Operatic Duck / Duck on Tour

Operatic Duck / Duck on Tour by Hazel Edwards Read Free Book Online

Book: Operatic Duck / Duck on Tour by Hazel Edwards Read Free Book Online
Authors: Hazel Edwards
Chapter 1
    Billboard

    â€˜One, two, three and a half.’
    Duck covered his eyes with his wings and counted to ten.
    â€˜Eight, nine, ten. Coming, ready or not.’
    He was playing Hide-and-Seek in the Abbey with Sheep and Parrot.    The Abbey was beside the Children’s Farm. It used to be a church. Most days he waddled through the Abbey vegetable garden, poked his bill under straggly tomato plants, and did his sunshine exercises on the back step until Cate called him to help feed the hens.
    The Abbey looked big. Duck loved water painting the solid blue stones with his feathers on hot days. Today, the sunlight shone through the stained glass making rainbow patterns on the floor.
    â€˜Sheep, are you hiding?’ called Duck looking at Sheep’s footprints. Muddy splotches trailed into the Abbey. It wasn’t hard to guess where Sheep had gone to hide.
    â€˜Yes,’ came Sheep’s voice from inside the Abbey.
    â€˜Are you in the same place?’ asked Duck.
    â€˜Yes.’
    Sheep loved hiding under the pew, which was a long church seat. Duck checked. That’s where the muddy footprints went, again.

    â€˜Got you, Sheep.’ Duck tapped Sheep’s woolly shoulder.
    â€˜How did you find me so fast?’
    Duck just smiled.
    â€˜You won’t be able to hide here soon, Sheep.’ Parrot flew down from the high wooden ceiling.
    â€˜What d’you mean, Parrot?’ Sheep’s eyes opened wide.
    â€˜There’s a billboard out the front,’ said Parrot.
    â€˜So?’
    â€˜The Abbey has been sold.’
    â€˜Oh no!’ said Duck. ‘Sold! That means our playground is sold.’
    â€˜What’s a billboard?’ asked Sheep. This was another new word and he’d already learnt three this week. Sheep didn’t like to fill his head with too many new words.
    â€˜It’s a place where people put up news. This one says SOLD,’ said Parrot.
    â€˜I’ve got a bill,’ said Duck. ’Let’s look at that billboard.’ He liked to check out anything that could have something to do with him.
    Sheep, Parrot and Duck played “follow the leader” in a wobbly line through the smelly weeds and overgrown roses to the front of the Abbey.
    Duck stared at the big sign. On one side was a picture with coloured blobs.
    â€˜That’s a map,’ Parrot squawked. ‘Tells you where things are. Or where they should be if people haven’t moved them.’
    Duck looked around, then back at the map.
    â€˜It’s not the same,’ he said.
    Parrot pointed at the blue blob. ‘Blue is water. Black is buildings. Green is grass or trees. This black is the Children’s Farm and this green is Horse’s paddock.’
    Sheep nodded. He didn’t understand but Parrot sure knew his colours.
    â€˜Why do people need maps of what they can see in front of them?’ asked Duck.
    â€˜I’m in front of you, Duck, and I’m not on the map,’ said Sheep.
    â€˜It’s only a map of what’s stuck in the ground, and we’re not,’ said Parrot.
    Duck looked at the other side of the sign. It had a picture of a white building with wings for a roof. ‘I can’t see that here.’

    â€˜Not yet,’ said Parrot. ‘That’s what a billboard does. It shows you a picture of what this place is GOING to look like, when the Isis Apartments are built. See, these numbers are what the apartments are going to cost.’
    â€˜I see,’ said Sheep. He’d lost count.
    â€˜I like those great wings on the roof,’ said Duck.
    Parrot puffed out his chest with pride. ‘They’re called the Isis Apartments because Isis was an Egyptian goddess with wings.’
    â€˜What was her job?’ Duck liked anything with wings, except cockroaches.
    â€˜She looked after things,’ said Parrot.
    â€˜Excuse me.’ Sheep was still staring at the billboard map. ‘Is that our fence on

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