The tour bus drove through the outback; occasionally stopping so the tour guide could point out a geologic landmark and discuss its history. Jimmy was part of this group, he was visiting Australia as part of a course in college. He assignment was to learn about its wilderness and wildlife, and figured that this tour would be a great way to do so.
It was a good a good thing the bus was air-conditioned and that they had plenty of water, the outside temperature was in excess of 40 Celsius and there was no shade in sight.
About 3 hours into the tour, the bus stopped, so that everyone could get out to explore a small cave that was nearby. The cave had several impressive geologic formations in it and was a normal part of the tour. The tour of the cave was uneventful, that is until Jimmy, who happened to be at the back of the group stopped to look at a few more formations before moving on.
Looking at his watch he realized he had been starting at the formations for 20 minutes, he ran towards the exit of the cave. He thought that there was no way the group would forget him, that they would do a “head count” after boarding and that he would be fine and would simply have to explain why he was so far behind everyone. But he was wrong, upon leaving the cave, the bus was gone and there was no one in sight.
Swearing to himself for being so stupid he pondered about what to do know. He had a cell-phone with him, as well as a couple of bottles of water “just in case”.
“Good thing they gave us all some water and a phone,” he said to himself as he took the phone out of his pocket and activated it.
“No service” was displayed in big bold letters in the display.
“It figures” he said and cursed rather loudly. Locating a rock to sit on, he pondered what to do next.
“after 20 minutes they certainly know I’m not there and will be back for me at any time. Ill just sit here and wait” he thought to himself as he took a sip from one of the bottles of water.
Meanwhile on the bus
“We are now at the half way point of out tour as we come to a rest stop. To your right there is on out cropping of tree’s, if were lucky we might get to see a sugar glider or two as they have been known to nest in these tree’s before. They are kept as pets in many parts of the world, but seeing them in the wild in their natural habitat is always enjoyable. In the distance ahead of us are several tall pointed rocks, to the right about an hours drive away is a lush forest, that has hundreds of different kinds of wildlife.”
“But I thought the outback was all desert?” one of the people on the tour asked.
“That is a very common belief, but in reality there are several different types of environments out there as well as a great deal of fascinating rock and mountain formations”
In the back of the bus one the assistant tour guides passively counted each person as they exited the bus, he couldn’t shake the feeling that someone has been left behind, despite the head count (which he did) confirming everyone was there. As one of the passengers stood up they pickup a hat and put it on, a hat that all the tour guides wore. It was then that he realized that he had counted them as one of the people on the tour. But that had been 2 hours ago, and there was little shade. Quickly getting up he ran towards the head tour guide to tell her what had happened.
It had been 2 and half hour hours and Jimmy was getting very worried, he was sitting at the mouth of the cave, trying to use it for some shelter when he heard the sound of movement just outside the cave and to the right. At first he though he was just hearing things, until the movement got closer. Finally, he got up and walked over to where the sound was coming from to see 4 kangaroo’s standing there. They were a pretty good size, about his height and with a dark gray fur. They seemed to be eating something off the ground. Bugs perhaps? There wasn’t much else in this area that was edible, he was actually starting to feel hungry himself.
“Well, as long as their here, I might as well take some pictures of them, it’s be a shame to go Australia and not can any pictures of the wildlife, especially their most popular animal”. Alerted by his presence, the 4 roo’s turned around and looked at him. They didn’t seem afraid, and in actuality seemed fascinated by Jimmy.
“Your probably wondering how I got out here like this, all alone and with only a little to drink and nothing to eat” , much to his surprise they looked at him as if they really understood him, snapping a few pictures of them, he decided to ‘kill some time” by telling them what happened. Looking at him as if they truly understood the predicament he was in they turned towards each other and almost looked as if they were having a conversation , they made all sorts of interesting sounds , and even knodded their heads.
“So that’s what a kangaroo’s sounds like” he said.
The roo's stopped making their sounds, and began hopping arround him, 2 clockwise and 2 counterclockwiese , the clockwise ones being slightly closer to him. For most of the experience, he had been at least a few meters with from, but they were now vew close to him,close enough to touch him, alothough they seemed be being carefull not to. As their dance continued, he thought to himself
“what the heck are they doing?” when they all began to make very odd sounds. After 2 minutes of this they finally stopped , hopped away several meters away from him and layed down ont heir stomaches looking at him as if expecting something to happen.
Not knowing what to think at this point , Jimmy suddnly lost his balance and fell to his feet. Now in a sitting position with a dazed look on his face, he was uninjured but something didn’t feel quite right that he couldent quite ‘put his finger on’. The roo’s continued to watch him, he was unaware of his ears starting to get pointy and slightly elongating. His clothes started to feel rather strange and the texture of them actually felt almost slughish , they actually looked as if they were starting to melting!
