Operatic Duck / Duck on Tour

BOOK: Operatic Duck / Duck on Tour

IP Kidz

an imprint of IP (Interactive Publications Pty Ltd)

Treetop Studio • 9 Kuhler Court

Carindale, Queensland, Australia 4152

[email protected]


First published by IP Kidz in 2010

© Hazel Edwards and Christine Anketell, 2010 (text)

© Mini Goss, 2010 (illustrations)

ePub edition, 2010

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the
prior written permission of the copyright owner and the publisher of this book.

Printed in 12 pt Book Antiqua on 14 pt Myriad Pro.

National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry:

Author: Edwards, Hazel, 1945-

Title: Operatic duck : duck on tour / Hazel Edwards and

Christine Anketell ; illustrations by Mini Goss.

ISBN: 9781921479861 (ebk.)

Series: Edwards, Hazel, 1945- Operatic duck.


Target Audience: For primary school age.

Subjects: Ducks--Juvenile fiction.

Other Authors/Contributors: Anketell, Christine.

Goss, Mini.

Dewey Number: A823.3

Cover and internal illustrations by Mini Goss

Book and cover design by Anna Bartlett

Operatic Duck


Mr Bigge

The Rehearsal

Things Go Wrong

Quack Quack

The Grand March, With Duck!

Duck on Tour

All Aboard

On Board

Outer Tarn



Chapter 1


‘One, two, three and a half.'

Duck covered his eyes with his wings and counted to ten.

‘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.

‘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.

‘Yes,' came Sheep's voice from inside the Abbey.

‘Are you in the same place?' asked Duck.


Sheep loved hiding under the pew, which was a long church seat. Duck checked. That's where the muddy footprints went, again.

‘Got you, Sheep.' Duck tapped Sheep's woolly shoulder.

‘How did you find me so fast?'

Duck just smiled.

‘You won't be able to hide here soon, Sheep.' Parrot flew down from the high wooden ceiling.

‘What d'you mean, Parrot?' Sheep's eyes opened wide.

‘There's a billboard out the front,' said Parrot.


‘The Abbey has been sold.'

‘Oh no!' said Duck. ‘Sold! That means our playground is sold.'

‘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.

‘It's a place where people put up news. This one says SOLD,' said Parrot.

‘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.

‘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.

‘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.

‘Why do people need maps of what they can see in front of them?' asked Duck.

‘I'm in front of you, Duck, and I'm not on the map,' said Sheep.

‘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.'

‘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.'

‘I see,' said Sheep. He'd lost count.

‘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.'

‘What was her job?' Duck liked anything with wings, except cockroaches.

‘She looked after things,' said Parrot.

‘Excuse me.' Sheep was still staring at the billboard map. ‘Is that our fence on the map?'

‘Yes,' said Parrot.

‘Is that Pig's trough next to the fence?'

‘Yes,' said Duck.

‘Not much room,' said Sheep. ‘Pig will be eating right under this black square.'

‘That black square is Isis Apartment 101.'Parrot knew his numbers as well as his colours.

They looked at each other. Pig was a VERY messy eater. And you could smell his dinner from a long way off.

Time to see Cate, thought Duck. Cate fed all the farm animals, and decided who ate where. Maybe Pig would have to change his habits?

Chapter 2

Mr Bigge

‘You have to do something!' Cate said.

Duck heard voices and smelt warm scones coming from the farm kitchen. Cate had a visitor.

Duck waddled in.

Cate's friend Ned was waving an Isis leaflet while spilling his mug of tea and dropping crumbs.

‘Ned, Mr Bigge has promised that his Isis
Apartments won't block out the light for the Farm.'
Cate buttered more scones. Ned was skinny but he ate whatever was there, Duck noticed.

‘That's what Mr Bigge says, but have you looked at the plans? The pig trough is right under the most expensive apartments!' said Ned.

Cate said, ‘Pig won't mind moving.'

Won't mind moving, thought Duck. Pig minds EVERYTHING to do with his food. Or where he sleeps. Or where he walks. Or where he does ANYTHING!

