Weirdlife Episode 5 Raspberry Newt Animated Cover

The Weirdlife Short Story & Audiobook Series: Episode 5 - Raspberry Newt

Hickory discovers how a newt’s special sound-making ability can also make for a lot of embarrassment.

Read myself

Raspberry Newt

Why am I in water up to my knees, wading through the swamps of Pingalu Island?


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.

Hickory stands in swamp water.

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.


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!

Hickory holds the newt in his hands as he stands in the green swamp water.

*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...

*Winka-winka-winka shmurm-shplaPOOM!*

...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.

Hickory waves out of a plane window


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—

*Ploopie-inda, PLOM-PLOM!*

What was that?


No, it can’t be!


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!

Hickory lies in bed holding the newt up in one hand.


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. 


The newt sits on a green leaf.

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?

*Neener-neener paCHOING!*

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!

Hickory drives a red speedboat through the water. He is holding on to his hat and the newt is holding on to his back.

*BaJonga-baJonga-baJonga, WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!*

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.

The End

More episodes
Weirdlife Episode 6 Poddle Birds and Comb Frogs Animated Cover
Weirdlife E6 - Poodle Birds and Comb Frogs6+

Hickory uncovers the very best groomers of the animal world.

  • 9 mins
Weirdlife Episode 7 Scavenger Hunt Grebes Animated Cover
Weirdlife E7 - Scavenger Hunt Grebes6+

Hickory observes the strange collecting habits of a duck-like-bird

  • 10 mins
Weirdlife Episode 8 Gallivanting Shrews Animated Cover
Weirdlife E8 - Gallivanting Shrews6+

Hickory learns it isn’t easy to follow a tireless shrew across the globe.

  • 9 mins
Weirdlife Episode 9 Hermit Rhinoceros Animated Cover
Weirdlife E9 - Hermit Rhinoceros6+

Hickory uncovers the largest creature to carry a shell on its back.

  • 10 mins
Weirdlife Episode 10 The Razzmatazzmanian Numbat Animated Cover
Weirdlife E10 - The Razzmatazzmani Numbat6+

A rare animal uses some even rarer tactics to avoid being eaten.

  • 7 mins
Weirdlife Episode 11 Treasure Squids Portrait Cover
Weirdlife E11 - Treasure Squids6+

Hickory takes us under the sea where unique squids are obsessed with sunken treasure.

  • 11 mins
Weirdlife Episode 1 The Curdmonkey Animated Cover
Weirdlife E1 - The Curdmonkey 6+

The curdmonkey is on a special mission to feed her hungry babies.

  • 8 mins
Weirdlife Episode 2 Smunks Animated Cover
Weirdlife E2 - Smunks6+

Hickory goes in search of the animal that needs hugs to survive.

  • 9 mins
Weirdlife Episode 3 Rubbish Heapers Animated Cover
Weirdlife E3 - Rubbish Heapers 6+

The battle begins when a new flavour of crisp is discovered.

  • 8 mins
Weirdlife E4 - Hatsnatching Bandicoots6+

Hickory tried to recover his helmet from some devious hat-lovers.

  • 10 mins

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.