Teaching Treasures™ Roy the Army Tank

Roy the Army Tank

Deep in the bush stood an old green army tank. Its guns were gone and one door was missing. Some bits were rusted and paint flaked and faded. Roy was left by soldiers who didn't need him any more. Larry an old steam engine, left behind by mill workers was also a sad picture, with rusty, flaked red paint. Roy and Larry now kept each other company in the bush.

army tank

steam engine

"I’m bored," said Roy to Larry. "You’re never happy", replied Larry and gave a big yawn. "Why don’t you go to sleep." "Sleep! I only just woke up. The sun is shining and the birds are singing. How can you sleep the day away!" "Easy," said Larry and closed his red eyes. Roy was left alone with his thoughts. He remembered a story one of the soldiers told him long ago.

"If you cross the dark wooden bridge you will become the other half of Rolls." Roy had never understood what the soldier meant but he was keen to find out. After all, what could he loose! All he had to do was find the dark wooden bridge and cross it. It couldn’t be simpler. He was tired of loosing bits of paint every time he talked or smiled. He was fed up with his rusty squeaky hinges too. The more he thought about it the more he wanted to leave this dark patch in the forest and find the wooden bridge. But what did the soldier mean? Who was Rolls? What rolls? Bread rolls?

"Hey, Larry wake up!" "What now!" "Remember that soldier who said I could be the other half of Rolls and live long and happily ever after?" "Yes, what about it." "I’m leaving Larry, I’m going to find that dark bridge and find out who Rolls is." Larry blinked his eyes in the bright sunlight. "Whatever" he said and closed his eyes again. "Goodbye Larry," said Roy. "Good luck" mumbled Larry and went back to sleep.

roy the army tank

Roy groaned and made a terrible noise as his rusty body slowly started to move through the bush. He decided to follow the sun. He moved on, gently pushing through the bushes and apologizing to every twig he bend. "Sorry" he said. "Oops sorry, I beg your pardon."

"Watch out you big rust bucket," yelled one small jarrah tree. "Where are you going?" "To find the dark bridge", said Roy the tank. "Well, you’re going the wrong way" shouted the little tree. Roy stopped dead in his tracks. "Do you know where the dark bridge is?" "Of course, who doesn’t!" "I don’t!" "No, wonder, you’ve got steel brains, get of my roots you big lump of iron!"

"Sorry," said Roy and moved away a little from the jarrah tree. "Could you tell me where the bridge is please?" asked Roy. "Go north" grunted the little tree. "Just keep going north and you’ll find it." "Thank you kindly," said Roy and changed his direction to north.


He went on and on until he thought he could go no further north. Suddenly out in a small clearing he saw it. The sun had nearly gone to bed but just enough light filtered through the trees to see a  dark wooden bridge crossing a river. Roy could have jumped for joy had his rusty hinges not stopped him. Carefully he went closer to the bridge. He peeped over the edge and below him lay the river, dark and murky. "Here goes" said Roy and slowly started to cross the bridge. He hoped it was strong enough.

Just the thought of falling through and ending up at the bottom of the river made him shiver. "Easy now" he mumbled to himself and crept forward. Inch by inch he moved across the creaking planks. At one stage he thought the whole thing would collapse but it held.

Finally, after what seemed hours he came to the other side of the bridge. "Now," said Roy. "Where is Rolls?" He looked around but saw no one. It was very still and a little scary. Roy was already sorry he had crossed the bridge. What if Rolls was someone bad? He shivered and his rusty hinges squeaked, making a scary sound. The sun had gone down and it was really too dark to see where he was going. Poor old Roy just had to spend the night all alone in this scary, strange patch of bush. At last Roy fell asleep, dreaming of bad Rolls cutting him up for scrap iron. His different body parts were sold to greedy people who melted them down.

With a shock Roy woke up and blinked into the bright sunlight. It was all a bad dream, that’s what it was. Roy stretched his stiff joints and moved along the wet grass. "Hello beauty" said a wattle tree. "Hi, gorgeous" shouted a red gum. A large group of black cockatoos with red tails flew over and screamed with delight. "Hello, black beauty," they all shouted. Poor Roy was getting nervous. What was happening?

A red bush laughed when she saw his worried face. "Oh, hello," said Roy."  "Why do you worry," she said in a sweet soft voice.  "Have you seen Rolls." The little red bush giggled again. "You are Rolls," she said. Whoever rolls across the bridge at sunset will become a ....." The little red bush stopped. "Go to the river and find out. Take a look at your reflection in the water."

red flowering bush

rolls royce

Roy looked at his reflection in the water. "I’m a Rolls Royce!" he shouted. "Yes," laughed every one gathering around him. "You are a Rolls Royce, not a rusty old tank any more." His rusty, green flaked body had turned into a beautiful black shiny coat. He smiled the biggest bumper smile ever and for the first time his smile did not crack his coat of paint.

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