‘Mr Bigge said our visitors can use the new car park.'

‘Only because we made him,' said Ned. ‘I said the only way he could build his new Isis Apartments in the old Abbey gardens was IF he turned the Abbey into a community centre.'

‘Yes, ‘said Cate. ‘The new centre will bring lots of visitors to the farm.'

‘Did I hear the word “visitors”?' a voice boomed from a large dark shadow in the doorway.

Duck looked up, and up, and up... Mr Bigge was big.

‘Cate, I've got a great idea for you.' Mr Bigge hurled himself onto a kitchen chair. ‘Oh, hello again Ned.'

‘Hope the chair doesn't break,' whispered Duck to Sheep, who nodded.

‘Let me guess, ‘said Ned. ‘Something about your Isis Apartments?'

‘Spot on, young man. Wait until you hear this.'

Cate and Ned leaned closer and Parrot, who liked to have any news firsthand, landed on the window sill to listen. Sheep and Duck looked up and up at the round tower that was Mr Bigge.

‘We're going to do an opera!'

Everyone looked blankly at Mr Bigge.

‘Thought that would surprise you. Lots of singing, dancing and music, that's what the opening needs.'

‘Opening?' said Cate.

‘Yes, I'm starting the Isis Apartments on July 1
, and to celebrate we're going to put on a community opera. Everyone who looks good in a costume can be in it!'

‘Which opera?' Ned added more jam to his scone.

Duck noticed that Ned liked details.

‘Aida, of course. I named my apartments Isis because the Egyptian temple of the goddess Isis was by the river. My apartments are by the river.'

‘What's all that got to do with apartments and opera?' whispered Sheep to Duck.

‘So, why the opera “Aida”?' asked Cate.

‘Glad you asked,' boomed Mr Bigge. ‘Aida is a love story set in Egypt. And everybody is going to love my apartments, so – let's do Aida.'

‘Of course,' mumbled Ned. ‘And there's a battle in the opera.'

‘Where will the performance be?' asked Cate.

‘In the Abbey.'

‘Aida in the Abbey. Wonderful!' Cate loved music. ‘Aida is set in the temple of Isis, the Egyptian winged goddess who looked after things.'

‘Yes, my architect told me,' said Mr Bigge. ‘He drew the plans. That's why my roof will have wings.'

‘Wings, like mine only bigger,' said Duck to Sheep. ‘Wow.'

‘Who will direct the Opera?' Ned asked. ‘We need someone who can handle The Grand March.'

‘The Grand March,' enthused Cate. ‘That's when they bring in all the animals, chests of gold, drummers and dancers captured in battle. Our farm animals will want to march.'

Duck, Sheep and Parrot looked at each other. Here was a chance.

‘Wonderful,' said Mr Bigge.

‘Puppets would be better,' said Ned.

‘We shall have real animals AND dancing puppets,' decided Cate.

‘The only dancer around here is Pig,' snorted Parrot.

‘He did a wonderful belly dance at our concert,' said Duck who would never forget Pig's amazing twirls.

‘Quite stole the show,' said Sheep.

‘Why don't you direct it, Ned?' said Mr Bigge.

‘We'll have a meeting. Ask volunteers to make costumes and be in the show,' said Cate.

‘Cost a fortune,' said Ned.

Cate smiled. ‘You didn't buy many pencils last year Ned. There's a bit of money left. Use that.'

‘I'll give you money, ‘said Mr Bigge. ‘But Aida must go on at the right time. I've got TV cameras coming.'

Ned nodded. ‘Could we use the hayshed for making costumes and puppets and for rehearsals?'

Ned's thin face looked happy. He was going to direct an opera. Duck remembered how he felt when he had almost ‘directed' the farm animals in the TV commercial. Getting people (and animals) to work together was a big job.

‘Just send me the bills.' Mr Bigge left.

‘Mr Bigge has big ideas to sell his apartments,' said Duck to Parrot and Sheep. ‘This Grand March may need our help'.

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