Wildlife Postcard Project

QUACK! Super excited to share this postcard I created with illustrator Alissa Duke! I wrote this little story in the depths of Melbourne’s long lockdown last year. Writing is one of the joys getting me through these uncertain times and I hope this postcard brings a little joy to you!

In 2020, the Melbourne City of Literature Office commissioned a series of postcards, the art and image of each centred around a different animal found in Victoria, to be presented when the Office has the opportunity to travel overseas.

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‘QUACK! QUACK!’ My brothers and sisters are wishing the world would wake. I wish I could find some peace and quiet.

‘QUACK! QUACK! BREAKFAST! BREAKFAST!’

But I am hungry. ‘What’s for breakfast, Mum?’

‘It’s time you learn the tricks to catch your own fish.’

‘Catch a fish? On my own?’

‘Yes, my dear, it’s time to grow.’

I waddle out from under the quilt of Mum’s wings and look on the brand new day. Yawning from dawn is the sun, making our lake sparkle with life. Towering buildings shine on the surface like fish scales. Mum says the big big city we live in is called Melbourne. My great great ancestors called it Naarm named by the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation, the first people of our home.

Humankind live in the city with us, and nearby a family of humans are having their breakfast on the bank. They don’t have feathers or beaks or webbed feet, or wear black crowns such as we do, but they nestle close together like my family flock. And they are just as noisy, chomping on their crunchy rolls.

‘Can we ask them for food? I’m sure they’ll throw us a bite.’

‘Bread is not good for you, little one,’ says Mum, ‘and you can’t rely on humans all your life.’

SPLASH! SPLASH!

My family jump into the lake. I wobble into the water, kicking the cold away as I paddle out.

Mum is upside down, her legs sticking straight up in the air. Her secret green feather flashes brightly on her side. I wonder what colour mine will be when I grow up? Only one way to find out.I dive head first. Legs up. Bum out. Time to grow.

——–

Pacific Black Duck written by Lisette Drew, illustrated by Alissa Duke. Postcard 10 of 21 #WildlifePostcards. Do your part to support the wealth and diversity of Victorian Wildlife by donating to @wildlifevictoria https://www.wildlifevictoria.org.au/…/donate-to…

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