• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 12
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Bertie Junior

Bertie Junior’s father was a resourceful man; always using innovative and intriguing techniques to promote his mini Australian animal park named ‘Roo Zoo’ situated in the middle of the metropolis.

It’s crazy to think that at the tender age of four Bertie Jnr. would stand on an upturned wooden vegetable crate; on the paved intersection of Rothbury Avenue and Sunbeam Drive; the busiest part of Perth’s noisy, shopping district. He would hand out flyers to passers-by, dressed as a miniature bus conductor, shouting “Come to Woo Zoo and see all the cute, and SCARY ‘nimals ov Awe-stray-lea. Half Price entry with vis flya!” - This was a regular Wednesday afternoon occurrence for this unconventional little man, after being picked up from playgroup.

Albert Senior, Bertie’s father, was a slight build, ruddy-faced, British expat now firmly planted in the sunshine of the southern hemisphere. He was truly proud of his eccentric and colourful leaflets for which he paid Bertie, 5c for every fifty he managed to distribute to shoppers.

Part of the appeal employing Bertie Jnr. (if you could call it, employing!) was this little man had an extremely serious face, reminiscent of that expression one might show after sucking on a slice of lemon. It was often commented that Bertie Jnr. looked like a cross between a pint-sized Adolf Hitler, and that really scary kid who played Damien in the Omen films. But whatever you thought of this scary, tot, you couldn’t help but think he was a perfect for this job.

Bertie Jnr. managed on a regular basis to distribute all the flyers given to him by his father. So, on these momentous occasions he would be rewarded with his choice of sweets from ‘Professor Wayne’s Pop ’n’ Choc Emporium’.

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Bertie Junior

After receiving whooping praise from his father, they would enter the aforementioned sweet shop of delights. And just for a moment, Bertie’s eyes would open wild like the baby tarsiers they had at their zoo, grin from ear to ear, revealing his almost toothless smile; grab a big pink ‘Goo-Ball’; stuff it into his mouth and revert to that sulky, solemn, grumpy child once more.

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