Read DuckStar / Cyberfarm Online
Authors: Hazel Edwards
Hazel Edwards and
Illustrations by Mini Goss
an imprint of IP (Interactive Publications Pty Ltd)
Treetop Studio â¢ 9 Kuhler Court
Carindale, Queensland, Australia 4152
First published by Oxford Press in 2002
2nd edition published by IP in 2010
Â© Hazel Edwards and Christine Anketell, 2010 (text)
Â© 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: Duckstar ; and, Cyberfarm / Hazel Edwards and
Christine Anketell; illustrations by Mini Goss.
Edition: 2nd ed.
ISBN: 9781921479588 (ebk)
Target Audience: For primary school age.
Subjects: Ducks--Juvenile fiction.
Other Authors/Contributors: Goss, Mini.
Edwards, Hazel, 1945- Cyberfarm.
Dewey Number: A823.3
Cover and internal illustrations by Mini Goss
Book and cover design by Anna Bartlett
Goodbye and Hello
âWelcome, Duck. I'm Caitlin, but everyone calls me Cate. I'm the Farm Caretaker.'
Putting down her bucket, Cate shook wings with Duck.
Duck poked his head into the bucket.
It smelt delicious. Bready and fruity with sultanas. He loved sultanas. He leant in further.
His tail went up and he fell headfirst into the warm, fruity porridge.
Cate pulled him out. Duck was covered in porridge and sultanas.
Even his voice was porridgy.
Cate washed him under the yard tap. âCan't waste sultanas. The farm needs money to fix things up, the Health and Safety Inspector said so. Otherwise we'll be closed down in a month.'
âWhat sort of things?' wondered Duck.
Cate pulled out a crumpled piece of paper. It read:
Fix these or the farm will close.
Pond needs fence.
Duckboards over mud.
Mr Safe T. Rex
âWe need duckboards over the mud so kids don't slip in wet weather.'
Duck liked the idea of duckboards.
âWheelchair access. New toilets â our old ones stink! It all costs heaps.'
Cate checked the bucket. âOh good, there's still enough there.'
âPig likes his porridge on time.'
âDoes Pig eat porridge for dinner?' asked Duck.
âPig eats sultana porridge ANY time. It's his favourite treat.'
Duck followed Cate's boots to the pigpen. Pig's big snout poked through the wooden fence.
Cate poured porridge into his dish. Pig gobbled, without even a thank you. No manners, thought Duck.
Pig coughed. Out popped a large, yellow feather.
Duck and Cate looked at each other.
âWhat is a yellow feather doing in my porridge?' grunted Pig.
âWhat's your duck feather doing in my porridge?'
âI fell into it,' said Duck.
âDo you always let other animals bath in my dinner?' asked Pig.
âIt was an accident.' Cate wiped the feather on her rainbow overalls and stuck it in her hair.
âListen, Duck. Stay away from my dinner,' warned Pig.
âWill you be my friend?' begged Duck.
âMaybe.' Pig gobbled. 'Hey, there's only six sultanas in this porridge, Cate.'
âWe're cutting back on luxuries.'
âSix sultanas are a luxury?' Pig couldn't believe his ears.
âCome along, Duck, let's collect the eggs.'
âPig didn't make me feel very welcome,' said Duck.
âIt takes time to get to know Pig,' said Cate.
Cate picked up a sack and a bucket of cabbage leaves and carefully opened the hen house door.
Rich smells hit Duck's nose. Hay. Wholemeal bread. Eggs. Inside were brown, black and white squawking chickens.
Cate threw leaves onto the ground, poured grain and filled bowls with fresh water.
Two brown eggs nestled in a hollow of the straw. Cate put the eggs into her bucket. After feeding the hens, Cate and Duck entered the largest barn. It smelt of woodsmoke and wool.
âMy favourite spot is beside the fireplace. Would you like to sleep here?' Cate pointed to the wooden rocking chair with a saggy, purple cushion. Duck noticed the coffee stains. Cate laughed. âYes, I am a bit messy. Daytime, it's mine. You can have the night shift.'
