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Willie the Kanga-bat–afant

Helen Melhuish

The story is about a mythical creature called Willie who was left outside of a zoo as a baby to be brought up by humans. He is adopted by Polly (a zoo worker) and tells how over the following few months he lives with her, her family and their pets. His appearance does not fit any known animal, but the one that he is most like, is a kangaroo. But when he appears to be fully grown (like a kangaroo), he goes to live with them permanently; but they do not seem to accept him. He also feels that he is not really a kangaroo and so he goes in search of other creatures like himself.

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Helen Melhuish was born in the 1950s and grew up in North Buckinghamshire. At eighteen she trained as a nurse at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. Five years after qualifying, she joined Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps and spent four years serving in England and Germany. This is where she met her husband who was in the Royal Army Medical Corps in Berlin. After leaving the army in the early 1980s they moved to a small village in Suffolk, where she still lives, and they raised their two daughters. She retired from nursing in 2016 and finding time on her hands, she has written her first book.