Galapagos Duck had always wished she could see right out over the ocean; she had heard stories from the Albatross about the beautiful “Islands” that dotted the ocean and she had always wished that she could see one.
Galapagos went to visit the Albatross every chance she got; the little duck would sit for hours as the Albatross told tales of their adventures and journeys. Over and over again, Galapagos sat in absolute silence and listened as the Albatross described the beauty of the Islands.
Galapagos had flown as far out over the ocean as she could on her stubby little duck wings, but it had never been far enough to see an Island. For Galapagos the islands were just something to dream about while she sat high on her clifftop and looked out over the ocean.
Every day, Galapagos walked along the beach when the tide was out; there were never any humans at the beach at that time of day and she often found lovely titbits of food that they had left behind after their picnics.
Galapagos had finished her walk along the beach and was just checking The Picnic Area for food scraps when she found them; she’d seen the humans use them to look out over the ocean many times and she knew they let them see things far, far away – like ISLANDS!
The shiny, black binoculars lay in the long grass at the back of The Picnic Area, with their strap curling out onto the short, mown grass where the humans sat to eat.
Galapagos forgot all about food in her excitement; it was like a dream come true – finally she would be able see The Islands.
The binoculars were very heavy around Galapagos’ neck as she flew up toward the top of the cliff and it was getting dark when she finally landed on Lookout Point where the cliff jutted out into the ocean.
The last of the evening sun had disappeared into the ocean as the little duck finally lowered the binoculars gently onto the soft grass of Lookout Point.
Lookout Point was the very highest place on the cliffs and Galapagos knew that she would be able to see almost the whole ocean from up there when the sun rose in the morning.
Galapagos was awake before the sun was up in the morning; the sun rose slowly behind him as she stood gazing out over the clear blue, sparkling water of the ocean.
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the morning sunlight seemed to dance in the spray at the top of the waves as Galapagos strained her eyes to see if she could see even a tiny glimpse of an Island.
Setting the binoculars on a big rock, Galapagos put her eyes to the lenses like she’d seen the humans do.
Galapagos jumped back in fright; through the binoculars it looked like the waves had come to the top of the cliff and were about to splash over him.
It was a few minutes before Galapagos was game to look into the binoculars again, but slowly she became used to the ocean looking so close.
Galapagos found that by moving the binoculars around she could look over more and more of the ocean; but try as she might, she just couldn’t see any Islands.
Galapagos was about to give up when she finally found it; she couldn’t see much, but it was definitely an Island.
Rising out of the ocean, way off, as far away as she could see, Galapagos could see cliffs just like the ones she stood on now. Above the cliffs, Galapagos could see the dark green tangle of a Jungle; just like the Albatross had talked about. Not only could Galapagos see an Island; she could see a Jungle too!
Galapagos jumped so high in the air in her excitement that she almost fell off the edge of the cliff before settling down to gaze for hours at the magic of it; it really was a dream come true – she, a simple Duck was looking at a real live “Island” and a “Jungle”, both at the same time.
The little duck examined every little bit of the cliffs and the Jungle and she knew that she would never forget what they looked like – as long as she lived, she would always remember this day.
Finally, Galapagos sat back from the binoculars; she realised that the sun was now high in the sky and she hadn’t even had any breakfast yet; reluctantly she left her beloved binoculars and headed toward The Picnic Area to see what she could find.
The Picnic Area wasn’t deserted like Galapagos expected it to be; there was an old Station Wagon and lots of children running around searching everywhere.
Galapagos landed quite close to the children and sat behind a tussock of grass to wait for them to leave so that she could search for food.
“They must be here somewhere” cried one of the boys; “I was sitting right there using them to watch the birds” the young boy continued, pointing to a spot just near where Galapagos had found her binoculars.
Galapagos’ heart sank; she knew now that the thing she treasured more than anything else, her binoculars, really belonged to these children.
One thing that Galapagos had always been very proud of was her honesty, and she knew that it was wrong to keep something that belonged to someone else.
Galapagos heart felt heavy as she flew back up to the top of the cliff, but it felt even heavier as she flew back down toward The Picnic Area with the binoculars hanging around her neck.
Quietly, Galapagos landed behind the Station Wagon so that the children wouldn’t see him as she left the binoculars where they would be sure to find them, then she crept quietly into the bushes to watch.
It was almost dark when the children’s father called them back to the car and they all reluctantly gave up their search for their lost binoculars. “Come on kids” she called “we have to get home for dinner, so we’ll have to leave – let’s go”.
As the children slowly headed back towards the Station Wagon Galapagos had a tiny hope that they wouldn’t see the binoculars and she would be able to keep them.
“I’ve found them, I’ve found them” shouted little Mary excitedly as she jumped up and down waving the binoculars in the air.
All the children ran over to Mary and soon they were all jumping up and down with her. Galapagos found herself almost jumping up and down with the children because she felt so good that they were happy again.
There was a mixture of happiness and sadness for Galapagos as she watched the children drive away with their father; she was happy that they were happy, but just a little sad because she knew that she would never see The Island again.
But mostly, Galapagos felt good because she knew that she had done a good and honest thing; she had given the binoculars back to the children who really owned them, and being honest was much more important to him than seeing The Island.
Anyway, Galapagos knew that all she had to do to see The Island was to close her eyes and remember those beautiful cliffs and the lush, twisted Jungle at their top.
Galapagos knew that her memories of The Island with its beautiful Jungle, and the knowledge that she was an honest duck would be her forever. And of course Galapagos knew that feeling good about herself was always more important than having things – even good things like binoculars.