Weirdlife Episode 7 Scavenger Hunt Grebes Animated Cover
6+

The Weirdlife Short Story & Audiobook Series: Episode 7 - Scavenger Hunt Grebes

Hickory Slick observes the activities of a duck-like-bird that goes to great lengths to collect items for the “boss-bird.”

Read myself

Scavenger Hunt Grebes

From bands of gorillas to pods of seals, there’s often one animal in a group more popular than the others. The other animals will go out of their way to please this “leader of the pack.” A crow might offer sticks to help the most popular crow build its nest. If a wolf wants to impress the “top wolf,” it might bring back a tasty rabbit.   

But here on the banks of Lake Blop in Mongolia, a unique species has taken this to a whole new level. Just a few metres away from me, a duck-like creature is holding in its beak...

*OO-WAGGA OO-WAGGA!*

...a bicycle horn.

Meet the scavenger-hunt grebe, the bird world’s greatest collector! 

A bird with white and brown feathers has a horn in their mouth.

My name is Hickory Slick. And welcome to Hickory Slick’s Weirdlife...with Hickory Slick.

*OO-WAGGA OO-WAGGA!*

The eager grebe has given the horn one last honk before dropping it on a pile of collected items. From here, I can see the pile includes several other bicycle horns, as well as a dozen red clown noses and a number of paintings of fruit. 

Ah! And here comes the “boss-bird” grebe who is the leader of this pack. It’s wearing several flashy necklaces and is waddling on its tiptoes to make it seem taller. Now the boss-bird is taking a closer look at the bicycle horn. It bobs its head twice to the grebe that brought the horn. This means, “Eh, I’ve seen better, but this will do.” The grebe jumps up and down excitedly in front of the boss-bird. It appears the boss-bird has declared this grebe its new best friend.

*SQUAWK! Ka-TANG!*

Oh, but the boss-bird has just announced the next item it wants for its pile. If the new best friend wants to remain best friends, it better hop to it! The grebe is nodding. And...it’s off!

Where is it flying to? Lucky for us, my jetpack is already on my back and all fueled up. Let’s follow that grebe! Jetpack, activated!

Hickory flies with a jetpack behind a grebe.

 We’ve now been flying for several hours. We’ve travelled far from where we started in Mongolia. We’ve just flown over the Arc de Triomphe. I’d say we’re in Paris! Aha! The scavenger-hunt grebe is swooping down towards the street. I’ll try to follow it...

Although, landing with a jetpack isn’t as easy as I expected. Aaah! OOF!

*SLOSSH*

I’ve landed in someone’s soup!

Pardonne-moi, I’m— I’m terribly sorry, madame. I didn’t mean to land in your lunch. Good thing I am wearing my soup-proof trousers. You see, I’m Hickory Slick, the famous naturalist, and I was following a scavenger-hunt grebe, when—

Ah! There it is now, waddling into that gift shop across the street. The grebe doesn’t seem to care that there’s a sign on the door saying “No Grebes Allowed!” in French. I suspect the shop has already had some trouble with grebes. 

Oh! Do you see that? The bird has come out of the shop again. That was fast! The gift shop owner is chasing after the bird! But it’s too late. The grebe has taken off into the sky with a souvenir clutched in its bill. It looks like the grebe has grabbed a mini Eiffel Tower statue! And judging by how mad the shop owner looks, I’ll bet the bird didn’t pay for it. 

 A grebe flies away from a shop front holding a Eiffel Tower statue in its mouth.

Now I must follow that bird. Jetpack, activated!

Here in the sky, I see that we’re racing back to Mongolia. And there are at least four other grebes flying with mini Eiffel Towers in their beaks! Yes, several birds are competing to be the best friend of our boss-bird back home.

Back at Lake Blop, a long line of very tired-looking scavenger-hunt grebes wait for the boss-bird to see their gifts. 

There’s quite a variety of mini Eiffel Towers. Some are a bit taller than others. Some are covered in gold or silver paint. One of the mini Eiffel Towers is actually a keychain! The boss-bird looks very pleased with that one. 

A grebe wearing lots of necklaces looks at multiple Eiffel Tower statues.

The grebe who brought the keychain is fanning its neck feathers. This gesture means, “I knew you’d like it.” The boss-bird is wagging its head. This gesture means, “Yes, even though I don’t own any keys – because I’m a bird – I do like the keychain.”

 But, hold on! The attention of all the grebes has shifted. Another grebe has just landed. It has its own item to show off.  But it did not bring a mini Eiffel Tower! 

Sometimes a treasure-hunt grebe will decide enough is enough. Instead of fetching useless items for the top bird just so the bird will like them more, a grebe might decide to bring back an entirely different item. Why? For no reason other than they fancy it. In other words, they plan to keep the item for themselves. But that’s a great risk. Instead of being the boss-bird’s best friend, this grebe might become its twentieth-best and be completely ignored by the entire flock.

All the grebes are now waddling over to the surprise item. They seem very curious about it. If I can get a little closer, I can see just what the surprise item is. 

Five grebes look at a can with a picture of a cow and holes in it.

Oh, my! This bold grebe has brought a small can with a picture of a cow on it. It’s a “moo box”. How unusual! I can say for certain that no grebe here has seen such a thing before. What’s a “moo box”? Well, if you pick it up and turn it over, like the grebe is doing right now...

*MOO!*

...the box makes a moo-ing sound. All of the other grebes look very impressed. The boss-bird looks worried. The bird who has brought the “moo box” has begun to stand on its tiptoes. All of the other grebes are turning their backs on the boss-bird and turning towards the “moo-box” bird. 

All the grebes are gathered around the cow can. Hickory watches from behind a bush.

What can this mean? We’re witnessing the election of a new boss-bird! The old boss-bird has joined the crowd of treasure-hunt grebes. They are all waiting to hear what this new boss-bird wants them to collect. 

Perhaps this new boss will be different from previous bosses. Perhaps it will request something that can be shared amongst the group. Perhaps it will even request something useful, like food or materials to build a nest.

*Ka-TANG Ka-TANG!*

The “moo-box” bird has announced its wish and all the treasure-hunt grebes fly off to find the very best...refrigerator magnet. And no, treasure-hunt grebes do not own refrigerators.

This has been Hickory Slick. Tune in next time for Hickory Slick’s Weirdlife...with me, Hickory Slick.

The End

OWN A PIECE OF SOOPER BOOKS.

We’re used by millions. Backed by dragons. And now is your chance to invest (from just £10) as we enter the $275bn global licensing market.

Find out more
More episodes
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
  • New
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
Weirdlife Episode 5 Raspberry Newt Animated Cover
Weirdlife E5 - Raspberry Newt 6+

Hickory discovers a newt that can make very embarrassing noises.

  • 9 mins
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

Benefits of reading Weirdlife - Scavenger Hunt Grebes

Weirdlife is an animal documentary inspired bedtime story series. This short story covers the theme of discovery. Scavenger Hunt Grebes 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 - Scavenger Hunt Grebes

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 scavenger hunt grebes.