Home » Children » Wilfie’s War on Woody Weeds – a story for children by John Sinclair

Wilfie’s War on Woody Weeds – a story for children by John Sinclair

Wilfie and his Scout Patrol found a wonderful project for their Bob-a-Job week to raise money for their Scout group.  An old man had offered to give the patrol 50 cents for every woody weed they removed from his valley on Fraser Island but only as long as they removed every single one.  Wilfie and his patrol didn’t mind because there were hundreds of woody weeds and they expected to make a lot of money.  Besides it would give them a chance to spend more time on beautiful Fraser Island.  Even Wilfie’s dad was happy to help take the patrol over and do a spot of fishing while he was there.

The old man who had given them the project was very particular that they got the very last one or they wouldn’t be paid at all.  He explained, “I can’t remember there being any cherry trees here when I built my house here 50 years ago.  Then one of my neighbours planted a tree in their back yard.  I only noticed it when it was quite big and bearing lots of berries.  The figbirds came in droves from far and wide to feast on the fruit.  They just loved those bright juicy berries.  The problem was that when those birds went to the toilet they passed out the seeds.  Very soon those cherry trees were sprouting up all over the valley.  Soon quite a forest had sprung up.  More trees brought more fruit and more birds.  The forest kept spreading.

 “If you leave just one woody weed in this valley it will be just like that very first cherry tree planted in my neighbour’s back yard.  Soon there will be another forest of woody weeds to haunt us.  That is why you must not leave a single stem,” the old man told them.

Wilfie and his patrol worked very hard to remove the woody weeds.  Some were quite big trees, but although they looked attractive, they were out of place on Fraser Island.  They cut, hacked and sawed their way through the valley.  Some of the trees were four metres tall but the patrol was careful not to leave a single seed on the ground remembering the old man’s words.

At the end of the week they had removed over 1,000 trees and shrubs but they were exhausted.  There was just one corner of the valley that nobody went near and Wilfie didn’t have the energy to check it out.  They were ready to see the old man in the morning to get the money that would help the Scout troop but new equipment.

That night however Wilfie had a dream.  A green ghost appeared calling out a mournful “Whoo-whee”.  It really scared him.  Wilfie had never seen a ghost before let alone a green ghost who had a really haunting call that made the hairs on his head stand straight up.

 “Who are you?” asked Wilfie.

“I am Whoo-Whee, the ghost of the woody weeds and I am here to haunt you because you left me in that corner of the valley that nobody looks in and as long as there are any of us left in this valley I will be around to haunt you,” the green ghost declared.

That really scared Wilfie and so he had his patrol up before breakfast the next morning to make sure that not a single woody weed was left in that secret corner or any other part of the valley.

The old man was thankful and appreciated their effort.  Wilfie and the other Scouts went home with Wilfie’s dad, happy that they had achieved so much.  But Wilfie was especially happy

because he knew that he would be able to sleep well at night without being haunted by Whoo-Whee, the ghost of the woody weeds because he knew that not a single one was left.

Wangoolba Creek

Wangoolba Creek