Why am I in water up to my knees, wading through the swamps of Pingalu Island?
*WOGGA WOGGA WOGGA WOGGA WOGGA*
Here's your answer.
And...there’s another answer.
Oh dear. And there’s your answer too. These odd – and rude – noises are all coming from one type of creature. We’re on the trail of the very rare...
...and very annoying raspberry newt.
My name is Hickory Slick. And welcome to Hickory Slick’s Weirdlife...with Hickory Slick.
*Dookie-dookie-dookie-dookie-WAH! Ka-POOP-leek! WAH! Ka-POOP-leek!*
I’ve been following these ridiculous sounds for hours. But I know I am getting closer to the tricky raspberry newt. When the newt feels threatened, it makes even sillier sounds.
*Ka-ma-hunga-dingee-DINgee! Shula-PLOP shula-paCHOING!*
Yes, clearly I’m getting closer. Ah! On the trunk of that tree there is a flash of bright pink! This is the colour of the raspberry newt. If I’m very quiet, I can watch the newt as it makes its extraordinary noises.
*Diddle-bum! Diddle-bum! Poops-a-boop! SQUEAK! Pbbbbbbbt*
The raspberry newt has a flexible tongue, huge lips and a neck pouch that can blow up like a balloon. So it can make lots of silly sounds, very loudly.
*PYJAMAPANTS—pbbbbt! IN THE HOOSENFEFFER!*
Some people think they can hear actual words coming from the newt. But, of course, “pyjama pants in the hoosenfeffer” is pure nonsense. Both to the newt and to humans.
Now I will pick it up. As I gently lift the bright pink newt, I can see a little suction cup on each of its toes. The newt uses these to stick to any surface. And - oh my! – the newt is showing another amazing skill. It has turned the exact colour of my hand! The newt can camouflage against any background: tree bark, plaid trousers or a human hand. I can hardly see it now!
*Bloop! Bloop! Bloop! Bloop!*
Amazing! It is now making sounds exactly like the alarm on my watch! Oh wait – that is the alarm on my watch. It’s my reminder that I have to fly to Norway right now to accept a very special award tomorrow. I will be given the “Most Serious Naturalist of the Year Award”. It’s a great honour. It’s a very serious ceremony in a room full of very serious people.
So, my little newt...
...I’ll just place you gently back on this tree trunk.
Now I must go. It’s a long way to Norway. First, I must take a canoe, then a motorboat, then a golf cart to the airport. Ah! I boarded the plane just in time.
Sorry about that. I guess my tummy is telling me it’s been a long time since lunch. Heh heh!
It is rather embarrassing, though.
So now, after a long day of travel, I have finally reached my hotel in Norway. I can hardly wait to say, “One hotel room for Hickory Slick, please!”
Oh dear. Who made that sound? Ah, well. I’ll just head up to my room. Now I can finally relax. I must rest up before the ceremony tomorrow! It’s a very serious event. So, I’m just going to close my eyes and drift off to—
What was that?
No, it can’t be!
*TUSHY! TUSHY! TUSHY! TUSHY!*
Ugh. There’s no mistaking it. A raspberry newt, with its suction-cup toes and amazing camouflage, must have hitched a ride on me! I knew that wasn’t my tummy rumbling earlier!
But where is the newt now?! Ah, it’s on my neck! Yikes! Now it’s scurrying towards my armpit. Hee hee! Stop that! It tickles! Aha! Got you!
But what should I do with the newt now? You see, the only food the raspberry newt eats is the seeds of the yellow thwack-ka-BLANG-blobble-blobble plant.
The plant is named this for the sound it makes when it’s shaken by a breeze. It makes a very faint “thwack-ka-BLANG-blobble-blobble” sound. Yes, it’s a very silly sound. But scientists believe that’s why the raspberry newt likes it. Anyway, I need to get some of those seeds for this newt as soon as possible. But the plant only grows on Pingalu!
Hmm...I could hurry back to Pingalu right now and have just enough time to drop off the newt, then hurry back to receive my award.
So, now I am taking a plane back to the island. After riding a golf cart, a motorboat, and a canoe, I’m finally in the swamps of Pingalu Island.
And look, little newt! Here’s a nice leaf next to a thwack-ka-BLANG-blobble-blobble plant. I’ll put you right here.
Oh, the newt was hungry. It’s already gobbling those seeds.
Now I must hurry back to Norway! To the plane!
*YAWN* I didn’t get any sleep, but I made it! I’m just in time for the ceremony! They’ve seated me on stage. Now they’re presenting me with the “Most Serious Naturalist of the Year Award”! Good thing I prepared a very serious speech. “Ladies and gentlemen—”
“Oh dear. That wasn’t me, I assure you. I take this award very seriously—”
*Dwoopie-dwoop-dwoop! Pbbbbbbbbbt pyjama pants!*
Oh no. I do believe another raspberry newt has hitched a ride on me. But the audience of serious people doesn’t seem to believe me! They are looking even more serious. Maybe even...angry?
No, please. Don’t take the award away from me! I’m a serious naturalist, I swear! It’s the raspberry newt that’s making all these silly noises. Not me! It’s the newt, I’m telling you. The newt!
Sigh. Oh, well. They’ve taken away my “Most Serious Naturalist of the Year Award”. Well, who needs an award anyway? The real award is having a job where I can find such fascinating...
...if very annoying creatures.
This has been Hickory Slick. Tune in next time for Hickory Slick’s Weirdlife...with me, Hickory Slick.
Benefits of reading Weirdlife - Raspberry Newt
Weirdlife is an animal documentary inspired bedtime story series. This short story covers the theme of discovery. Raspberry Newt is written and narrated in the first person. We recommend this story for children with a reading age of 6 - 10 years old.
Who are the main characters in Weirdlife - Raspberry Newt
The main character in The Weirdlife series is Hickory Slick and features a variety of fictional animals. In this episode Hickory introduces us to the raspberry newt.