Oban's Myths & Legends
Platypus plays tricks
by Lauren - age 14
Before the dawn of time, all the animals looked the same.
Normally this was fine, but some of the cheekier animals likes to play tricks on Mother Earth and pretend to be other animals.
Since they looked exactly the same, even Mother Earth who had created them couldn't tell the difference!
To try to fix this problem, she decided to make each different animal look different, so they couldn't swap identities.
Now, there were some animals who liked flying through the air, or climbing trees more than anything, but not Platypus. He liked swimming.
At the time Mother Earth sent out her message that she was going to change what everyone looked like, Platypus was under the water, playing with his friend Fish.
Platypus stayed in the water even after Fish had got out, and since sound doesn't travel that well under water, Platypus didn't get to hear Mother Earth's message. It was only when Fish came back looking like a beautiful river fish, with his scales gleaming, that Platypus even knew about the message.
He left immediately for Mother Earth's home, so he too could look different. But by the time he got there, there was only left overs left. Platypus so wanted to be like everyone else, that he took the left overs.
He ended up with a beavers tail, a ducks bill and flippers, and a bears fur and claws at the end of the flippers.
When he got back to the lake to show his friends, they all just laughed at him.
Platypus was so embarrassed that he went and dug a hole in the ground near the river bank to live in.
After awhile though, Fish came along and apologised.
They become friends again, and Platypus even made another opening to his home underwater just so fish could come and visit