One day Wombat, who was known in the bush as a kindly but eccentric character, called for a meeting of all the animals. He had a wondrous new invention to share with them. Slowly and somewhat reluctantly, the forest creatures gathered to take a look at the gadget. Wombat pulled it out of his briefcase with a flourish and announced in his high-pitched voice that was overflowing with excitement, “Behold the mePhone! The first phone ever that you can use to call and speak to yourself! Your lives will be forever changed by it!”

The animals all laughed at Wombat: “ Ha, ha, ha, what a joke! What do we need to call ourselves for? How could the mePhone possibly make any difference to our lives?”

Wombat saw his hopes of changing the world with his contraption vanishing into thin air. He decided to use another approach that he had read about in a handbook for salesmen: “If you are not completely satisfied with this product, I will give you your money back, no questions asked! What have you got to lose?”

And so all the birds and the beasts lined up to purchase the mePhone, more out of pity for Wombat than for any other reason.

Inevitably, there was some initial apprehension about using the mePhone, for no creature quite knew what kind of a response they would receive when they rang themselves out of the blue for the very first time. What if their unexpected call was considered to be an unacceptable invasion of privacy?

Eventually, these fears subsided as most animals found they were greeted with warmth and enthusiasm and that their calls were seen as a pleasant surprise. Talking with yourself was just like talking with a dear friend you hadn't seen for a long time and conversation flowed easily.

Much to their surprise, the birds and the beasts discovered that great benefits were to be gained from having a good chat with themselves, for they had never had the time to stop and take a good, honest look at their lives. They have always been rushing about, searching for food, tending to their young and trying to silence the nagging question of whether or not they were happy with their lives. Consequently, all contact with their true inner selves had been lost.

And so it was an enlightening experience for the creatures to be able to have a deep and meaningful talk with themselves. They could now catch up with all the things in their lives they had never had the chance to think about before, to find out the vital news that fell by the wayside as they were speeding along the forest trail of life.

Not infrequently, tears were shed as truths the animals had been hiding from themselves were revealed and conveyed in blunt and forthright terms. Conversations gained a confessional aspect, as darkest secrets and problems known only to oneself  were divulged openly over the phone lines. Quite often, surprises were lying in store as the birds and the beasts discovered what they were actually feeling inside; that they weren’t really happy with their position in the bush community or that they had fallen  out of love a long time ago. At other times, the voice on the other end of the line would remind them of their long-neglected dreams, of desires and needs they had suppressed for far too long.

Emu finally remembered how, when she was growing up, she had always dreamed of learning how to fly and made plans to start taking lessons with the local flight school. Tasmanian Devil discovered a kinder, gentler side to his nature and resolved to devote the rest of his life to the nursing profession. Kookaburra, realising he was sick of always acting the clown, decided to study the dramatic arts and become a serious actor. Koala, seeing for the first time how lazy and overweight she was, hired a personal trainer to get into shape.

All the forest creatures were deeply grateful for Wombat’s invention and bestowed great honours upon him. The bush became a better, happier place because of the mePhone as the birds and the beasts at last began to be true to their own selves, for they knew they could no longer get away with lying to themselves. Having banished their inner turmoils, they now treated each other with kindness and respect. The way life had been before the mePhone was just a distant, faded memory and no animal could imagine ever being without one.

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