Another Read Aloud Series book.
|The Skimble-Scamble Soiree
of the Skua and the Skink
A Read Aloud Series Book
Skimble-scamble may be defined, among other things, as nonsensical. A soiree (pronounced swä-ray) is a social gathering, usually with a purpose in mind. A Skua is a predatory gull, growing as long as two feet. A Skink may be defined as a harmless, usually smooth-scaled lizard about six inches long.
Our story involves a rather nonsensical encounter between a long-tailed gull and a small, timid lizard, plus a few other characters, and is therefore described as The Skimble-Scamble Soiree of the Skua and the Skink.
It was a day of celebrating; a day for children playing, a day for circus tents and clowns. Summertime was everywhere, and women were in gowns. Laughing was most prominent and clapping loud and long. It was a joy for everyone, the circus was in town.
There was cotton candy, lemonade and popcorn in a bag. There were people buying tickets while others waved a flag.
And underneath the big top where the great ringmaster sings, he was announcing every act as it entered from the wings.
The laughing people entered, there was lots and lots of room, but one young lad said he first must have a pretty bright balloon. The vendor picked a red one that he knew the boy would love, and didn’t see the blue balloon now floating high above.
With its string trailing behind it, the escaped balloon would soar. It was free to fly high in the sky, it wasn’t earthbound anymore.
With children squabbling far below, preferring not to share, the blue balloon was happier while floating through the air. He knew that selfish children were never ever right. He’d heard all of their arguments through the day and night.
He floated past a fine old owl sitting in a tree, and thought aloud “I think that owl just may have winked at me!” And far below upon the ground a turtle stood and stared. It must have been a strange sight but the turtle hadn’t cared. It slowly pulled its head back inside its hard and glistening shell, and didn’t even take the time to wave a fond farewell.
A heron stood in the marsh and watched the funny show, it wasn’t really nosey but it had no place to go. Then, right at that moment the dangling string, as careless as could be, hooked upon a branch of a very old beech tree.
“My gracious,” cried the blue balloon, “how shall I start again?” Then suddenly he saw upon a rock the nasty peregrine.
The hawk’s keen eyes made it realize what barely could be seen. Hanging from the blue balloon was a long piece of string. The peregrine flew from the rock to sweep down on the tree, and clamp the string within his beak so he could pull it free.
“My goodness,” cried the blue balloon, “whatever can I do? That hawk will break the string and then take me away to chew!” But that was not the fate of the bright balloon of blue, the peregrine thrust out its beak, but by mistake it cut the string in two.
The breeze could blow right through the trees and that’s just what was done. The blue balloon with its long string sailed upward toward the sun.
That was a scary thing, the balloon said to itself, and it wished that it could float right down to rest upon a shelf. Just then a Skua was flying by, and noticed that the blue balloon was about to cry. “What’s wrong,” the Skua asked, “why are you so very sad?”
“I’m very, very tired,” the blue balloon replied, “only just a while ago I thought I had expired.”
And when the Skua heard the story it gently grabbed the string and pulled the balloon below to the shelf of rock that it had seen. As he flew down to land, the string went taut and the Skua wondered why. When he looked back he saw the culprit in the blinking of an eye. A skink had grabbed the string as it went flying by.
Now begins a silly confrontation between a sea gull and a lizard, if that’s what you’d prefer to think. But often it’s been called the skimble-scamble soiree of the Skua and the Skink.
The Skua said the string was his, while the Skink said that’s not true. When questioned why the Skink’s reply was, it doesn’t belong to you.
The Skua held the string and the Skink held on too, and the balloon above weaved back and forth, to him this was not new.
Just then the wind grew strong and forced the balloon to soar, pulling the Skink from off its rock, and the Skua from off the shore. They both held tightly to the string as it flew into the sky, but they knew, too, it wouldn’t do to go up so very high.
The Skink now feared for its life, and the Skua did now too, because the string had knotted around its leg and that would never do. The Skink looked down and saw the Skua and said he could set him free. But the Skua could fly and the Skink could not, whatever would it be?
“We should have shared the pretty balloon,” said the Skua to the Skink, “and that’s the reason why this is what I think. Our greediness will be the cause of both of us to die if this balloon continues to climb up so very high.”
“Maybe not,” the Skink replied, “I cannot fly, but I’m not tied so tightly to this string. I have four hands and could climb down and get you free, a very easy thing.”
“If you untie me from this knot,” said the Skua to the Skink, “I’d let you climb aboard my back, please tell me what you think.”
The Skink slid down the string and untied the nasty knot. He climbed aboard the Skua’s back and they flew off without a second thought.
The balloon kept on soaring as high as it could go, while the Skua and the Skink enjoyed the safety far below.
Read Aloud Series