“What the heck?” he said loudly. A few seconds later, his face started to feel strange almost as if it were being pushed outwards from the inside. Oddly it didn’t hurt but it was a very odd feeling. Bringing his hand up to feel his face and now standing on all fours Jimmy was shocked to feel his nose and mouth were starting to extend outwards! Reaching his hand up to touch his ears, his shock only increased when his ears felt pointy and longer then normal. His clothes were by now half melted. Trying to stand up, he got up to his knees as the changes continued , now his hands were being affected , his nails were turning into small claws , in his field of vision he could see what his face had extended into a muzzle, his nose and mouth looking nothing like a humans. Again feeling his ears they were now twise their normal size. His clothes were now all but gone , resulting in much embarasment for him, alothough being naked seemed to be the least of his problems. The Changes suddenly seemed to accelerate , dark grey fur sprouted in his upper arms , the top of his head (replacing his human hair) and his mid region and inner thighs. The claws on this hands darkend and the nails on his feet became dark claws as his feet began to get longer. Feeling a pulling sensation on his rear, Jimmy saw a furry tail growing out, his legs were getting much furier and his thighs had more then doubleed in size , his hands were beginning to look almost like paws, and more fur was growing on this chest. His nose was now a dark black colour and the the texture of an animals. His ears were now huge , looking much like a kangaroo’s. Being forced onto his back by the changes, Jimmy suporrted himself with his hands (paws?), almost his entire body was now covered in fur , and the bottoms of his feet had pad’s and they were getting much longer , his tail continued to grow. By now he knew what was happening , and knew why the roo’s were watching him. As he became more animal like, they seemed to become happier and happier.
“I really am becoming a kanagaroo, this nuts! This is impossible , yet it really is happening, how am I supossed to explain this?” After a break in the changes of a few seconds, Jimmy slowly got back on his feet, but still stayed on all fours, not sure if the changes were done or not.. He got his answer when they began again and his fur fully grew in, covering his entire body. Most of his body seemed to be completely a kanagroo’s by now , except for his legs , tail and thies and rear end. That was soon remideed when the changes accelerated again, and his tail grew even longer along with his legs thighes and feet, while he thankfully wasent in any pain , his expression was of pure shock. The changes seemed just about done, so feeling a bit more comfotable , Jimmy stood up on his feet, a few addintional changes were still taking place. The sun felt great on his fur , and momentarily forgetting about the severity of his situation and the enormity of what was happening to him Jimmy couldent help but smile, he felt powerfull, looking at the world though an animals eyes was so strange yet satisfying and despite having all the fur he still was techcnially naked , yet it didn’t bother him at him. Finally, his ears stopped growing and the rest of his body stopped changing, completing with a full set of whiskers growing out from his muzzle and his transformation was complete, he was a kangaroo.
For several minutes he just stood there, feeling the sensations of his new body, his sence of smell was much stronger now, he could smell things he never knew existed. He could actually smell that humans had passed by this area not long ago, and he could smell the 4 roo’s that hd been watching him change. His sence of smell and instics he had acquired told him that they were all female , they were all now standing , keeping their distance so he could ‘discover’ his new body. Finally he decided to hop over to them, even though it was just a single and short hop it felt very liberating. All 4 roo’s started making sounds, sounds which strangly he now understood. Suddenly all 4 of them hopped away, not running away, but wanting to play. He found himself hopping after the closest one, catching up with her after 15 minutes. It was clear she wanted to be caught. She made several sounds, sounds that he, with an almost look of terror on his face, knew were mating sounds. Realsing that he has been so caught up in this that he had left the area where was sitting he hopped away, almost panicked. He had become so caught up in this that he had amost forgotten that he was waiting to be found and rescued. The female roo didn’t seem too upset at his hoping away , almost as if she knew why he was.
“But how could she…” he started to ask himself when he realised he was making sounds without even thinking about it. His mind may have been intact, but the sensations and new instics this body gave him were starting to make him loose himself in it. Finally after some pretty heavy hopping he got back to the site. In this distance he could hear the sounds of a vehicle approaching. Almost instintivly he hopped away slightly so he could observe it and still be able to run away if they posed a threat.
“This is the place” said the bus driver as he brought the bus to a stop, the 3 tour guides all got out of the bus and started to look for Jimmy, calling his name several times. One of them noticed a male gray kangaroo standing nearby watching them , when he called the name Jimmy, it seemed to respond.
“Isn’t that cute, he think’s were calling him” he said to the other guides.
“I found something, a camera” the third one said. As all three converged on it’s location , the kangaroo tried harder and harder to get their attention. The people on the bus were commenting on how cute he looked and took pictures of him. The three tourguides entered the cave to look for Jimmy, and hour later emerging having not found him.
“Were going to have to get chopers out here, by now he may have wondered anywhere and become lost. In the meantime we should go back to base, as there’s nothing else we can do here” the lead touguide said in a sombered tone.
The roo almost seemed upset as they all got back into the bus and it drove off into the distance , he followed the bus for a short distance but eventually it was going to fast for him to catch up.
Nothing he had tried has worked, he just could not get anyone in the bus to realize that the kangaroo they were all looking at was really him. He couldn’t really blame them though, as he looked just like a normal kangaroo. Some of them may have at least thought of what really happened, but probably kept quiet, fearing people would think they were insane.
With a look of disappear Jimmy realized that this change was going to be a permanent one and he was a kangaroo was that was that. Looking down at his body and ‘petting” his head and arms the fur felt great.
“So what am I supposed to do know” he thought as the 4 females kangaroo’s finally located and caught up with him. Making the same sounds as before when they wanted him to chase them, a smile appeared on Jimmies face
“Maybe this wont be so bad, I won’t have to worry about homework, getting a job, paying bills or anything like that anymore. Now I can spend my days hopping around and playing” the thought made him realize what he had lost, but at the same time what he had gained in the process. Re-gaining his senses, he saw the female roo’s all start their hopping away game again and he happily gave chance.