary supplement she enjoys.

  5. cj schlottman

    August 29, 2011 at 01:26

    Clever, clever, clever! This is just wonderful and is a great example of how many ways Centusians take the same prompt. Bravo! Oh, and I love the precious photo.


    • Ross Mannell

      August 29, 2011 at 06:05

      Thank you for the comment.

      I had wanted to wander away from the more obvious plots for the prompt. Being an amateur photographer/video maker who loves taking animals, I thought using the prompt and a photo I had would be a little different.

  6. Judie

    August 29, 2011 at 07:52

    Ross, what a cute story! The video is amazing! I had to watch it twice. I see you write stories for young children. Another artist, Dick Rink, and I have written a little book for young children. If you are interested in seeing it, please go to my blog and scroll the right sidebar for the link.

    Welcome to Saturday Centus! I hope we see you every week!

    • Ross Mannell

      August 29, 2011 at 08:14

      Thank you for your comment.

      I was made aware of Saturday Centus through Julia Skinner and her 100 Word Challenge. I enjoyed reading children’s entries and commenting on them. When Julia started the 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups (#100WCGU), I decided to have some fun by writing entries. I found it a great skill to come up with a viable short story within the limit set and try to write stories of the exact word limit length.

      This was my second entry in Centus (first in #66). Considering the prompt and the blog I used being aimed at a level young children could read, I decided on the animal characters in the story. The koalas were photographed/videoed in order to promote a volunteer animal shelter using You Tube and hopefully produce a second DVD for them as a fund raiser.

      Being keen on children’s fiction, I will certainly check your book for young children. I don’t ever expect to be a published author but I do share my stories with children when I am looking after them during school holiday care.

  7. Nasreen Abdulla

    August 29, 2011 at 17:38

    awww…that was so cute. My little one is 15 months old and LOVES animals. I am forever telling her stories about animals when she eats, bathes, sleeps, etc. Showed this pic to her and she squealed and said poochi (cat). Keep writing

    • Ross Mannell

      August 29, 2011 at 18:51

      Thanks for the comment.

      Now that’s very cute in itself! Always enjoyed how children try to make sense of what they see from within their realm of experience. Poochi (cat) is a pretty good interpretation of a koala from a little one who hasn’t seen one. 🙂

  8. Jenny Matlock

    September 2, 2011 at 04:03

    Ross! Welcome to Saturday Centus! What a brilliant and creative take on the prompt.

    I really enjoyed your style of writing. I hope we see you again!

    Thanks for linking up.

    • Ross Mannell

      September 2, 2011 at 05:49

      Thank you for the comment.

      Writing for the 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups, I came across a link to Saturday Centus. I enjoy writing to the limit, trying to write to exactly the set limit. I will most certainly be checking for future topics.

      The stories I write are posted on a blog I set up to share stories I write for children, knowing being published is unlikely. Therefore, the stories for Saturday Centus and the 100WCGU will be written with children as possible readers in mind.

      I think Saturday Centus and the newer 100WCGU are wonderful ideas for exercising the mind.


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