Chapter 2 - Burra's plan
"Oh Burra, you are the cleverest bilby ever!" exclaimed Mrs Bilby. "What a wonderful plan! The eggs for the children will be such fun to make. And they will fit easily into our burrow, it is so full of cosy nooks and crannies."
Mrs Bilby looked at her husband sitting quietly in the corner. Like all bilbies, Burra was small and peaceful. He liked to spend his days curled up underground, safe from the desert sun. At night, he would venture out in search of delicious grubs and seeds, greeting the other creatures he met with a pleasant, sleepy smile.
Now all that had changed. The other creatures, like Burra Nimu and his family, were hungry and scared. The invaders were killing the land and the animals and birds who lived in it.
"I don't understand," said Bindee, Mrs Bilby's small niece. "How is Uncle Burra going to stop the rabbits?"
Mrs Bilby smiled proudly at her husband. His long, pink nose quivered quietly to itself as he sat lost in thought about the great journey to come.
"As you know, Bindee, you are the last of the Lesser Bilbies. Two summers ago, while you were visiting us, the rabbit army invaded the desert where your family lived. They ate everything in their path, destroying the land. No one could survive. That is the danger we are all facing now."
Mrs Bilby nuzzled her niece and wiped a tear away from her soft, furry cheek. "Don't cry, Bindee, your home is with us now."
"It will be all right, Bindee," promised Burra Nimu. "We bilbies may not be very big or strong, but we have courage.
"The newcomers do not understand the land the way the first people do. So we must reach the children. They will understand that the eggs are a special gift — a message asking them to help us stop the invaders and give new life to the land.
"When are you going to see the children, Father?" cried Binni. "I want to go with you!"
Mrs Bilby gave her young son an affectionate pat. "You are too young, Binni. You and Bindee must stay here. It will be the first such journey a bilby has ever made, and it will be very dangerous.
"It is not just the rabbits who do not want your father to reach the children. It is also the foxes and feral cats. None of them want the children to know what is happening to the natural creatures of the land."
"But isn't Uncle Burra scared?" asked Bindee.
"There's nothing wrong with being scared," Burra declared stoutly. "The important thing is to do what must be done.
"Now let's hurry to where Grandma BeeBee is making the eggs. She's saving the first one, in her pouch, especially for you!"