Having scrutinized his mother from below, Keesa turned his attention downwards, and then noticed what extremely long hind legs she had, and that she was sitting on them and her tail in a very comfortable manner.
Glancing instinctively round, Keesa saw that it was a very pleasant country, and that there were a good many others like his mother, sitting or moving softly about with long leaps, one and all keeping a sharp lookout for danger while munching the tender leaves and grass.
Once having had this peep at the world, Keesa became very interested in it, and every day poked his little head out of the pouch and watched his mother’s proceedings.
One day, when she let herself drop on her forepaws to nibble the nice, green grass, Keesa, on peeping out, found his own mouth close to the ground. Out of mere curiosity he tasted a little bit of the herbage, sniffing it very carefully, first of all, with his funny little nose, and behaving, unknown to himself, in the way that all kangaroos behave when they first begin to eat green food.
Having tasted the grass, Keesa found it extremely good, and the very next day, when his mother dropped on her forefeet to feed, his head came out of the pouch and down went his little mouth too.
But this time out went one of his little, short, front paws and rested on the earth. One quick movement, and, to his astonishment, he found himself really in the world. Just for a moment he felt so terribly frightened that he leaped straight back into the pouch again, and his little heart beat as fast as ever his mother’s did in time of danger.
But the next moment curiosity got the better of him, and he was so proud of himself in being able to move about so nimbly that he was out of the pouch again, and this time, not feeling half so frightened, hopped and skipped about until even his mother looked at him with surprise.
From that time Keesa always jumped out of his mother’s pouch and ran about while she was feeding. He felt perfectly safe now, because at the least sign of danger all he had to do was to hop back again, pull down his small head and hide it, and everything was all right.
But as time went on Keesa began to realize that although. Australia is such a beautiful country the life of a kangaroo is full of danger.
Some peculiar beings called men had found out, it seemed, that the flesh of the kangaroo was very good eating; and once having realized this, they had no pity, but, whenever they wanted kangaroo flesh, hunted the animals and killed as many as they possibly could.
Once Keesa’s mother, and a number of other kangaroos, were having a comfortable feed on the plain, when suddenly numbers of men called hunters came from all parts and attacked the poor kangaroos with spears, clubs and horrible fire things.
The poor animals looked wildly around with their pathetic eyes, and then swiftly and silently—for, like the giraffe, the kangaroo never makes a sound—tore backwards and forwards, wild and bewildered with fear, assailed on all sides by sharp arrows and spears, and by heavy things which struck terrible blows.