The burden of the drought lay heavily on the Creatures in Gumnut Town. There were stern water restrictions. Notices pasted on walls in the town said: "Creatures, save the water." "Creatures, take care of the drips, the gallons will take care of themselves." "Creatures, bathe one half one day, and one-half the next." "Creatures, wear your clothes first one side and then the other." "Creatures, use dry shampoo."
Each day over the air a loud Voice warned all creatures to "Beware! Terrible punishment will fall upon all those who waste water or break the rules of the Water Board."
"Inspectors are watching," said the Voice. "Beware!"
Ah, that's what we're doing wrong. We've been washing both sides at once!!
This gorgeous description of drought was written by May Gibbs in Scottie in Gumnut Land back in 1941. This isn't the first drought in Oz; it won't be the last...
We're reading this book as our AO2 read aloud. It is like a wacky Snugglepot and Cuddlepie: Talking birds - "She's left eyed," said Mrs Dove; quaint Tiggy Touchwood who was turned into a pig by a wicked magician; a good smattering of gumnut babies and big bad banksiamen; and a Scotch terrier aptly named Scotty, combine to make a totally weird, entirely Australian tale that every child from 7-77 will love.
It is really rather strange, but entirely good fun!