Duck flew up onto the chair. It wobbled. So did Duck. He went forward. Then back. The rocking got faster and stronger. Duck couldn't balance.
The chair rocked and hurled him into the fireplace ashes. His wings felt ashy and so did his feet.
Cate laughed so much that she had to wipe her eyes.
âOh Duck, you are so funny, you should be on TV.' Cate hugged him. âLet's have dinner now before you get into more strife.'
THINGS I SHOULD HAVE DONE YESTERDAY! said the sign on the fridge. Duck giggled. He definitely liked Cate.
Then he looked back. Ashy footprints marked his trail.
âDon't worry, Duck, I'll clean it up in the morning,' Cate said as she stirred the pot on the stove. It smelt delicious.
Duck felt at home.
After dinner Duck tackled the rocker again. If he didn't move too fast, it was okay. He settled down to dream about being a TV star.
Duck sat up. Moonlight shone through the door. Very weird noises came from a pen at the opposite end of the barn.
Duck told himself he was brave. Or he would be, if whatever was making the noise was friendly.
He tiptoed down the barn, poked his beak around the wooden pillar, looked inside the pen and saw...
a goat dancing with four tin cans on his feet and a sheep, with a walkman hanging from its neck, trying to sing while it shone a torch on the goat.
There it was again!
Duck shook his feathers. It wasn't a nightmare.
âExcuse me.' But they couldn't hear Duck over the tin cans and the walkman.
âQUACK!' Duck let out his loudest quack.
Sheep shone the torch on Duck.
âOh dear,' moaned Goat. âHow embarrassing.'
âYou must be the new duck. We haven't met,' said Sheep, just as the headphones fell off and the walkman crashed to the ground.
âMy name's Duck. Why are you... er... dancing in the middle of the night?'
âWe're practising,' said Goat.
âPractising?' asked Duck. âFor what?'
âWe want to go on “Star Quest”, the TV talent show. Then we'll win money for the farm and be able to entertain the children,' said Goat.
âDon't they like you just as you are?' asked Duck.
âWell,' bleated Sheep. âYesterday, Goat heard the word “boring”. Some children asked their mother when the tigers and elephants were coming.'
âSo what do you do when the children come to see you?' Duck was really interested.
âI say my “Baas” clearly and make sure my wool is curly,' said Sheep.
âStand up straight, keep our straw clean and try not to frighten the children,' added Goat.
âIs that all you do?' asked Duck politely.
âIt's been enough up until now,' said Sheep.
âI think I understand the problem,' nodded Duck.
âWe practise at night,' said Goat.
âWhy?' asked Duck.
âImagine what Pig would say if he saw us,' explained Goat.
âWe can't be boring. Horse gives the children rides and Cow provides milkshakes, and Parrot talks to visitors,' said Sheep.
âMind you, he only asks for crackers,' said Goat.
âI haven't met them yet, âsaid Duck.
âYou will. They know you're here,' smiled Sheep.
âI won't laugh at you,' promised Duck.
âWonderful. An audience,' said Goat.
âMy torch batteries just died,' said Sheep.
âUse the moon.' Duck flew up onto the railing to be an audience.
In the moonlight, Goat and Sheep performed.
It was dreadful. What could Duck say? When they had finished Goat and Sheep bowed.
Duck clapped. He had to.
âWhat d'you think?' asked Sheep.
âIt must have been awful,' said Goat. âHe's being polite.'
Duck knew he had to say something.
âYou've got good ideas.' He paused. âI might be able to help you. I was in the school play.'
âYou've performed before?' asked Goat.
âYes. I played the third camel in the Christmas play,' said Duck.
âI played a sheep in a Parade once,' said Sheep.
âI've never been in anything,' said Goat.
âDuck, you could be our Director,' said Sheep.
Duck liked that idea.
Later, Duck snuggled on a cushion. Could they go on TV to raise money to help the farm?