It was really hot on the Caribbean island. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. The
only breeze was caused by small
animals running for shelter under the big palm trees. Occasionally the sand
seemed to shimmer and move but that was
due to the heat haze that played tricks on the eyes.
The two friends were sheltering under the biggest palm tree on the island. They
had called it "The Big One". But over
time this had been shorted to Biggun, it was easier to say and as neither knew
how to spell the word properly it was
easier. The Biggun must have been seventy feet high and twenty feet wide with
huge leaves that gave a very large area
of shade, whatever the time of day. The two friends had built a little platform
between Biggun and the smaller tree
next to it, they called this tree Titch because it was so much smaller.
The problem today was that both friends were very hot and bothered. They could
cool off in one of the many rock pools
that were on the edge of the beach but the real problem was they were lonely and
bored. They had been stranded on this
island for nearly two years. They had been hiding on a big ship when the storm
came. The waves were huge and kept
tossing the ship from side to side. Suddenly the piece of wood they had been
perching on was washed overboard and the
two friends had to huddle together and hang on for their life. When the storm
subsided they found themselves a few
yards from a dessert island and this was where they had made their home.
In the first few months they flew around at night hoping to see the lights from
other islands or tankers way out to
sea. But they found nothing and had eventually given up the idea of going home.
But where was home they had nearly
forgotten. All the other birds had gone and they were the last two of their
type. They had very clear black and white
markings, especially on their tails. Their Mums had always told them to Do this
but Don't do that and each of the
friends had acquired a nickname that had stuck ever since. The one with more
white feathers and the tick mark in his
tail became Do. The other with more black feathers and the cross in his tail was
called Don't. And because they were
best friends they had been called Do and Don't, for as long as they knew. But
they could not remember which family of
birds they came from and now as they were both lost, neither really cared.
Do was lying in his home made hammock and trying to swing from side to side to
make some breeze and cool down. Don't
had made a fan out of the leaves from Titch and was waving them around to make
some wind. However, the real problem
was that they were both bored. Bored and fed up because they were lonely.
Suddenly there was a huge gust of wind followed by a loud plop as a large and
strange nut fell off the Biggun. It hit
Titch and cracked in two. One half landing by Do and the other by Don't. The two
friends were shocked but picked up
the two pieces of nut and started playing with them. Firstly they pretended they
were telephones and that they could
talk into the shell and be heard by the other miles away. They called for help
and sent messages to people in the hope
that they would be rescued. Then they put the nuts on the their heads and
pretended they were the latest fashion in
baseball caps, but the one on Do kept falling off and made Don't laugh. Next,
Don't started to bang his half of the
nut on the trunk of Biggun and Do did the same on Titch. They both made
different noises and before long they were
making up a tune. It was a calypso and went like this.
When you're playing
Out in the sun
Down by the water
And having fun
To be aware -
'Cos water can be dangerous -
So you take care
All playing by the water
Just don't do things you shouldn't oughta.
Down on the beach and havin' fun
-Just play safe in the sun!
Do and Don't loved the song and kept practicing until it was perfect. They
created their own dance and soon all the
other animals joined in. It even seemed that Biggun and Titch were swaying to
the beat and joining in with the rhythm
by waving their leaves.
Do said, "This is great, but nobody can hear it. We must find a way of telling
everyone about playing and being safe.
We don't want them to end up like us. Stranded on an island miles from
So the two friends sat down, scratched their feathers and thought. They thought
and scratched their heads for two
whole days and three nights. Just as the sun was coming up on the third day
Don't shouted "That's it, I know what we
can do, how we can get off this island."