I wrote my own version of events. Now it’s time for Dorothy to tell her side of the story…
Dorothy was an Australian mail delivery motorcycle just like all the others. She had a little petrol engine for propulsion and was painted red, the colour of speed.
Dorothy worked in the Queensland town of Caboolture, delivering mail to the people who lived there. She liked her job, and in many ways Dorothy was a happy little motorcycle. She had good friends and a nice way of life. Deep down though Dorothy always wondered if there was more to life than this. More to see. More to do. As beautiful as this coastal little town was, Dorothy felt quite constrained by her situation, and in a sense, wanted to break free.
Dorothy thought that day would never come. Because this was her life, delivering letters and parcels to the residents of this east coast Australian town, and that she had accepted, was her fate.
Then one day she was summoned to the office. Captain Flack of the Australian postal delivery corp – Dorothy’s boss and mentor – brought Dorothy into the office and told her that he needed to have a little chat.
‘Dorothy, I have a job for you,’ said Captain Flack, his silky moustache and peaked Captain’s hat jiggling as he spoke.
Captain Flack was a smart man, dressed in his usual military attire. He was portly, and always carried a brown wooden cane.
‘How can I be of service?’ Beamed Dorothy, her tiny little wheels and dainty orange pannier sacks belying her speed, determination and enthusiasm for delivering the mail. Dorothy was dutiful, and had never taken a day off work, or school, neither because she was sick, nor because she could be bothered to get out of bed. Nope, Dorothy was the most reliable postie bike on the fleet. And it was for that reason that Captain Flack wished to speak with her now.
‘Dorothy, I want you to take this parcel to England.’
Captain Flack placed a square parcel on the desk, about the size of a shoe box and wrapped in brown paper with a white string bow tied around it.
‘To England!!,’ Dorothy spluttered, her headlight bulging at the thought of such a distance.
‘Yes, to England. I know it’s a long way, the other side of the world in fact, but this parcel is very important and I need you to get it there safely.’
‘Why can’t it go on an aeroplane like all the other long distance parcels,’ said Dorothy?
‘Because it can’t. It has to go by land. At altitude the contents will be ruined.’
‘What’s in the box?’ Asked Dorothy.
‘I can’t tell you, its contents are classified.’
‘But why me?’, said Dorothy, her face contorted with confusion.
‘Because Dorothy, you’re the most reliable motorcycle I know, and I wouldn’t trust this with anyone else,’ Captain Flack said with a reassuring smile, his monocle clasped tightly to his left eye.
Dorothy was humbled but also perplexed. Dorothy had always wanted to travel and explore. She never thought she’d get the chance. She thought it was something beyond her and had accepted her place in the world. But at the same time, she was excited. An adventure, bigger than she could ever imagine. Riding from Australia, to England, across all those countries, mountains and deserts, over oceans and who on earth knows in between.
‘Who is the parcel for?’ Asks Dorothy.
‘It’s for her Majesty the Queen.’
‘Yes, the Queen.’
‘As you can tell, this is a matter of great importance. Dorothy, shall you do it?’
‘Err well, errr,’ spluttered Dorthey, looking nervously at the floor. ‘I’d love to…. but….’
‘But, what Dorothy?’
‘Erm… nothing really, I suppose. Just the thought of it, and missing my friends and family. And I’m frightened. I don’t know if I can ride that far, not on my own. I’m only a little motorcycle after all.’
‘Dorothy, I wouldn’t have asked you if you didn’t think you could.’ Captain Flack looked out of his office window to the rows upon rows of Australian postal bikes, any of which he could have asked to embark on this mission, but in Dorothy he had placed his trust.
‘Can I have time to think about it?’ Asked Dorothy.
‘I’m afraid not. There’s a boat leaving Darwin for East Timor in twenty days. To get there you will have to set off no later than this Sunday. It’s imperative you get the parcel to England as soon as possible.’
Dorothy looked at the calendar. Today was Thursday.
‘In that time we’ll have to get you serviced and equipped for the journey ahead, prepare your documentation and make the proper arrangements. Say you’ll do it now and we have just enough time to get you ready.’
Dorothy took in a deep breath, searching her soul as she did so. It was now or never for Dorothy and she realised that. She either embarked on a great adventure, or she decided not to, and forever wondered what would have been.
Dorothy trembled with the prospect of the journey that is about to follow.
‘Okay, I’ll do it.